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Cantaloupe (kharbooza) : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 42981 | Date: 15-Sep-2013

Cantaloupe is commonly known as muskmelon or kharbooja in India. This fruit is rich in various nutrients like folates, carotenoids, vitamin C, Potassium, phosphorus and fiber. Along with the presence of these nutrients cantaloupe gives many health benefits. Some of the health benefits which it provides are:

Cantaloupe (kharbooza) : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

health benefits of cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is commonly known as muskmelon or kharbooja in India. This fruit is rich in various nutrients like folates, carotenoids, vitamin C, Potassium, phosphorus and fiber. Along with the presence of these nutrients cantaloupe gives many health benefits. Some of the health benefits which it provides are:

More About Cantaloupe
Quantity:100 grams
Calories:34 Calories in 100 grams
Bio-Logical name:Cucumis melo
Cantaloupe in other languages:
HindiKharbooza
TamilKirinipala
MalayalamThalkumbalam
TeluguKirnikayi
GujaratiKharbooja
PunjabiKharbooja
BengaliKhormuj
OriyaKharbuza
UrduKharbooza


Cantaloupe is high in dietary fiber so helps to remove toxins from the body and it also gives satiety value so the person does not feel hungry for the long time after eating it. Fiber present in cantaloupe is also very important to prevent constipation. 


Cantaloupe is also very much rich in vitamin C which is a strong antioxidant and helps to prevent diseases by minimizing bad effects of free radicals  in the body. Antioxidants also help to prevent many chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and many more. Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient and is important for the growth and repair of tissues within the body. It also helps in the collagen formation which is required for the skin tissues and thus delays the early aging of the skin. 


Cantaloupes contain concentrated form of beta carotene which is a precursor of vitamin A means this beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is a nutrient required for good vision and it also prevents the lung cancer. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant so helps to prevent many diseases and reverse the actions of free radicals in the body. Cantaloupes are also very beneficial if you are a smoker because smoking can cause vitamin A deficiency which may further lead to many diseases. 


Cantaloupe is rich in potassium which is helpful for the hypertensive patients as this helps to lower the high blood pressure and promotes the supply of oxygen to the brain and thus reduces stress and person feels more relaxed. 


Muskmelons are found to have sedative properties so beneficial for the people suffering from insomnia. 


Cantaloupes do not contain cholesterol so good for the people suffering from heart ailments.  


All the melons along with muskmelon are very beneficial in summers as they combat the bad effects of heat. So try a muskmelon if you are feeling tired after coming back from a hot sunny day. It will give you instant energy. 


Cantaloupe is low in calories, fats and high in fiber so a great fruit for the people on weight loss.


Folate present in cantaloupe is required for healthy growth and maintenance of cells and it also prevents anaemia. Folate also helps to prevent neurological defects in the newborns. Thus a very beneficial fruit for the pregnant women. 


Muskmelon juice if taken regularly helps to treat lack of appetite, acidity and gastrointestinal ulcers.


If you are health conscious and are trying to lose weight then the cantaloupe melon must be a priority on your menu! Known by various names like mushmelon, muskmelon, rockmelon or simply melon, the cantaloupe is the most popular variety of melons from cucumber family. Other members from this group include squash, pumpkin and gourd. Ranging in colour from orange-yellow to salmon, cantaloupes are a round, seeded fruit with a soft and juicy flesh that tastes and smells very sugary yet tangy. The refreshingly rich flavour and aroma, coupled with minimum calories, makes this fruit a famous one. Sometimes, it is referred to as netted melon, reason being it has a ribbed rind with a distinctive netted skin. Besides being consumed as a raw fruit, cantaloupes are also used as appetizers and as ingredients for preparing exotic desserts and salads. As you leaf through the following sections, you can discover the health benefits of cantaloupes.

