8 Cantaloupe Benefits: Here’s Everything You Need To Know In 2024

cantaloupe benefits
The benefits of eating cantaloupe improve overall health. Photo: Tuyet Nhung

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Cantaloupe is a delicious, juicy fruit typically enjoyed in the summer months. Beyond its sweet semi-sweet taste, there are many cantaloupe benefits for your overall well-being. Cantaloupe is a nutritional powerhouse that offers several health advantages to people. 
Let’s discuss the benefits, nutritional facts, and uses of cantaloupe. We’ll also give you practical tips to pick the perfect cantaloupe for taste and freshness. Like any good thing, we’ll also discuss the potential health risks of excessive consumption.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cantaloupe?

There are several health benefits to eating cantaloupe, including:

  1. Increased hydration. 
  2. Improved digestive health. 
  3. Protection against age-related macular degeneration. 
  4. Immune system support. 
  5. Lower blood pressure. 
  6. Healthy skin and increased hair growth. 
  7. Reduced cancer risk. 
  8. Asthma prevention.

Health Benefits Of Cantaloupe

Health Benefits Of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes promote healthy cells for cancer prevention. Photo: jcomp/Freepik

Let’s dive into the benefits of eating cantaloupe. From supporting digestive health to promoting hydration, here are some health-enhancing properties that make this a great addition to your diet. 

Increased Hydration

Like many other fruits, one of the health benefits of cantaloupe is its water content. With nearly 90% water,[1] cantaloupe can help you maintain hydration throughout the day.

Its hydrating properties make it excellent for overall heart health. Adequate hydration reduces strain on the heart and supports digestion, kidney function,[2] and healthy blood pressure. 

Cantaloupe is also suitable for preventing dehydration. Mild dehydration[3] may manifest as dizziness, headaches, and dry skin. More severe cases can lead to serious complications such as rapid heart rate, unconsciousness, and kidney stone development. 

While water should always be your primary hydration source, incorporating water-rich fruits like cantaloupe can support your overall hydration. 

Improved Digestive Health

Since cantaloupe is an excellent option for increased hydration, its elevated water and electrolyte levels can also improve digestive health. One cup of cubed cantaloupe contains 144 grams of water.[1] 

The hydration boost can also help food move smoothly through your digestive system. This helps prevent constipation,[2] bloating, and indigestion. Additionally, adequate water intake ensures your digestive system is well-hydrated, which is essential for gastric juice production, such as saliva, gastric juices, and enzymes. 

Cantaloupe is also rich in electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Its significant water content, high glycemic index,[4] and minimal carbohydrate count help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes. 

Protection Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Cantaloupe’s advantages also include eye health protection. Zeaxanthin and lutein[5] are antioxidants and plant pigments responsible for giving healthy vegetables and fruits their yellow-to-red colors. These compounds work together to filter out damaging blue light rays. 

Medical professionals confirm that these antioxidants significantly contribute to safeguarding eye health. They may also mitigate the risk of damage associated with age-related macular degeneration.[6] 

Cantaloupe is also rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor vital for maintaining healthy eyesight.[7] This vitamin in cantaloupe is known for supporting retina function and promoting optimal vision. Therefore, another health advantage of cantaloupe is its contribution to the overall well-being of your eyes. 

Immune System Support

A serving of one cup of cantaloupe balls provides more than 100% of the recommended daily value[1] of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in vascular health[8] and cartilage, muscle, and bone collagen production. 

Additional research is needed to establish vitamin C’s efficacy against asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Still, it is known to shorten the common cold symptom[9] duration by 15%. 

Lower Blood Pressure

The nutritional value of cantaloupe melon includes many vitamins and minerals that promote heart health. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline in cantaloupe all support a healthy heart. 

Consuming foods rich in potassium can also help decrease blood pressure.[10] The average adult should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily[11] to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. 

One cup of cantaloupe offers around 473 milligrams of potassium.[1] This is 10% of a person’s recommended daily intake.  

