There is a reason why you must eat *large bowls* full of juicy muskmelons in the hot summer months.

Here is a heavyweight that keeps a low profile. Juicy and fragrant, muskmelon, also called cantaloupe in some regions, is found abundantly in the summer months, and can be used in smoothies, milkshakes, juices, salads, or simply eaten whole. Although muskmelons are clearly no competition for the king of fruits that arrives in the hot months—juicy, sweet mango—it is a fruit you can binge on, and consume large portions of, owing to its low calorific value (about 54 kcal per cup) and vast spectrum of nutrients it delivers. And there’s more reason why you should do this. Research published in HortScience points at the high content of beta-carotene, also called pro-Vitamin A, present in these melons. This makes it an important part of your diet that improves eye health, and may have the potential, as an antioxidant, to reduce the risks associated with cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses, says the study. It is also rich in vitamin C, and potassium. The seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, musk melons should be a natural choice for your daily bowl of fruit, especially now, when they’re in season, and arriving fresh from the farms.

How to buy: Smell the end of the melon which is attached to the vine, a ripe fruit will have a deliciously sweet aroma. If the aroma is missing, the fruit may be unripe. Don’t buy a fruit that gives if you press it between your fingers, it may be overripe. However, if a fruit turns over ripe by the time you consume it, just whip it into a smoothie!

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