Health benefits of melons fruits.

melons fruits

List of Melons Fruits

Cantaloupe | Chayote | Cucumbers | Melon | Pumpkin | Watermelons


Cantaloupe

The Cantaloupe or Cucumis melo derives its name from the Italian papal village of Cantalup where it was first cultivated around 1700AD. The cantaloupe grows on a trailing vine and belongs to the same family as squash, cucumber, and pumpkin. Its distinctive netted skin and ribless rind caused the melon to be referred to as netted melon. In some parts of the world, it is known as rockmelon.

cantaloupe

The cantaloupe ranks high for its concentrated beta-carotene content which is converted to vitamin A when consumed. A cup of cantaloupe provides 108 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A and just 56 calories. Vitamin A has been shown to decrease the development of cataracts. Beta-carotene is the subject of research regarding its prevention of cancer and oxygen-based damage to cells.

Cantaloupe is also an excellent source of vitamin C which functions as an antioxidant in the water-soluble areas of the body. Together with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, the cantaloupe helps against damage from oxygen free radicals. Vitamin C is also good for immune function as it stimulates white cells to fight infection, kills bacteria and viruses, then regenerates vitamin E by disarming the free radicals. Vitamin C is also associated with the reduction of the causes of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

A combination of B-complex vitamins, folate, niacin, dietary fiber and potassium can all be found in the cantaloupe. The B-complex vitamins are required by cells to process carbohydrates thus supporting blood sugar stability and energy production. The dietary fiber in the cantaloupe ensures that sugars are delivered gradually into the bloodstream to allow blood sugar levels to keep on an even keel.

For those who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke, studies have shown benzo(a)pyrene, a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke increases vitamin A deficiency. A diet rich in vitamin A can help counter the effects of this carcinogen thus greatly reducing the risk of emphysema.

Potassium, an important mineral required for almost all the processes within the human body and is found in abundance in the cantaloupe. It plays an important role in heart and muscle contraction and in the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Potassium regulates blood pressure which is beneficial to those suffering from strokes and cardiac ailments. The soluble fiber of the cantaloupe helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

Cantaloupe serves as a good source of folate which is a water-soluble micronutrient required for the maintenance of cells and helps in the prevention of anemia. Folate deficiency could lead to intrauterine growth retardation in newborns, stunted growth in infants and children and an increased risk for brain and nerve congenital defects. Pregnant women, alcoholic and those taking anticonvulsant medication are advised to increase their folate intake to prevent health issues from folate deficiency.

Carotenoids, the yellow, orange and reddish pigments produced by plants help in decreasing a patient’s risk of the development of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important carotenoids which help in reducing the development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts in the elderly.

With its refreshing rich flavor, aroma, minimal number of calories and attractive health benefits, the cantaloupe is more than just a taste sensation and is fast becoming a popular taste in the US.

Chayote

The Chayote squash or vegetable pear is related to the Zucchini, Cucumber, and common to Latin America. A pear-shaped green or white fruit can be eaten cooked or raw. It has approximately 39 calories per 200 grams and is nearly fat-free; with 94 percent of its total constitution is water.

chayote

With these numbers in mind, one can see that the Chayote is perfect for those on a weight loss diet. AS part of a healthy diet, the Chayote can help reduce calorie intake and as it consists mostly of water, a natural appetite suppressant.

Furthermore, a single Chayote provides 14 percent of the daily-recommended value of dietary fiber, which helps in lowering cholesterol and improving blood sugar control for diabetics. Insoluble fiber aids the passage of food through the digestive tract and provides the bulk required for regulating bowel movement.

It also provides almost 50 percent or 189 mcg of folate, essential for optimum heart health and is important in the diet of pregnant women as it reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects. Potassium is an essential mineral for humans and the chayote provides 254mcg per 200 grams. Potassium helps regulate water balance in the body as it acts as an electrolyte. It is also an essential mineral for heart health.

The chayote is very low in sodium. For every 200 gram, it provides a mere 4mg of sodium, making it an ideal addition to the diet of those with a high risk of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease and high blood pressure. The recommended sodium intake for adults is 2300 mg per day but research has shown that the average American consumes double that amount thus making them more susceptible to kidney and heart diseases.

The Chayote also contains zinc, an essential mineral that helps keep the immune system healthy. It is also rich in copper, which is great for the thyroid. It is loaded with vitamin B6, important for memory retention and assisting the elderly who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.