 

History

What the West refers to as a cantaloupe, the rest of the world calls a muskmelon. Used interchangeably, cantaloupes have their origin dating back to as early as 2000BC along Egypt’s Nile Valley. While some historians believe that they this fruit was founded in Egypt and Greece, others claim that its cultivation was first done in Persia, Armenia and India. During the ancient times, the Romans got their supply of cantaloupes from Armenia. But it was only in the 14th century that these melons gained popularity in Italy and slowly, southern parts of Spain in the 15th century. Arabs living in Andalusia took the seeds of cantaloupe along with them to increase trade relations. In 1494, Christopher Columbus introduced cantaloupes to the New World, particularly North America, on his second voyage. The seeds were later planted in the Papal gardens in Cantalupo city near Tivoli in Italy around the 16th century. It was here that the fruit got its name, derived from the commune ‘Cantalupo’. Thereafter, in the 17th century, France saw the spread of cantaloupes. W. Atlee Burpee Company introduced the netted gem variety of these melons in the US, which grew steadily in Colorado by 1895. Post the Civil War, the fruit gained tremendous recognition. This is when their commercialization began. During the 1900s, British writer, Michael Arlen, on his trip to Armenia, confirmed the fact that cantaloupes made their entry into California through the Armenians itself. The San Joaquin Valley and Imperial Valley in California are the most popular regions for its cultivation.

 

Health Benefits of Kharbooza (Cantaloupe)

 

  • Being an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, cantaloupes are great on the body and eyesight. As such, regular consumption has proven to lower the risk of a cataract surgery.

  • The melons are loaded with vitamin C, which help in fighting free radicals, as the latter are responsible for damaging cells, causing diseases and signs of ageing.

  • Recent studies reveal that cantaloupes are extremely beneficial for smokers. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens which deficit the amount of vitamin A in the body. By including cantaloupes in your diet, the deficiency can be reversed and it also lowers the risk of developing lung diseases like emphysema.

  • Enriched with a compound called adenosine, which has blood-thinning properties, cantaloupes prevent clotting of blood in the cardiovascular system. Additionally, the folate content in the melons prevents heart attacks.

  • For anxious and stressed individuals, cantaloupes are excellent as they are rich in potassium. The juicy fruits are responsible in bringing the heart rate back to normal and promoting oxygen supply to the brain.

  • Cantaloupes are a good source of folate, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of the growth of new cells. Furthermore, it is significant during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy.

  • Not just delicious and succulent, cantaloupes are rich in beta-carotene that benefits the body by lowering any risks of cancers of the larynx, esophagus and lungs.

  • Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, cantaloupe melons contain antioxidants which combat oxidative stress and prevent the oxidation of the low density lipoprotein.

 

Nutritional Value & Calories In Cantaloupe 

Amount: 1 cup

Total Weight: 177 g

 
Nutrients
Amount

Basic Components

 
Proteins
1.5 g
Water
160 g
Ash
1.2 g
Phytosterols
18 mg
 
 
Calories
 
Total Calories
60
Calories From Carbohydrate
52
Calories From Fat
2.8
Calories From Protein
5
 
 
Carbohydrates
 
Total Carbohydrates
14 g
Dietary Fiber
1.6 g
Sugar
14 g
 
 

Fats & Fatty Acids

 
Total Fat
336 mg
Saturated Fat
90 mg
Monounsaturated Fat
5.3 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat
143 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
81 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
62 mg
 
 
Vitamins
 
Vitamin A
5986 IU
Vitamin C
65 mg
Vitamin E
89 mcg
Vitamin K
4.4 mcg
Thiamin
73 mcg
Riboflavin
34 mcg
Niacin
1.3 mg
Vitamin B6
127 mcg
Folate
37 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
186 mcg
Choline
13.5 mg
Betaine
0.2 mg
 
 
Minerals
 
Calcium
16 mg
Iron
372 mcg
Magnesium
21 mg
Phosphorus
27 mg
Potassium
473 mg
Sodium
28 mg
Zinc
319 mcg
Copper
73 mcg
Manganese
73 mcg
Selenium
0.71 mcg
Fluoride
1.8 mcg
 

How many calories in cantaloupes (per 100 gm)

Cantaloupes have about 34 calories per 100 gm of weight.

 

How to Buy Cantaloupes

 

  • As a general rule, always look for cantaloupes that are evenly shaped and do not contain any bruises, cracks or soft spots.

  • To enjoy these juicy fruits to the maximum, select ones those are heavy.

  • If you see the stem still attached to a cantaloupe, it has been picked too early. On the contrary, ripe cantaloupes have a mildly sweet fragrance. Overripe melons give out an unpleasant odour.

  • Research indicates that fruits which fully ripe, but just before the point of spoilage, have increased levels of antioxidants.

 

Cantaloupe Storage Tips

 

  • Cantaloupes continue to ripen even after they have been plucked. Thus, if you buy the ripe varieties, it is advisable to consume them as soon as possible.

