Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon or rockmelon, is a member of the gourd family and is a popular fruit for the spring and summer. They have a hard exterior, but sweet and juicy flesh. Is cantaloupe Paleo and should you eat it as part of your Paleo diet?
Nutritional Value of Cantaloupe
Serving size: 1 cup, cubes (160 grams)
- Calories: 54
- Total Fat: 0 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 0 g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0 g
- Trans fat: 0
- Lauric acid: 6 g
- Carbohydrate: 14 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Sodium: 26 mg
- Fiber: 1 g
- Sugars: 13 g
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Since cantaloupe is a fruit, it offers many nutrient benefits. A one cup serving contains 78% RDA of vitamin C, 30% RDA of vitamin A, and 12% RDA of potassium. Cantaloupe is also high in antioxidants that have been shown to have protective effects for the cardiovascular system and immunity. People who regularly eat cantaloupe have shown to have lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is a substance produced by the liver, indicative of inflammation. Other benefits of cantaloupe include:
● Vision and eye health; protection from macular degeneration and cataracts due to the presence of carotenoids
● Formation of collagen, important for tissue, skin, tendons, and ligaments
● Blocks free radical activity to reduce oxidative stress
● Protects against infections both bacterial and viral by increasing immune functionality
● Reduces cancer risk
● Slows the aging process
● Clears up acne
● Reduces asthma risk
● Decreases LDL blood pressure
● Reduces risk of stroke
● Improves digestive health
● Repairs and protects DNA
● Protects against Alzheimer’s
● Protects against osteoporosis
Seasonality of Cantaloupe/Where to Buy Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes are in season from June to August, and can be found in grocery stores and local farmer’s markets or co-op food share programs. When selecting a melon, look for one that is still firm. When a melon is noticeably “squishy,” you will want to eat it right away. Have you ever seen people tapping on a cantaloupe to determine if it’s ripe? If you do so and hear a sound that is hollow, the cantaloupe isn’t fully ripe yet. Hearing a deeper sound indicates full ripeness. Cantaloupes can be cut and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Should I Eat Cantaloupe? Is Cantaloupe Paleo?
Cantaloupe, like other fruits and vegetables, is a Paleo food. Your Paleo diet shouldn’t rely solely on fruits, as they are still high in natural sugars and carbohydrates, but there is definitely a place in the Paleo diet for fruits. With the plethora of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, fruits are a health-protective food.
If you’re diabetic or hypoglycemic, it’s important to balance your carbohydrate intake with protein and fat to keep your blood glucose stable. People with a lower activity level will require less carbs, and therefore less fruits, than those who are athletic or very active.