Antioxidants In Cantaloupe For Skin Health

  • Nour Mawazini Bachelor of Pharmacy - Damascus University, Syria
  • Simmi Anand MBA Healthcare Services, Sikkim Manipal University, India

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Overview

Cantaloupe is a rich source of antioxidants that can neutralise harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. It provides potential benefits for skin health and the immune system.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect our body cells from oxidative stress by fighting harmful free radicals. Our body has its own antioxidants as part of the immune system, and they are also found in many plant-based foods. Vitamin C is an example of a powerful antioxidant.

Importance of antioxidants for skin health

Our skin is constantly exposed to smoking, diet, sleep, exercise, chronic diseases, and environmental factors, including temperature, pollution, humidity, and UV radiation. All of these factors can increase inflammation and oxidative stress.¹ ²

Antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining skin health by reducing oxidative stress and neutralising free radicals that can damage skin cells. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation, prevent ageing, and support the natural ability of our skin to repair and rejuvenate.³

Let's explore how antioxidants make cantaloupe beneficial for skin health!

Cantaloupe nutritional profile

A cup (156 g) of diced cantaloupes contains 141 g of water and only 53 calories, with more than 100% of vitamin A daily value and around 95% of vitamin C daily value. They're also filled with electrolytes, which are minerals that balance your body fluids and help you stay hydrated. 

Let's have a look at the nutritional profile of this nutritious fruit:

  • Water: 141g 
  • Energy: 53 kcal
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 25 mg
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Sugars 12g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Vitamin C: 57.3mg 
  • Vitamin A:  264 mcg
  • Potassium: 417 mg 
  • Magnesium 18.7 mg 
  • Phosphorous: 23.4 mg
  • Folate: 32.8 mcg 
  • Beta carotene: 3150 mcg
  • Alpha-carotene: 25 mcg 
  • Vitamin K: 3.9mcg
  • Calcium: 14mg 
  • Niacin: 1.14 mg

Antioxidants in cantaloupe

There are several effective antioxidants in cantaloupes. Some of them are: 

  • Beta-Carotene 
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A 
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein

Let's talk more about the specific roles of cantaloupe's antioxidants in promoting skin health. 

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment and a type of provitamin A carotenoid, which means it can be converted into active vitamin A in the body and function as an antioxidant. It's commonly found in fruits and vegetables (especially those that are red, orange, and yellow). Beta-carotene gives cantaloupes their vibrant colour and enriches them with antioxidant properties. 

Protection against UV radiation

Beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock for your skin. It helps protect skin cells from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, as repeated UV exposure can increase pro-inflammatory cytokines that support the development of wrinkles and adverse pigmentation of the skin.5 Beta-carotene reduces the risk of sun-induced damage, premature ageing, and skin disorders.

Skin renewal

As a precursor to vitamin A, beta-carotene plays a crucial role in supporting skin cell turnover. This process is essential for the continuous renewal and regeneration of the outermost layer of the skin.

Antioxidant synergy

Beta-carotene works synergistically with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C. This collaborative effort enhances the overall protective effect against free radicals and promotes the mechanism that supports skin health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. One cup of cantaloupe provides you with an almost daily value of vitamin C.

Collagen synthesis

Collagen is the protein responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the skin. Adequate collagen levels are essential for skin elasticity, firmness, and the reduction of wrinkles. Vitamin C plays a critical role in the maintenance of a normal mature collagen network in humans by preventing the auto-inactivation of two key enzymes in collagen biosynthesis (lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase)7

Protection against UV radiation 

Vitamin C directly scavenges and quenches reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by UV exposure providing effective skin protection.6

Anti-ageing properties

Harmful free radicals are often associated with premature ageing. By fighting these free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, vitamin C helps the skin maintain a more youthful appearance.

Regeneration and repair

Vitamin C promotes the regeneration and repair of damaged skin cells. This is particularly beneficial for wounds, scars, and other skin imperfections. Vitamin C supports the healing process and helps in maintaining an even skin tone.

Vitamin A

Beyond its precursor role in beta-carotene, cantaloupe directly provides vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant. It helps in skin regeneration and repair, along with maintaining healthy and vibrant skin.

Lutein and zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are also potent antioxidants that defend the body against free radicals. These carotenoids seem to work better together. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your body’s proteins, fats, and DNA from stressors and can even help recycle glutathione, another key antioxidant in your body. Lutein and zeaxanthin are known for their eye benefits. Additionally, they can improve and protect skin health. Their antioxidant effects allow them to protect the skin from the sun’s UV radiation.10

To sum up, cantaloupe antioxidants have anti-ageing properties and work to provide multifaceted benefits for skin health. They offer protection against UV radiation, support skin renewal, contribute to collagen synthesis, and aid in wound healing. Together, these antioxidants make cantaloupe a valuable addition to a skin-friendly diet, promoting resilience, vitality, and a radiant complexion. 

