Cantaloupe helps keep you hydrated
chombosan/shutterstock Eating cantaloupe is not only a refreshing, low-calorie dessert, its high-water content helps keep you hydrated, especially on hot summer days or after an intense workout. “Cantaloupe is high in potassium, an electrolyte that we lose when we sweat,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eating cantaloupe or other foods high in potassium as a post-workout snack helps our body recover and lessens the chance for muscle cramps and fatigue.
Cantaloupe may ward off the effects of age-related macular degeneration
Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock A mounting body of research shows that eating the right foods can help ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness in people over age 60, according to the American Optometric Association. Studies show that the development of the disease is linked to depleted macular pigment, the retinal layer that filters out harmful blue light waves and reduces the number of free radicals in the macular area. “Antioxidants like zeazanthin and lutein found in cantaloupe have been shown to protect the eye and scavenge free radicals in the retina,” says Hultin. Another study shows that eating three servings of fruit a day affects eye health and decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. As an added boost, vitamin C, also found in cantaloupe, has been shown to slow the progression of cataracts. Find out other foods that prevent macular degeneration.
Cantaloupe is good for your heart
Branislav Nenin/shutterstock Cantaloupe contains several ingredients—fiber, potassium, and vitamin C—that contribute to keeping our heart healthy. “Foods high in fiber help control blood pressure and lower LDL, the bad cholesterol,” says Majumdar. Just one cup of cubed cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of fiber or five percent of the daily requirement, explains Hultin. “If you have it for breakfast or a snack, you are on your way to meeting the national fiber recommendations.” Consuming foods that are high in potassium help to lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk of stroke, the formation of kidney stones, and protect against loss of muscle mass and bone mineral density. “Potassium helps lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium,” says Majumdar. Cantaloupe and other fruits are part of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which helps to lower blood pressure. Find out other foods that are beneficial for your heart.