Cantaloupe Nutrition Facts

Calories in Cantaloupe and Their Health Benefits

A bunch of cantaloupes
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Cantaloupes are the same as muskmelons (or musk melons, if you prefer). They are very high in nutrients and relatively low in sugar compared to some other fruits. They also contain a large volume of water (about 90 percent), making them a good food choice to aid in hydration and fulfill your fluid requirements.

Cantaloupe Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, balls (177 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 60 
Calories from Fat 3 
Total Fat 0.3g1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 472.59mg14%
Carbohydrates 14.4g5%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g6%
Sugars 13.9g 
Protein 1.5g 
Vitamin A 120% · Vitamin C 108%
Calcium 2% · Iron 2%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One cup of melon contains about 60 calories, 14.4 grams of carbohydrate, 1.6 grams fiber, and more than a day's worth of vitamin A and C. Cantaloupe is also a good source of potassium.

Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. It is also a good source of potassium, and contains significant amounts of B vitamins.

The vitamin A found in cantaloupe is important for eye health. Adequate vitamin A intake can help your eyesight stay sharp and healthy. In addition, vitamin A aids in night vision and seeing color. Vitamin C aids in wound healing, and helps your body make collagen, a protein essential to maintaining strong bones and skin.

Foods rich in beta-carotene, such as cantaloupe, also provide antioxidant benefits that may be associated with a reduction in certain disease, such as heart disease and cancer.

Common Questions About Cantaloupe 

Is cantaloupe high in sugar?

A common misconception about cantaloupe is that because it taste so sweet, it is very high in sugar. One cup of cantaloupe has essentially the same amount of calories and carbohydrate as one serving of another fruit variety, such as a small apple. The key to eating cantaloupe is to keep your portion to about one serving.

To maximize satiety, pair cantaloupe with a serving of protein, such as one ounce of cheese or a handful of nuts.

Should you wash cantaloupe? Does it have a lot of bacteria?

Cantaloupes are grown close to the ground and can sometimes come into contact with bacteria from the soil, water and animals, making food safety a concern. Not only can environmental factors play a role in contamination, human contamination can occur during or after harvest. Therefore, it's important to wash the cantaloupe prior to cutting into it, using plain tap water and a vegetable brush. Washing helps to rid the fruit of any bacteria or other particles that may have touched the fruit prior.

It is not recommended to wash melon with soap, as the skin is porous and soap can enter the flesh of the fruit.  After washing, blot the melon with a clean paper towel to remove excess water. Then cut off the stem end, which is where most of the bacteria tend to collect, and throw it away. Wash the knife after cutting cantaloupe before using it on other foods, if not you can spread bacteria to other foods through cross contamination.

Picking and Storing Cantaloupe 

Picking the perfect cantaloupe is somewhat of an art form. You can either choose to purchase a cantaloupe that is ripe to be used for immediate consumption or purchase one that needs to ripen at home.

If you are looking for a ripe cantaloupe, you should search for these three qualities:

  • Color: The skin under the mesh should be a light orange or cream color: green indicates an unripe fruit.
  • Stem End: The stem end of the cantaloupe should have a smooth, rounded stem scar. You want to find the indentation, an indication that the fruit was picked when it was ripe.
  • Blossom End: The other side of the cantaloupe from the stem end is the blossom end. Smell this part, it should be fragrant and when you press on it, it will "give" slightly. If it is rock hard with very little smell, it is likely to be unripe.

    A cantaloupe will continue to ripen for a few days after it is picked, but if it is still hard,and has very little fragrance, it is likely have a disappointing flavor.

    Avoid melons that contain nicks or other damage - this is usually a sign that they can be acting as a host for bacteria. If you purchase a melon that is not fully ripe, store it at room temperature for about 2 days.

    Once cut, store melon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If possible, store it in the crisper. And keep in mind, the riper the melon the less life it has in the refrigerator before spoiling.

    Leaving cut melon at room temperature or in the heat can lead to rapid growth of harmful bacteria on the flesh.

    If you'd like to keep melon for longer, you can cut ripe melon and store it in the freezer in a freezer bag or airtight container.

    Healthy Ways to Prepare Cantaloupe 

    Cantaloupe is a beautifully rich looking fruit that can be used as garnish, in salads, paired with salty foods such as cheese, topped with yogurt or cottage cheese, or eaten as is. Play with the versatility of cantaloupe while reaping the nutritional benefits and enjoying the juicy sweetness.

    Recipes with Cantaloupe

    Follow these simple recipes or adopt them to make the perfect, nutritious and delicious snacks and meals.

    Sources:

    Parnell, et. al. Cantaloupe: Safe methods to store, preserve and enjoy. ANR Communication Services Web. 2003;1-5. http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8095.pdf

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