Muskmelon (Kharbuja) A Summer Fruit
Muskmelon is a popular summer fruit that is flooding the market along with mangoes and watermelons these days. The fruit is also known as cantaloupe. This fruit belongs to the family of cucumber, squash, pumpkin and gourd. It grows on ground on a trailing vine. The fruit has significantly high nutritional value, resulting in a number of health benefits. It is very sweet, refreshing, cool, juicy and full of nourishment. Though the seeds are dried, preserved and sold throughout the year, the melons are available only in summer months, i.e., from April to July. The seeds of muskmelon are used for garnishing all most all the sweets and for a variety of culinary purposes.
Having muskmelon on a hot summer day relieves you of tiredness and gives you strength and energy. Since these melons are low in calories and sugar the fruit helps you lose weight and keep you healthy at the same time. Consuming about a cup full of muskmelon juice, provides you healthy antioxidants that will make you immune to fight against the infections.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUSKMELON
- Muskmelon contains good amount of dietary fibre and gives relief to people who suffer from constipation.
- The potassium present in the fruit helps maintain the blood pressure, regulates heart beat, prevents muscle cramping, maintain electrolyte balance in extracellular fluid, helps reduce water retention, providing sufficient oxygen to the brain so that it can function normally and also helps in preventing stroke.
- Muskmelons have good sedative properties and help those suffering from insomnia. It acts as a mild anti-depressant.
- Muskmelons are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that prevents cancer, heart diseases and other chronic ailments.
- Consumption of this fruit reduces age-related bone loss and reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.
- Muskmelon juice is helpful in curing lack of appetite, acidity, ulcer, weight loss and urinary tract infections, reduces the heat in the body and is also helpful in reducing heat related disorders.
- People suffering from high cholesterol can enjoy this fruit as it does not contain cholesterol. It is the best fruit for a healthy diet, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods.
- If you smoke or if you are exposed to second hand smoke, you are at the risk of vitamin A deficiency and damage to your lungs. You can protect yourself by consuming the foods rich in vitamin A, like muskmelon as a part of your daily food. There are people who smoke and live up to the age of 90 years. This is probably because of their diet. Muskmelon counteracts the effects of cigarette smoke on your lungs by restoring the vitamin A levels in the body.
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene are important vision nutrients present in muskmelon. It was reported in a study, eating three or more servings of muskmelon per day reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration—the primary cause of loss of vision in older adults.
- In addition to health benefits, muskmelon takes care of your skin too. It contains vitamin A, which is useful in maintaining healthy skin. The fruit provides good amount of folic acid, which is especially important for pregnant women. It helps to create healthy fetuses and can even prevent cervical cancer and osteoporosis. Though it offers special benefits to women, men can also get great many benefits. Folic acid in the fruit acts as a mild anti-depressant.
- To get that extra glow on your face take a small piece of muskmelon along with seeds grind it to paste and apply to your face. Wash off after 20 minutes.
You can preserve the fruit in refrigerator and enjoy for nearly a week without losing its nutritional value. Hold the fruit under running water, cut it and then preserve it immediately in the refrigerator. Scientists found that slicing the fruit while it is under water short circuits the signals plant cells send to each other when they detect an injury such as being sliced. Cut fruit if chilled retains its nutrients for about six days. Now grab the fruit and avail all the health benefits.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna