Health Benefits Cantaloupe Fruit

What is a Cantaloupe?

The cantaloupe, rockmelon, sweet melon, or spanspek is a melon that is a variety of the muskmelon species from the family Cucurbitaceae. Cantaloupes range in weight from 0.5 to 5 kilograms.

The cantaloupe is a juicy, orange summer fruit that’s related to the watermelon and honeydew melon. It also belongs to the same plant family as cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes, and gourds.

The semi-sweet cantaloupes most familiar to people in the U.S. are a type of muskmelon called Cucumis melo reticulatus. The scientific name stems in part from the word “reticulated,” describing the cantaloupe’s rough, webbed outer skin.

Cantaloupe Nutrition

The table below shows some of the key nutrients in cantaloupe. It also shows how much of each nutrient a person needs each day, depending on their age and sex.

Nutrient Amount in 1 cup (177 g) Adult daily requirement
Energy (calories) 60.2 1,600–3,000
Carbohydrate (g) 14.4, of which 13.9 g are sugar 130
Fiber (g) 1.6 22.4–33.6
Calcium (mg) 15.9 1,000–1,300
Iron (mg) 0.4 8–18
Magnesium (mg) 21.2 310–420
Phosphorus (mg) 26.6 700–1,250
Potassium (mg) 473 4,700
Sodium (mg) 28.3 2,300
Selenium (mcg) 0.7 55
Fluoride (mcg) 1.8 No data
Vitamin C (mg) 65 65–90
Beta carotene (mcg) 3,240 No data
Vitamin A (mcg RAE) 270 700–900
Folate (mcg DFE) 37.2 400
Lutein + zeaxanthin (mcg) 46 No data
Tocopherol, gamma (mg) 0.2 No data
Vitamin K (mcg) 4.4 75–120

Like many fruits and vegetables, cantaloupe is mostly water. One cup of fresh cubes has 144 calories, 6% of your daily serving of fiber, and zero fat and cholesterol.

It also packs:

Cantaloupe is also full of vitamins and minerals like:

  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K
  • Niacin
  • Choline
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Manganese
  • Selenium

11 Cantaloupe Health Benefits

1. Cantaloupe contains a range of antioxidants

Antioxidants, for example, can help prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer and other health conditions.

During metabolism, the body produces unstable molecules called free radicals, which can collect in the body and damage cells. This damage is known as oxidative stress. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body and prevent oxidative stress

The antioxidants included:

2. Age-related macular degeneration

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two similar antioxidants and plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables a yellow-to-red hue.

The combination can help filter out harmful blue light rays. Doctors believe that it plays a protective role in eye health and may help prevent damage from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Also, the authors of a study published in 2009 suggest that the combination of lutein and zeaxanthin, which is present in cantaloupe, may help protect the eyes from the damage that leads to AMD.

3. Asthma

Studies in animals have suggested that consuming a large amount of the antioxidant beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, may help prevent asthma from developing later in a person’s life.

Beta carotene is in yellow and orange fruits, such as cantaloupe. A cup — or 177 grams (g) — of cantaloupe balls contains 3,580 micrograms (mcg) of beta carotene.

Experts recommend a daily beta carotene intake of 18,000 mcg each day for males ages 14 and older and 14,000 for females in the same age group.

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and antioxidant that may protect against asthma. Some experts have suggested using vitamin C supplements to treat asthma.

A cup of cantaloupe balls provides 65 mg of vitamin C. Current guidelines recommend that adult females consume 65–75 mg of vitamin C a day and that adult males consume 75–90 mg.

Also, people with asthma who received choline — another antioxidant in cantaloupe — as a treatment experienced a reduction in levels of inflammation, according to a 2010 study.

Most studies focus on antioxidant supplements, however, which provide much stronger doses than dietary sources of nutrients.

4. Blood pressure

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline in cantaloupe all support heart health.

Consuming foods rich in potassium can help decrease blood pressure. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that an average adult consume 4,700 mg of potassium a day to keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

A cup of cantaloupe provides around 473 mg of potassium or 10% of a person’s recommended daily intake.