The vitamin K in the Chayote helps with clotting and helps in the prevention of osteoporosis whilst the iron helps with red blood cell production. It also contains a good amount of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects the immune system, prevents cancer and is great for cell regeneration thus slowing down the aging process. Vitamin C is also essential in the production of collagen, which is important for the support and repair of tendons, ligaments, and skin and muscle tissue. The Chayote provides almost 20 mg of vitamin C per cup, which is one-third of the required daily allowance.

The flavonoids found in the Chayote, protect against cell damage and inflammation due to free radicals. Even when cooked, the flavonoids remain active in the small intestine from where they are absorbed into the body and used to reduce inflammation. For those suffering from gout or arthritis, adding Chayote to the diet may bring about some easing of the pain and inflammation.

Recent studies have also shown that an herbal tea made from the Chayote squash leaves may help in lowering blood pressure, dissolving kidney stones, and treat the hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis.

In some parts of the world, the Chayote flesh is made into a tea that acts as a mild diuretic and helps in treating bloating.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers belong to the botanical family called Cucurbitaceae and to the species group, Cucumis sativus. This is the same family as watermelons, cantaloupes, and squashes. They are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and enjoyed by all and incorporated into every cuisine. It is believed to have originated in India and one of the oldest cultivated fruits.

cucumbers

These fruits are regarded as healthy foods as they are low in calories and fat and provide nearly all the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy body as well having high water content.

With 96 percent water content, the cucumber provides a more nutritious water than regular water. This high water content helps quench a thirst but it also keeps the body hydrated and regulates the body temperature. Water is needed to flush toxins out of the body and the high water content in cucumbers helps to do this very effectively. They have no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are great when added to a healthy eating plan. A single cup of cucumber will provide you with 16 calories and with just 3 grams of carbohydrates, they provide sufficient energy. The high fiber content in cucumbers, 1 gram per cup, when combined with the protein it contains, it helps burn fat. The peel of the cucumber provides a rich source of dietary fiber that helps relieve constipation and protects against certain types of colon cancer. They also help relieve heartburn and acid indigestion.

A cup of cucumber per day will also provide you with 16mcg of magnesium and 181 mg of potassium which help reduced and control high blood pressure. The vitamin K content in a single cup of cucumber is 12 percent and this vitamin helps build strong teeth and bones, assisting in reducing the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. The sterols contained in the cucumber help in the reduction of cholesterol whilst the juice of the cucumber is beneficial for diabetes sufferers as they contain hormones which are needed by the pancreatic cells for producing insulin.

The skin of the cucumber provides about 10 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant and fights free radicals as well as strengthens the immune system. The skin can be used as a relief for sunburn and mild skin irritation. Cucumber is known to reduce puffiness around the eyes as it removes toxins and it also helps calm acne down.

These fruits contain pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol, lignans that have shown to bring about a reduced risk of cancers like breast, prostate, ovarian and uterine cancers.

Silica is also found in cucumbers and this compound helps promote joint health as it strengthens connective tissues. Cucumber juice is said to be beneficial for those with teeth and gum diseases and the dietary fiber helps by massaging teeth and gums.

Being rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, C & D, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Folate, they can provide relief for gout and arthritis by lowering the uric acid levels in the body. Cucumbers are said to have a high silica content which helps prevent nails from splitting and the sulfur and silicon also assist in promoting healthy hair growth.

The seeds of the cucumber are said to be a natural remedy for tapeworm and when braised and mixed with water, they are effective in treating swellings of the mucous membranes in the throat and nose.

Melon

Melons are of the same family as squashes and cucumbers and originated in the Middle East. Melons include watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.

melon

Melons are loaded with Vitamin B that is responsible for energy production; they help process sugars and carbohydrates.

They are a rich source of Lycopene, a carotene that gives melons their color and is known for its antioxidant properties. Lycopene helps in lowering the risk of prostate cancer and prevents heart and colon cancer. Lycopene also helps reduce cardiovascular disease by protecting the body from cellular damage and reducing the build-up and clogged arteries.

Melons have Vitamin C and potassium that helps reduce cholesterol and reduce heart attacks and strokes. Cantaloupes provide 10 percent of your daily requirement of potassium and watermelons about 4 percent but are low in calories. Their high water content together with potassium, help in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Potassium and magnesium found in melons help in the proper function of insulin in the body thereby lowering the blood sugar levels. Potassium reduces the impact of high-sodium foods. Potassium prevents cramps and helps with PMS symptoms.

Melons have Vitamins B6 that help in maintaining metabolism and low levels of B6 vitamins increases the inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic conditions. Vitamin A helps to improve vision and bone growth. The cantaloupe is a rich source of vitamin C and 1 cup will provide you with 40 percent of your daily intake. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. It helps stimulates white blood cells to kill bacteria.