Healthy Skin And Increased Hair Growth

One serving of cantaloupe exceeds 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C, both crucial for maintaining skin health. Vitamin C actively supports[12] natural collagen protein, the primary structural protein found in hair, cartilage, and skin. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in tissue growth and maintenance in the skin and hair. 

Cantaloupe food value also includes B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, iron, selenium, and zinc. These all have a potential role in promoting hair growth[13] and preventing hair loss. Additionally, the hydrating properties of cantaloupe may help maintain skin suppleness for improved skin hydration. 

Reduced Cancer Risk

Cantaloupe contains beta-carotene, tocopherol, and various antioxidants that mitigate cell damage[14] from oxidative stress. Studies suggest that foods and fruit and vegetable supplements with these antioxidants may contribute to a lowered cancer risk, particularly with lung and prostate cancer. 

Moreover, the dietary fiber in cantaloupe may potentially protect against colorectal cancer.[15] With one cup providing 1.6 grams of fiber,[1] regular consumption may help prevent cancer. 

Asthma Prevention

One cup of balled cantaloupe contains 3,580 micrograms[1] of beta-carotene and 65 milligrams of vitamin C. Animal research[16] has indicated that substantial beta-carotene intake may reduce the risk[17] of developing asthma later in life in humans. Vitamin C also offers the potential to protect against asthma.[18] 

Cantaloupe also contains the antioxidant choline. An older study showed that choline treatment for asthma[19] may help reduce inflammation. It is important to note that most studies primarily focus on antioxidant supplements, providing more concentrated doses than dietary sources. 

Cantaloupe Nutrition Facts

Cantaloupe Nutrition Facts
Cantaloupes are among the most nutritional fruits and vegetables. Photo: oxanadenezhkina/ Freepik

Cantaloupe doesn’t simply taste great but also offers several nutritional benefits. It contains essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and hydration-promoting elements. Therefore, cantaloupe is an excellent addition to a balanced diet and potentially among the fruits for weight loss

Here are some nutritional facts[1] about this popular fruit:

  • Vitamin A: One cup of cut cantaloupe contains over 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. This contributes to eye health and tissue maintenance. 
  • Vitamin C: Cantaloupe is also a rich source of vitamin C. One cup contains 65 milligrams of vitamin C. This supports immune function and aids in collagen production for healthy skin. 
  • Beta-carotene:[20] This antioxidant has been linked to several health benefits. In addition to the asthma prevention listed above, it also offers anti-inflammatory properties and neuroprotective effects. Beta-carotene may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to blood vessels. 
  • Dietary Fiber: With 1.6 grams of fiber per cup, cantaloupe may improve digestive health and protect against cancer. Ensuring a sufficient fiber intake and regular consumption of the fruit may also help you lose weight
  • Caloric Content: Cantaloupe is relatively low in calories. Its low-calorie content makes it a nutritious and guilt-free snack for most health goals. 
  • Other Vitamins: Fresh cantaloupe offers various vitamins, including vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, and vitamin b5. These vitamins offer significant benefits, from energy production and red blood cell formation to metabolism support and hormone production. 
  • Healthy Minerals: Consuming cantaloupe offers healthy minerals as well. In addition to potassium, cantaloupe contains copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. These minerals provide everything from blood sugar regulation and energy production to wound healing and thyroid health support. 

Uses Of Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a very versatile fruit. From simple snacks to gourmet dishes, cantaloupe can boost a healthy diet. Here are some preparation methods for eating cantaloupe:

  • Enjoy cantaloupe in its simplest form by slicing it into wedges or cubes for a refreshing snack. 
  • Mix cantaloupe with other fruits to create a colorful and juicy fruit salad. 
  • Blend cantaloupe into smoothies for a sweet and hydrating drink. You can also enhance the nutritional value of your cantaloupe smoothie by adding protein or greens powder.  
  • Layer diced cantaloupe with Greek yogurt and granola for a nutritious parfait. 
  • Combine diced cantaloupe with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for a sweet and savory salsa. 
  • Thread cantaloupe onto skewers with meats and other vegetables and grill for a caramelized and smoky flavor. 
  • Add cantaloupe slices or balls to green salads for a sweet and healthy cantaloupe salad. 
  • Make a chilled cantaloupe soup with tomatoes and other fresh ingredients. 
  • Blend and freeze cantaloupe with a touch of honey for a homemade sorbet. 
  • Use cantaloupe wedges as a decorative garnish for cocktails. 
  • Eat cantaloupe with your favorite vegan multivitamin for added benefits. 