5. Cancer

Beta carotene, tocopherol, and other antioxidants in cantaloupe may help prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

There is evidence that taking supplements containing these and other antioxidants may reduce the risk of lung, prostate, and other types of cancer.

Dietary fiber also appears to offer protection from colorectal cancer. A cup of cantaloupe contains 1.6 g of fiber.

6. Digestion

Cantaloupe has high water content and provides fiber. Fiber and water can help prevent constipation, promoting regularity and a healthy digestive tract.

7. Hydrates you.

Cantaloupes are filled with electrolytes. These minerals balance body fluids in your body and keep it working right. That helps you stay hydrated and full of energy.

With its high water and electrolyte contents, cantaloupe is a good choice for boosting hydration during hot summer months or after a workout.

A 177-gram cup of cantaloupe balls contains 160 g of water.

Examples of electrolytes in cantaloupe include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium

8. Low in carbs.

Cantaloupes are 90% water. That’s almost as juicy as a watermelon. The high amount of liquid content gives cantaloupes a low glycemic load score of 4. That means your body digests it slowly and it won’t make your blood sugar spike. So it’s a great pick for people with diabetes.

9. Low in sugar.

Therefore, eating cantaloupes in their whole food form is very recommendable for both diabetics and those at risk of developing diabetes.

10. May help fight diseases.

Compounds called phytonutrients in cantaloupes give it anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a good part of a healthy diet.

11. Skin and hair

Vitamin A contributes to the growth and maintenance of all tissues in the body, including those in the skin and hair.

Vitamin C enables the body to produce collagen, which provides structure to cells, skin, and hair.

A 2019 review found that a range of minerals and vitamins may play a role in promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.

Many are present in various amounts in cantaloupe, such as:

  • vitamins A, C, and E
  • B vitamins
  • folate
  • iron
  • selenium
  • zinc

Cantaloupe Health Risks


Cantaloupes are one of the most common fruits and vegetables involved in foodborne illnesses. Its textured, net-like rind can harbor bugs that cause illness. Wash the outside under running water with a vegetable brush. Rinse your knife after each cut to avoid contamination.

Sugar Content

Cantaloupes owe their orange color to a high vitamin A content. A cup of this delicious melon contains less than 13 grams of sugar. This may be a bit higher than other fruits, but keep in mind that a 12 ounce can of soda has nearly 40 grams of sugar and very little nutritional value.

The plentiful vitamins and minerals in cantaloupes can sometimes cause problems:

  • Potassium. Cantaloupes are a good source of this mineral, which can help lower your blood pressure. But too much of it may cause problems if you have kidney disease. That’s because your organs may not be able to filter out all the extra potassium, This can lead to a serious condition called hyperkalemia.
  • Fiber. You also may want to limit how much cantaloupe you eat if you have cancer, had bowel surgery, or have an inflammatory disease. Large amounts of fiber from the fruit can be hard on your intestines if you have diarrhea, cramping, or trouble digesting food.


Cantaloupe melon makes a refreshing snack in the summer, and it contains nutrients that can benefit a person’s health.

Popular with children and adults, cantaloupe can make a refreshing, healthful, and easy summer dessert, while their high water content helps prevent dehydration.

This type of fruit also contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Other names for cantaloupe include muskmelon, mush melon, rock melon, and Persian melon. They are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with honeydew melons, watermelons, and cucumbers.

Cantaloupe Recipes

Here are some tips for preparing and serving cantaloupe:

  • Dice or slice it, and eat it fresh.
  • Make a tropical fruit salad with chunks of fresh cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, and mango.
  • Slice cantaloupe very thinly and add it to lemonade, iced tea, or water.
  • Make a fresh salsa by combining papaya, mango, jalapeño, cantaloupe, red peppers, and chipotle peppers.
  • Make a smoothie by combining cantaloupe with pineapple juice, frozen strawberries, and unsweetened Greek yogurt.
  • Make fruit kebabs with cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and strawberries, and serve them with a yogurt dip.

Please leave your comments and/or feedback below.

  • Do you eat cantaloupe? Why and why not?
  • What other ways do you prepare cantaloupe as a dish or as a dessert?
  • Do you have any illness that is relieved by intake of cantaloupe?

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Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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