  • Firm cantaloupes can be stored at room temperature so that they develop a softer and juicier flesh. After the fruit has become ripe, refrigerate for later consumption.

  • Cut out cantaloupe melons should be wrapped in a plastic sheet so that the ethylene gas that it emits does not affect the taste and texture of other fruits and vegetables stored in the refrigerator. They may also be kept at room temperature for a short period of time, about 2-4 hours, after which, they are not considered safe for consumption.

antaloupe grows naturally in the continents of Africa and Asia. According to a study published in the 2008 issue of “World Applied Sciences Journal," records show that the cultivation of cantaloupes started in 2400 B.C. Many people eat cantaloupe because of its juicy, tasty flavor. Some people even use it as an appetizer and as an ingredient for desserts and salads. 

Folate

As mentioned by the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, cantaloupe serves as good source of folate, an important water-soluble B-vitamin micronutrient needed for healthy growth and maintenance of cells within the body and for the prevention of anemia. In fact, folate deficiency may lead to intrauterine growth retardation in newborns, increased risk for brain and nerve congenital defects and stunted growth in infants and children. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, alcoholics, patients taking anti-convulsant medications and those having nutritional anemia are advised to increase their folate intake to prevent health complications associated with folate deficiency.


Carotenoids

Cantaloupes contain carotenoids, the yellow, orange and sometimes reddish pigment synthesized by plants. According to Linus Pauling Institute, the increased intake of carotenoids from fruits, such as cantaloupes, can decrease a patient’s risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, two forms of carotenoid -- lutein and zeaxanthin -- are much needed for the proper functioning and vision of the eyes. In fact, as mentioned by Linus Pauling Institute, deficiency in lutein and zeaxanthin may increase a patient’s risk for the development of age-related macular degeneration -- the most common cause of blindness -- and cataract, the clouding of the lens of the eye.

Vitamin C

Cantaloupe serves as a rich source of vitamin C, an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the growth and repair of tissues within the body. It also helps in forming collagen, an important protein needed for making skin tissues, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, a type of nutrient that blocks the action of free radicals which lead to early aging.

Potassium

Cantaloupes also have potassium, an important mineral needed for almost all the processes within the human body. Potassium is an electrolyte, a mineral that conducts electricity within the body together with sodium, calcium and magnesium. Potassium plays a very important role in muscle and heart contraction and blood pressure control. It is also essential for the normal function of the gastrointestinal tract.


Nutritional values and health benefits of cantaloupe (kharbooza)

one average size(slice) of cantaloupe contains 0.58 grams of protein, 23 calories and 0.6 grams of dietary fiber.  

Minerals in cantaloupe

Potassium – 184 mg

Phosphorus – 10 mg

Magnesium – 8 mg

Calcium – 6 mg

Sodium – 11 mg

Iron – 0.14 mg

Selenium 0.3 mcg

Manganese – 0.028 mg

Copper – 0.028 mg

Zinc – 0.12 mg


Vitamins in cantaloupe

Vitamin A – 2334 IU

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.028 mg

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.013 mg

Niacin – 0.506 mg

Folate – 14 mcg

Pantothenic Acid – 0.072 mg

Vitamin B6 – 0.05 mg

Vitamin C – 25.3 mg

Vitamin E – 0.03 mg

Vitamin K – 1.7 mcg

Health benefits of cantaloupe

It is the rich source of potassium, fiber and vitamin A, C. Health benefits.Being full of supplement vitamin A and beta-carotene, cantaloupes have great effects on the body and vision. As such, frequent intake has confirmed to reduce the chance of a cataract surgery treatment..The melons are rich with vitamin C, which help in fighting free radicals.

 

use of cantaloupe in cataract patient

For nervous and stressed individuals, cantaloupes are excellent  source of potassium. The luscious fruits a are responsible in bringing the heart rate normal again and advertising fresh air supply to the brain.




Cantaloupes contains folate, which is essential for the production and maintenance of the growth of new cells. Folate also needed during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and gestation period.

 

smoking-tobacco

Recent research shows that cantaloupes are incredibly valuable for tobacco users. Cigarettes contain harmful toxins which lack the amount of supplement A in the body. Consuming cantaloupes fulfill the deficiency of vitamin A and decreases the chances of disorders like emphysema.

 

emphysema pictures

 

Rich with a substance called adenosine, which has blood-thinning properties, cantaloupes prevent clots of blood vessels.

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