Roles of other nutrients in enhancing skin health

Apart from vitamin C and beta-carotene, cantaloupe contains additional nutrients that contribute to skin health:

Vitamin K

Blood vessel support:

Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting, which is crucial for wound healing. Additionally, it supports the health of blood vessels beneath the skin. Thus, it can lead to an even skin tone and reduced visibility of veins.11

Potassium

Hydration and muscle function:

Cantaloupe has a significant amount of potassium which helps in regulating fluid balance in the body. Proper hydration is essential for skin health. Potassium also supports muscle function and enhances a toned and healthy appearance.

Magnesium

Cellular processes:

Magnesium is involved in various cellular processes including DNA synthesis and repair. This can help in the overall maintenance and health of skin cells.

Fibre

Digestive health:

Cantaloupe contains dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body. A healthy digestive system is linked to improved skin health, as it reflects the body's ability to expel waste and maintain a balanced internal environment.

This combination of vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, fibre, and powerful antioxidants make cantaloupe an important part of your diet that is capable of nourishing and enhancing skin health.

Enjoying cantaloupe for healthy skin

Topically 

Recent studies suggest that topical administration of cantaloupe concentrate can be a beneficial strategy for skin health due to its antioxidant properties.12

Orally

Get creative to make this skin-friendly fruit a part of your daily meals. Here are some ideas:

  • Slice cantaloupes into bite-sized pieces and eat them alone for a quick and tasty snack. 
  • Blend cantaloupes with yoghurt and honey or with berries for a delicious smoothie. 
  • Cantaloupes can be used as a natural sweetener to enhance flavours. 
  • Toss slices into salads for a sweet twist. 

How much cantaloupe to consume for better skin

Consumption of 1 to 2 cups of cantaloupe daily ensures optimal skin benefits. Consume in moderation to avoid excess natural sugars. Mix up your fruit choices to cover all nutritional bases for healthier skin. 

Considerations and precautions 

While cantaloupes are generally safe for most people, excessive consumption may lead to digestive issues due to their high fibre content. It's important to note that individuals with melon allergies could experience adverse reactions. As with any food, moderation is the key to avoiding potential side effects. Additionally, cantaloupe may interact with certain medications. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

Summary 

Cantaloupe is a summer fruit that has powerful benefits for skin health thanks to its rich antioxidant profile. The collaborative efforts of beta-carotene, vitamin C,  vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin offer a comprehensive defence against oxidative stress and free radicals. Beta-carotene acts as a natural sunblock, safeguarding against UV radiation and aiding in skin cell turnover for a vibrant complexion. Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis as it fortifies the skin's structure and counters UV-induced damage by showcasing anti-ageing properties. Direct intake of vitamin A from cantaloupe further promotes skin regeneration and repair. The combined effect of zeaxanthin and lutein provides cantaloupe with powerful antioxidant properties that protect the skin. Cantaloupe's additional nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and fibre complement its antioxidants to enhance its skin benefits. Vitamin K supports blood vessels and aids in wound healing, while potassium ensures hydration and supports muscle function. Magnesium plays a role in cellular processes vital for skin cell maintenance, and dietary fibre promotes digestive health. Recent studies indicate cantaloupe's potential benefits when applied topically. Creative consumption ideas, such as adding cantaloupe to salads or blending it into smoothies, offer ways to integrate this skin-friendly fruit into your diet. However, moderation is key, as excessive intake may lead to digestive issues. Caution is advised for individuals with melon allergies or those on specific medications.

References 

  1. Zhang S, Duan E. Fighting against skin ageing: the way from bench to bedside. Cell Transplantation. 2018;27(5): 729–738. https://doi.org/10.1177/096368971772575
  2. Jeng L, Mirchandani A. Skin health. In: A Prescription for Healthy Living. Elsevier; 2021. p. 225–233. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-821573-9.00020-5. [Accessed 14th December 2023].
  3. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural antioxidants: multiple mechanisms to protect skin from solar radiation. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2018;9. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00392 
  4. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural antioxidants: multiple mechanisms to protect skin from solar radiation. Front Pharmacol [Internet]. 2018 Apr 24 [cited 2024 Apr 3];9:392. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphar.2018.00392/full
  5. Fooddata central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169092/nutrients [Accessed 14th December 2023].
  6. Han A, Chien AL, Kang S. Photoaging. Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;32(3): 291–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.det.2014.03.015.
  7. Han A, Chien AL, Kang S. Photoaging. Dermatologic Clinics [Internet]. 2014 Jul [cited 2024 Apr 3];32(3):291–9. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0733863514000308
  8. Fam VW, Charoenwoodhipong P, Sivamani RK, Holt RR, Keen CL, Hackman RM. Plant-based foods for skin health: a narrative review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2022;122(3): 614–629. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2021.10.024.
  9. Fam VW, Charoenwoodhipong P, Sivamani RK, Holt RR, Keen CL, Hackman RM. Plant-based foods for skin health: a narrative review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics [Internet]. 2022 Mar [cited 2024 Apr 3];122(3):614–29. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2212267221014337
  10. Boyera N, Galey I, Bernard BA. Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 1998;20(3): 151–158. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x.
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Nour Mawazini

Bachelor of Pharmacy - Damascus University, Syria

Nour Mawazini is a licensed pharmacist with experience in various healthcare settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical marketing. Nour is passionate about medical research and writing, with a goal of sharing reliable health information with the public. She aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

my.klarity.health presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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