The muskmelon, scientifically know as “cucumis melo,” gets its name from the musky aroma it produces when ripe. The fruit is also known as a cantaloupe. Nutritionally, muskmelon is a high fiber fruit, with an abundance of vitamins A and C, and potassium. This makes muskmelon a nutrient-dense food, meaning its nutritional benefits outweigh its calorie content.
Video of the Day
Muskmelon is rich in vitamin A, which can contribute to healthy lungs. A 2003 study, published in the "Journal of Nutrition," established a relationship between cigarette smoke and vitamin A. Animals in the study that were fed a diet deficient in vitamin A developed emphysema. Benzo(a)pyrene, a known cigarette smoke carcinogen, can cause vitamin A deficiency and produce the same results. Baybutt hypothesized that restoring vitamin A levels with foods rich in vitamin A can help counteract the effects cigarette smoke has on your lungs. A cup of muskmelon provides 5,986 international units of vitamin A -- your entire daily recommended intake.
Your eyes require vitamin A to stay healthy. Muskmelon provides the vitamin in the form of beta-carotene. Consuming beta-carotene helps your retinas -- the nerve-rich tissues in your eyes -- detect light and transmit information to your brain. Macular degeneration is an age-related condition that can lead to loss of vision. In addition, vitamin A reduces your risk of developing cataracts.
The high vitamin C content in muskmelon assists immune system function by stimulating white blood cells to remove bacteria and viruses from your body. In addition to helping prevent infections and disease, vitamin C also works to regenerate vitamin E rendered inactive by free radicals. In turn, vitamin E supports additional immune system functions. A diet high in vitamin C can help reduce the chance of developing heart disease, strokes and cancer. Each cup of muskmelon offers 65 milligrams of vitamin C -- 72 and 87 percent of the daily requirements for men and women, respectively.
Nervous System Maintenance
Muskmelon is a good source of potassium, an electrolyte mineral your body stores in its cells. Potassium works closely with sodium to help keep your blood pressure stable and prevent muscles from cramping. In addition, potassium helps maintain a proper electrolyte balance in extracellular fluid, and in doing so reduces water retention. A cup of muskmelon offers 473 milligrams of potassium, which is 10 percent of the potassium you need daily.
The potassium in muskmelon can help when your body is under stress. Without enough potassium, your heart cannot beat normally. The potassium in the juice of the muskmelon can help your heart beat normally, resulting in sufficient oxygen reaching your brain so it can function correctly.