How To Pick A Cantaloupe

You’ll want to select a ripe fruit when you consume cantaloupe to ensure optimal sweetness. Here are some tips to make the perfect pick when adding cantaloupe to your diet:

  • Look for a cantaloupe with a beige or golden color. Avoid greenish ones because they are likely underripe. 
  • Examine the net-like pattern on the cantaloupe’s skin. The webbing should be well-defined. The skin should have a slightly waxy feel. 
  • Gently press the ends of the cantaloupe. A ripe fruit will move slightly with pressure. 
  • Smell the stem end, looking for a sweet and fruity aroma. The fruit may not be fully ripe if you can’t smell anything. 
  • Feel the weight. A ripe cantaloupe should feel heavy for its size, meaning it’s full of juice. 
  • Steer clear of cantaloupes with soft spots, bruises, or indents. These may be signs of damage or overripeness. 
  • Look for a flat rind. This suggests the fruit is ripe as it has been separated from the stem. 

Remember that ripeness indicators vary slightly based on the cantaloupe variety, such as California cantaloupes and honeydew melons. 

Cantaloupe Health Risks

Specific health risk considerations are essential for many when incorporating cantaloupe into your diet:

  • Sugar Content: People managing conditions like type 2 diabetes or those on a low-sugar diet should be mindful of cantaloupe consumption. Practice mindful eating and stick to an appropriate serving size to avoid unnecessary sugar spikes. 
  • Contamination Risk: Cantaloupe melon has a potential for contamination,[21] primarily through irrigation. It’s crucial to ensure the outer skin of the melon is clean before preparing and eating. Washing and scrubbing your melon before cutting it can reduce your risk of illnesses caused by bacteria, such as Salmonella. 
  • Potassium Levels: Cantaloupe contributes approximately 10% of your daily potassium needs. However, those on certain heart disease medications must be cautious. Elevated potassium levels may lead to heart issues and kidney damage.[22] Talk to health professionals before adding cantaloupe to your diet. 
  • Kidney Health: Healthy potassium levels are crucial for those with compromised kidney function.[23] People with kidney disease should also consult their doctor before increasing their intake of high-potassium foods like cantaloupe. 

Final Thought

Cantaloupe is a healthy, delicious, and versatile fruit. Its nutritional value and taste are often overlooked for more popular melons, such as watermelon or honeydew melon. Still, it’s a nutritious and tasty fruit enjoyed by many. 

At 60 calories and no fat per 1-cup serving, eating cantaloupe is a smart way to add nutrients and sweetness to your diet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does cantaloupe do for your body?

Cantaloupe provides essential nutrients, promoting eye health, natural collagen production, and immune function. Its potassium content helps regulate high blood pressure, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.

Which is healthier, watermelon or cantaloupe?

Both watermelon and cantaloupe offer health benefits. Both are hydrating and rich in vitamins. They can easily fit into a healthy eating plan.

Is it OK to eat cantaloupe every day?

Yes, eating cantaloupe every day is beneficial. Its low-calorie content and high water content can support weight loss. The potassium in cantaloupe also helps control high blood pressure, and its fiber aids the way the body digests food.

When should you not eat cantaloupe?

Avoid excess cantaloupe consumption if you are prone to kidney stones, as it contains oxalates. The fruit may also interact with certain beta-blocker medications. As with anything, moderation is always key. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Is cantaloupe good for you?

Yes, cantaloupe is good for you. It is a nutritious fruit, rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Including cantaloupe in your fruit and vegetable intake supports overall health and contributes to a healthy diet.

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EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Sarah Muoio is a writer based in Milford, CT. Aside from writing, she is passionate about childhood illness advocacy, surfing, and philanthropy. She’ll never pass up an opportunity to enjoy live music with family and friends. See More