Last Tuesday I blended carrots and cantaloupe together and enjoyed a refreshing drink; no sugar added.
Why, carrots and cantaloupe? Well, for one, they were the only available fruits in my kitchen, at the moment, and as far as I knew they were good for me. Every now and then however, we need to refresh our knowledge of what these fruits provide, so that we can maximise on their use. So here are a few reminders or, for some of us, this could be news.
Let’s first look at carrots. How can they be eaten and what benefits do they have for our bodies?
- Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack (carrot sticks), or in a vegetable salad. They can also be blended with other vegetables to make a nutritious drink (like I did). They can be steamed with other vegetables and boiled in soups of all kinds. I have also seen carrots used in cakes and buns. I love grating the raw carrot and mixing it into the rice immediately after the rice has been cooked. I am sure there are many other ways to use the carrot, maybe you would love to share.
- Carrots are great source of fiber. They also provide vitamin A (beta-carotene), one of the B Vitamins, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. By now you should know that fiber is very important to having a healthy bowel movement. It also helps us to feel fuller longer and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Vitamin A, helps us to maintain healthy vision and is important for growth and development as well as healthy immune function. What about Biotin? It is one of the B-vitamins and plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins. The other vitamins K1 and B6 are responsible, respectively, for bone health and for converting food into energy. As we say, last but not least, carrots also provide Potassium, an essential mineral, useful for keeping the blood pressure under control.
Let’s look at the second fruit, the Cantaloupe. I must say, around my family, friends and associates, this fruit is not popular at all. It is not my favorite either; I enjoy it best when it is mixed with other fruits, as in a fruit salad or blended.
The cantaloupe however, has nutrients for us as well;
- They provide a range of antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes. The word “phytonutrients” was new to me, so I had to do some further research. phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants, in fact “Phyto” is the Greek word for “plant”. These nutrients are really chemicals which help to protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs and other threats. Sounds like a good pest controller to me and maybe it is the secret to the healthy skin cantaloupes enjoy.
- Looking closer to the nutrients provided to the body, in addition to the three benefits mentioned (antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes), the Cantaloupe offers much more;
It provides Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, as well as folate. It also provides magnesium and fiber. I believe by now you agree that we need to eat more cantaloupe. There is even a bonus for you; the seeds are edible, they provide omega-3, fatty acids.
I encourage you to do much more research on your own, but I do hope that this little peek into the benefits of consuming carrots and cantaloupes would inspire you to make healthier food choices.