Of all the delicious summer fruits, this super juicy melon is one we love to talk about. With so many health benefits, cantaloupe is the perfect ingredient to any nutrient-dense fruit salad you might fix for yourself or bring to a warm-weather cookout.
Sure, you can enjoy the health benefits of cantaloupe any time of year, but it’s best to eat fruits when they’re in season because that’s when they’re freshest and tastiest—and pack the maximum amount of nutrients.
Adding This Sweet Super Fruit to Your Diet
Federal guidelines suggest we eat an average of 1 1/2-2 cups of fruit each day. While everyone’s needs are going to be slightly different (that goal might even be too much for some people), we do know that most of us are not consuming enough fruit.
If you’re looking to add fruit to your breakfast or mid-afternoon snack to make it one that’s packed with nutrients and that helps your body function at its best, cantaloupe is definitely on our list of favorites, and here’s why.
Top Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
1. It’s loaded with antioxidants, especially vitamin A and vitamin C.
Many of us know how important antioxidants are to a healthy diet. They’re known to reduce cell damage and inflammation, which can lead to health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and more.
With a serving offering more than 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A, and just about 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, cantaloupe is an easy way to get in your antioxidants at breakfast, lunch, or even an afternoon or evening snack.
Vitamin C helps with maintaining and repairing body cells and tissue, which can prevent health conditions like heart disease and cancer, and it has been known to reduce symptoms of the common cold. Meanwhile, the vitamin A found in cantaloupe keeps your immune system functioning at its best, promotes healthy vision, glowing skin, and much more.
If that’s not enough reasons to love this fruit—hang on, there’s more!
2. It’s high in beta carotene and lutein, and zeaxanthin.
When consumed, beta carotene either acts as an antioxidant or is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy eyesight and keeps your skin looking vibrant. Healthier, better-looking skin? Yes, please!
Cantaloupe also contains a couple of other powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help further prevent chronic eye diseases like cataracts. This amazing fruit just keeps getting better, right?
3. It’s rich in potassium, which promotes optimal muscle function.
At 10% of your recommended daily value of potassium per cup, cantaloupe provides a flavorful way to get this nutrient that you need for your heart, muscles, and everything in between. Snacking on cantaloupe is also a great way to restore some of those electrolytes you lost during your morning sweat sesh.
4. It contains 6% of the recommended daily value of fiber.
When it comes to fiber, studies show Americans are not getting quite enough. With the recommended amounts at 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day (ideally directly from food), most Americans only get about 50% of that.
What’s so great about fiber? Well, for starters, it’s beneficial for improving digestion and preventing constipation, diverticular disease, diabetes, and even heart disease. Pretty great, right?
It can also be a powerful tool for weight loss since a high-fiber diet can make you feel fuller for longer, leading to lower calorie consumption. Translation: eating more cantaloupe (and other foods high in fiber) may help promote weight loss.
5. Like many fruits, it’s high in water content. Hello, hydration!
Cantaloupe is a whopping 90% water! Being hydrated makes it easier for your heart to do its thing, to pump blood to all the systems in your body that depend on it.
Adding cantaloupe to your diet is a great way to get even more water into your body throughout the day, without having to drink more. (Psst: You should be doing that, too, drinking lots of water.)
But that’s not all. We could go on and on about why we love cantaloupe so much. For example, it also contains high levels of folate, which is beneficial for expecting mothers. Plus, it’s full of a bunch of other important nutrients, such as vitamin B6, magnesium and more.
Take Advantage of Cantaloupe Benefits with These Recipes
Yes, cantaloupe can be super-refreshing and absolutely delicious all by itself. But why not pair it with some other tasty, healthy foods and make it an ultra-nutritious meal? Here are a few recipes to get you started.
You can roast cantaloupe? Of course, you can! Cold, fresh cantaloupe is delicious, but have you ever tried roasting it? Check out this minimal ingredient recipe from The Joy Kitchen.
If you like roasted cantaloupe all by itself, you’ll love this sweet and savory summer salad recipe even more. This salad tastes as wonderful as it looks, and it’s quick and easy to prepare.
For a more refreshing summer meal, or any time of year, this cantaloupe smoothie is full of flavor and nutrients and can be whipped up in no time. It makes a simple, but nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, or even dessert! Yum!
It doesn’t get more refreshing, or fulfilling, than this flavorful summer dish. It takes less than 30 minutes to prep and will be the talk of the potluck, for sure.
Add a little more of this orangey fruit to your plate this season, and all year long, for better hydration, better skin, and better overall health!