The name “cantaloupe” comes from the Italian place named Cantalupo. This was an area near Rome and is said to be where the fruit was first cultivated in Europe sometime in the 16th century. The seeds were brought there from Armenia, which was one of the speculated ancient areas of origins of the fruit along with Persia, India and Africa.
Cantaloupes eventually made their way into North America. It was in the late 1800’s that they started to become popular and turned into a major crop. The most commonly propagated variety in the US is called muskmelon, distinguished from other types by the net-like covering on its skin.
It is fortunate that the cantaloupe has spread far and wide as this is a great-tasting fruit that has a lot to contribute in your quest to Become Superhuman. Continue reading to know about the health benefits and practical uses of this fruit.
There are few fruits that can completely provide your daily requirement of a certain vitamin or mineral. Cantaloupes are one of them in regards to Vitamin A. Just a single cup or around 160 grams can fulfill 100% of your body’s daily demand for this vitamin.
Cantaloupes are dense with beta-carotene, a little more than 3,000 micrograms for every 100 grams. It is one of a class of phytochemicals called carotenoids and is the substance that your body breaks down to produce retinal, the type of Vitamin A that is necessary for eyesight.
The fruit isn’t a slacker when it comes to Vitamin C either. Again, by just eating a single cup, you can already supply 97% of your body’s daily Vitamin C needs. Then there are also good amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
More often than not, seeds of fruits or vegetables are usually thrown away along with tough or inedible skin and stalks. Pumpkin seeds are one of the few exceptions. You can also put cantaloupe seeds on that list.
The seeds of this fruit contain alpha-linolenic acid which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants. More common sources of this nutritional fat are fish oil and flaxseed oil. Such nutrients are necessary for growth and brain function and they can only be sourced from food because the human body cannot produce this type of fatty acid.
Cantaloupe Practical Uses:
More often than not, cantaloupes are harvested and shipped while still unripe to make them more resilient for transportation. There are a few things you can do to make sure you select an adequately ripe cantaloupe in the fresh fruit market:
1) Pick it up and feel its weight, ripe ones are usually heavier
2) Tap on the skin and listen for the sound, ripe cantaloupes sound dull and low
3) Press on the end where the vine stem used to be attached; it slightly gives in when it’s ripe
4) Check the color of the rind, ripe ones are usually light-yellow
Being naturally sweet and juicy, cantaloupes are perfect for salads and fruit shakes. For salad preparation, some people like to use melon ballers to improve presentation and generally make it easier to eat. You can then add some low-fat cream, a bit of lemon juice or whatever else the recipe you’re following requires.
Meanwhile for a beverage preparation, you only need to add little water because the fruit already has high water content. Simply eating the fruit after a hard exercise can already help you rehydrate. Given that it has some amount of potassium, the fruit can work as an electrolyte drink.
It was mentioned that cantaloupe seeds are edible and nutritious. Roasted cantaloupe seeds are actually part of some Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. Instead of throwing away the seeds, just wash away the pulp and drain the seeds. You can then roast them on a pan, a baking stone or in an oven.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of grapefruit that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of cantaloupe, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of cantaloupe.