Melons are a good source of citrulline that the body converts to the amino acid arginine. Arginine plays an important role in immune function and it helps in healing of wounds. Arginine is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunction. Melons provide folic acid required by pregnant women as it helps to create healthy fetuses.

For those who want to lose weight, the high water, and fiber content as well as being fat and cholesterol free, in melons make them a delicious snack or addition to any meal. The dietary fiber assists in relieving constipation by bulking up food and allowing for easy passage through the intestine.

Melons benefit the skin with their high concentration of minerals and vitamins. Copper is another mineral that helps maintain a healthy skin and aids the regeneration and repairing of damaged tissues and muscles. The water content helps flush out toxins that cause digestive issues, nerve disruptions, and breathing problems.

Melons are jam-packed with health benefits and make a refreshing snack on warm summer days.

Pumpkin

Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family and got its name from the Greek word “pepon” or “large melon.” The humble fruit originated in Central America and has become an integral part of the modern American culture. Recent research proves that the pumpkin, in all its forms, flesh, seeds, and oil has the power to alter the disease processes in the body.

pumpkin

With just 26 calories per 100 gram, the pumpkin is low in calories, has no saturated fat or cholesterol and is rich in dietary fiber. Dieticians recommend the pumpkin for those in a weight loss diet and for those trying to control their cholesterol intake. The high fiber content is effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders like constipation and indigestion. The fiber helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and also regulates the blood sugar levels, which, in turn, helps those with diabetes.

The bright orange of the pumpkin is due to the high level of carotenoids present in them. Carotenoids are scavengers of free radicals which cause premature aging, cardiovascular diseases, and certain infections. The high levels of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, help in protecting the eyes against free radical damage and in older people, it helps prevent the formation of cataracts and degeneration of the eye tissues.

Pumpkins are a storehouse of vitamins; in fact, they provide 246 percent of the daily recommended allowance. Vitamin A, a natural antioxidant, is required by the body as it helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucous membranes. It also helps in protecting the lungs and oral cavity cancers. The carotenes like cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, in pumpkins, convert to vitamin A in the body.

The seeds or pepitas of the pumpkin are a rich source of proteins. A single ounce of pumpkin seeds contains about 7 grams of protein and their oils are high in phytosterols. These are plant based on fatty acids which have a similar chemical composition as cholesterol. These help in reducing the blood cholesterol levels. Pepitas are a good source of dietary fiber and mono-saturated fatty acids which promote heart health. Pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories and are an excellent source of selenium, zinc, iron, niacin, and tryptophan which is converted to GABA in the brain. This is a chemical compound that helps prevent depression.

This amazing fruit has a multitude of other advantages, including being a diuretic, by stimulating the kidneys, it prevents kidney stones and it is a great choice for those wanting a healthy, wrinkle-free skin.

Watermelons

Watermelons are related to Cantaloupe, squash, and pumpkins and are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. A triangular slice of watermelon screams SUMMER and it is definitely a thirst-quencher but with many health benefits too. The watermelon is said to have originated in Egypt and the earliest harvest is said to have taken place 5000 years ago.

watermelon

The amino acid citrulline is found in the watermelon and helps with weight loss. Citrulline is also beneficial to cardiovascular health as it helps relax blood vessels. It has similar properties to Viagra as it relaxes and dilates blood vessels making it a natural drug for those with erectile dysfunction, as it boosts the sex drive.

Citrulline is converted to arginine which is also known for its ability to assist in weight loss. The highest concentration of arginine is in the skin of the watermelon which is usually discarded. However, in some parts of the world, the skin is made into a jam. Arginine boosts nitric acid levels which also dilate blood vessels and provide the same effect as Viagra thus helping to treat and sometimes prevent erectile dysfunction in men.

The lycopene level in watermelons is high and it is an effective antioxidant in preventing certain cancers and coronary disease. The fruit is low in calories but packed with vitamins like A, C, and B6. Vitamins A and C neutralize free radicals that lead to inflammation and chronic illness like strokes and heart attacks. The beautiful color is due to the beta-carotene content which is powerful in fighting against colon cancer.

As watermelons are made up of a large amount of water, it has fat burning properties which help make increase metabolism. Calories from watermelons are also burnt up quickly once the metabolism is increased. A single slice of watermelon provides you with 33 percent vitamin A and 39 percent of vitamin C, with vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and thiamine also making up a significant portion, although in smaller amounts. They also provide you with 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 5 percent of your daily value for fiber and 18 grams of sugar. Thus, the watermelon is a great fruit to add to the diet to curb weight gain and sugar cravings.

This jack of all trades, looks after the eyes and heart, helps in preventing diabetes, weight gain and also boosts the sex drive!

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