Using Cantaloupe for Gout Relief and Prevention
Cantaloupes and other fruits of the melon family are good source of an assortment of vitamins and minerals that are available in small and moderate amounts. They are extremely high in water content, making them a great produce to ward off dehydration while providing a guilt-free, refreshing taste.
A cup of diced cantaloupe (about 156 grams) contains 53 calories. It contains 106% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, 95% vitamin C, 1% calcium and 2% total iron needs. One cup of cantaloupe provides 5% or more of the daily vitamin K requirements, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, magnesium and potassium.
Additionally, cantaloupe is rich in antioxidants including choline, zexanthin, and beta-carotene. These antioxidants provide protection against various diseases and conditions.
Possible Benefits of Cantaloupe for Gout
Consuming fruit and vegetables of all varieties has been typically associated with a reduced risk of health conditions and abstaining to a better quality of life. Several studies have suggested that the consumption of fruits like cantaloupe can decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes and can help with weight loss. Weight maintenance is an important prevention method for gout as housing more fat in the body tends to put a strain on your kidneys and also stores uric acid in fat tissues. Additionally, by consuming cantaloupe, you can reduce your risk of other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes whose medications can contribute to elevated uric acid levels.
Certain nutrients found in cantaloupe are also beneficial for your health and gout prevention and relief:
Blood Pressure: Cantaloupe is abundant in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline, nutrients that support a healthy heart. Consuming a combination of these ingredients can help decrease blood pressure and can help with therapy of hypertension. Avoiding heart disease and hypertension is important for gout patients because the medications prescribed for these conditions can increase uric acid levels. Additionally, potassium that is consumed in regular and high amounts have been shown to reduce the risk of the formation of kidney stones.
Hydration: Cantaloupe has a high water and electrolyte content, making it a great fruit for preventing dehydration. When suffering with gout, you ideally need to be constantly hydrated. This is because uric acid is excreted through the body via urine and in some individuals a gout attack can likely be triggered due to lack of hydration
Inflammation: Choline is an essential and versatile nutrient found in cantaloupe that provides many important benefits but more importantly aids in reducing chronic inflammation. Gout attacks are caused by uric acid induced inflammation, by providing nutrients that can inhibit inflammation you can prevent further pain and swelling from a gout attack.
How to Incorporate Cantaloupe into Your Diet
Cantaloupe can typically be found all year round, but is at optimal freshness and ripeness in the summer. In season cantaloupes have the brightest flesh color and are extremely sweet and juicy. Off season cantaloupes tend to be harder and provide less flavor. Cantaloupe can also be purchased as a frozen food product which is a good option especially when the melon is out of season.
You can include cantaloupe in your diet in a variety of ways:
- In-season cantaloupe is best enjoyed in its simplest form as a diced melon. You can include it as a side dish during your morning meals or eat it as a snack during the day.
- You can include cantaloupe into a tropical smoothie using fresh or frozen fruit. You can mix it with papaya, pineapple, mango or banana for a complementary tasting smoothie.
- You can include cantaloupe into a fresh fruit salsa to top your favorite fish or chicken with.
Potential Concerns for Consuming Cantaloupe
A diet consisting of moderated amounts of cantaloupe is considered safe and healthy for disease prevention and obtaining good health. Eating a balanced and varied diet is more important than trying to incorporate individual foods is essential for good health.
When consuming cantaloupe, be sure to scrub the skin of the cantaloupe before cutting to decrease the risk of transferring bacteria like Salmonella to the melon’s flesh.
Consuming too much potassium is unsafe especially for those with kidney problems and it is recommended that you remain within the daily recommended amount to avoid complications. Additionally, consuming too much cantaloupe that is high in potassium could possible interact with Beta-blockers by increasing the medication’s effects and therefore cantaloupe should be consumed in moderated amounts.
Increasing Dietary Potassium - Find Out Why Most People Need to Consume More of This Mineral, Antinoro RD, JD, LDN, Linda, Today's Dietitian, Vol. 14 No. 12 P. 50, Accessed February 13, 2014.
Basic Report: 09181, Melons, cantaloupe, raw, Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26, Accessed 1 July 2014.