I can’t tell you how much I love melon. Honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon – nothing says summer quite like a bunch of kids with juicy sticky faces from chowing down on ripe melon in the afternoon sun.
Cantaloupe is the most popular of the melons in North America. Although these days it’s often available year-round, the cantaloupe’s season runs from June to August, which is when you’re going to get the best ones at your local farmers market. When they’re at their best, cantaloupe is sweet, slightly nutty and buttery and absolutely delicious.
Cantaloupe is a great source for vitamin antioxidants. It’s quite high in vitamin C and beta carotene, which, as well as being an important phytonutrient in its own right, converts to vitamin A once in the body. You’re getting double antioxidant duty with cantaloupe – vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the water-soluble areas of the body, while vitamin A and beta carotene perform their antioxidant duties in fat-soluble areas.
Cantaloupe is also a great source of potassium, and the B vitamins B6, B3 (niacin) and folate. These B vitamins make cantaloupe an excellent energy producer. Although high in fruit sugars, cantaloupe is also high in dietary fiber, ensuring that the carbohydrates are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels stable.
A word of caution when enjoying cantaloupe, or any melon – melon should always be enjoyed by itself. The high fruit sugar and water content of melons means that they exit the stomach quite quickly compared to other foods. If you mix them with other foods they end up staying in the stomach for much longer than they need to and can cause fermentation in the gut leading to gas, heartburn and/or indigestion. For this reason, it’s best to stay away from other foods for twenty minutes or so after eating melon.
Author by Doug DiPasquale