Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Fruit Of Week - Cantaloupe

Fruit Information: 
The cantaloupe originated in India and Africa and was first cultivated by the Egyptians, followed by the Greeks and Romans. - History Of Cantaloupe

Wonderfully delicious and unique flavored cantaloupe or “muskmelon” is the member in large  cucurbitaceae family. Some of popular fruits and vegetables in the cucurbita family include squash, pumpkin & cucumber, and like its relatives, melons grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine.
Muskmelons thought to be originated either from India or ancient Persia or Africa. They grow best on draining sandy soil with good irrigation facility, and require honeybees for effective pollination. - Nutrition & You

Nutritional Information:
Cantaloupe contains Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eye where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus it protects eyes from "Age related macular degeneration" disease in the elderly. - Nutrition & You
Zeaxanthin is one of the most common carotenoid alcohols found in nature. It is important in the xanthophyll cycle. Synthesized in plants and some micro-organisms, it is the pigment that gives paprika (made from bell peppers), corn, saffron, and many other plants and microbes their characteristic color. - Zeaxanthin Profile

Cantaloupe also contains the flavanoid Lutein. Several studies show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. The only randomized clinical trial to demonstrate a benefit for lutein in macular degeneration was a small study, in which the authors concluded that visual function is improved with lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients. - Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial 

There is also epidemiological evidence that increasing lutein and zeaxanthin intake lowers the risk of cataract development. - The Carotenoids in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

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