Cantaloupe helps with digestion
puhhha/shutterstock Cantaloupe contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which work together for bowel health, helping to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. “Cantaloupe, as well as other foods with fiber, act as food for gut bacteria,” says Majumdar. Having a healthy digestive tract helps ward off conditions such as diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome, and eating a high-fiber diet has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 21 to 38 grams of fiber daily (depending on calorie needs, age, and sex), and cantaloupe offers about 1.5 grams of fiber in one cup of melon balls. “Eating foods that contain fiber rather than taking a fiber supplement helps us get different types of fiber,” says Majumdar.
Cantaloupe satiates the appetite and helps control hunger
Teri Virbickis/shutterstock Foods high in fiber such as cantaloupe are filling, says Mujamdar, and filling foods help us feel satisfied, control hunger, and aid with weight control. Cantaloupe is naturally low in calories (about 60 calories in one-quarter of a melon) and contains no fat or cholesterol. The sweetness of the cantaloupe, which contains 14 grams of sugar per serving, can help satisfy cravings for something sweet, especially after a meal. “The bright color of the food also helps us eat with our eyes and enjoy our food,” says Majumdar. Find out more of the most filling fruits and veggies.
Be sure to wash before consuming
rawcaptured photography/shutterstock More than 75 percent of the nation’s cantaloupes are grown in California. While the tough-skinned fruits are known for being sweet and delicious on the inside, they are grown in direct contact with soil, which makes them prone to becoming contaminated with bacteria such as E.coli, listeria, and salmonella. When bacteria contaminates the rind of the melon, and it is not washed properly, the bacteria can be transferred to the melon flesh when it is cut open. It’s tough outer surface also makes it more difficult to wash, says Hultin. She recommends following food safety guidelines and using a gentle veggie brush to wash the fruit thoroughly before cutting it open. “Cantaloupe is a food that can trigger foodborne illness if not properly handled,” says Majumdar. “Also, because the melon is high in water and low in acid, it is a breeding zone for bacteria.” Keep cut cantaloupe in the refrigerator and wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after cutting the outside of the melon, she says.