Nutrition and Health Benefits from Cantaloupe

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Nutrition and Health Benefits from Cantaloupe
by Dan Gerhardt · All Zones · Food Nutrition · 0 Comments · March 15, 2011 · 4,843 views

Cantaloupes...the Possibilities

Cantaloupes are so well-rounded and so multi-faceted that the possibilities are endless. With minimal effort, by no stretch of the imagination, cantaloupes are capable of being seen just about anywhere...

In outer space - as tiny suns, hiding incognito in distant galaxies, masquerading as orbiting moons (waxing gibbous), whose mottled, pock-marked surfaces act to self-contain their radiating coronal mass ejections, recycling their fusion-emitted goodness back into their own nuclear-seeded core, exponentially increasing their stormy geomagnetic power like lightning in a bottle - dull and parched on the outside, bright and juicy on the inside. A real rock-star, a Tang-filled canteen, a deep-fried orange slushie, a jello moon shot with a grindy-rined chaser.

On earth - as catapulted fodder during ancient times, engraved cannon balls pummeling the helmet-headed soldiers of old. A sign and a seal, an astronomical marker, the rusty-haloed center of the intersecting tangents of a three-dimensional celtic cross - rounding out the four corners of the earth, making a perfect bullseye for the double-deuced constellations of the zodiac. The first globe, a veined map for the circumnavigational convenience of ancient mariners, complete with notched grooves that mimic the vesica pisces and mark the tropics of cancer and capricorn. A sacred geometry, a mathematical puzzle, an encoded bas relief of esoteric knowledge, a brailed heiroglyph for the blind. A wheel within a wheel, a compass, a spectacle to behold, a revolving gyroscope, a world within a world, red Georgia clay mixed with chilled yellow volcanic lava and covered by thinly stretched tectonic plates, contributing to apocalyptic earthquakes in diverse places.

In heaven - as fire-filled brimstone, raining down on Soddom and Gommorah, and vandalizing the very walls of Jericho. A rubber ball bouncing down the steps of Jacob's ladder. A blending of ancient Egyptian mummification wrappings and customary Jewish burial shrouds, a frankinsence and myrrh-scented sarcophagus, an embalmed, rock-encrusted dwelling of light. Lazarus, come out - rising from the grave, walking from the cave, peeling off the dirt-stained gauze, leaving a musty smell to waft the nostrils and a light-emitting transfiguration to tickle the optic nerve like brain candy. When the walls come tumbling down - more slippery than sticky, a seasoned escape artist, a naked initiate delving into the mysteries, a shameless beauty, the rock of ages, the light of the world. Yeah, here comes the rooster.

In the ocean - as a jealously-guarded secret hidden at the bottom of the sea, the sibling rivalry between Zeus and Neptune, thunderbolts and lightning caught and trapped inside layer upon layer of barnacle-ridden fish nets that resemble petrified, albeit impotent, puffer fish. Leviathan kidney stones, a sea monster's fluid-filled cyst, a mermaid's breast implants, a pirate's treasure, a giant oyster's pearl filled with molten gold bullion, a sealed message in a bottle, a haunting reminder, a virtual Poseiden adventure at 20,000 leagues.

In the mind - as a Rorshach ink blot reflected from the deep well of the subconscious, a sensual aroma seeping out the pores like unbridled desires breaking free from the frustrated bonds of sexual repression. A round of fun, a Freudian slip of the tongue, a french kiss with the sun, an intended pun, a backyard trip, a linguistic tryst, a synaptic twist. Opening up a can of worms, a fictitious memory of self-induced hypnosis, a back-and-forth pendulum of brash wantonness. The third eye, a pine cone-coated pineal gland, a calcified crystal ball, a diamond in the rough, a floating orb, an angel, a messenger of light...a thought.

So well-rounded, so multi-faceted, so many possibilities...

 PictureCantaloupe fruit Cantaloupe in History

A Middle Eastern proverb states, "He who fills his stomach with melons is like he who fills it with light - there is a blessing in them." Medieval alchemists claimed that melons "promoted blood moderately, and suited phlegmatic and bilious temperaments." It was said that they relieved "the pain of calculi and cleansed the skin, but caused flux from the belly which could be treated with syrup of vinegar." Chinese herbalists used melons to cool fevers, moisten the lungs, and cleanse the blood.

The history and origin of the cantaloupe, also known as rockmelon and muskmelon, is inconclusive, but references made in ancient times indicate that cantaloupe cultivation was very much existent during the Biblical period in Egypt, Greece, Persia, Armenia and India. This fruit was depicted in Egyptian paintings dating back to the the Biblical period. In ancient times, the Romans got their supply of melons from Armenia. Roman recipes have been found that indicate the use of melons in their meals. The size of these cantaloupes were smaller than the ones we commonly see today.

It was in the late fourteenth century that cultivation of cantaloupes became prominent in Italy. On his second voyage in 1494, Christopher Columbus introduced cantaloupes to the new world, especially North America. Around the sixteenth century, melon seeds were brought from Armenia and planted in the Papal gardens in the city of Cantalupo, Italy, which is where we got the current name for this fruit.

The Netted Gem, a popular variety, was introduced to the United States in 1881 by the Burpee Company. Within a few short years, the production of cantaloupes began to steadily increase in the state of Colorado and became very popular after the Civil War and eventually spread to California, which still remains to this day as an excellent region for cantaloupe cultivation.

Nutritional and Health Benefits From Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are very nutrient dense and low in calories (only 5% sugar), with high concentrations of antioxidants, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamin C, and B complex. Cantaloupe contains the compound adenosine, which is an anticoagulant used as a blood-thinning agent for people with heart problems, and also as a relief from angina. Oxidative stress is implicated as an important contributing factor in kidney problems associated with diabetics. In a preliminary study it was found that oxykine, a cantaloupe extract, reduced the diabetes-induced oxidative stress and kidney cell damage. Although further studies are needed, oxykine might be a safe and inexpensive approach for the prevention of diabetic nephropathy.

Cantaloupe is a great source of polyphenol antioxidants, chemicals which are known to provide certain health benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system. These chemicals are known to regulate the formation of nitric oxide, a key chemical in promoting the health of the endothelium and the prevention of heart attacks. Free radicals in the body cause cellular damage, and antioxidants are the body's defense system against these free radicals. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is one of the most important elements in this defense system. The cantaloupe extract oxykine is rich in superoxide dismutase, and studies have suggested that cantaloupe SOD extract promotes cellular antioxidant activity and protects against oxidative stress-induced tissue inflammation and cell death.

The regular consumption of cantaloupe may help with the following:

* Cardiovascular Support

* Kidney Protection

* Immune System Support

* Inflammation Reduction

* Reduce Hypertension

* Cancer Protection

* Slow Aging Process
Dan Gerhardt

Meet The Author

Dan Gerhardt - Aside from being a life-long gardener, Dr. Dan Gerhardt is a chiropractor and nutritionist.

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