Bone-Healthy Food: Cantaloupe

We seldom think about fruits as providing a broad spectrum of nutrients (and it's usually berries that get the nutritional spotlight), but judging from its nutrient profile, cantaloupe is a fruit that should get us thinking differently about fruit and nourishment.

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) as well as potassium and a host of B vitamins (B1, B3, B6, and folate) as well as vitamin K, magnesium, and fiber. As if that weren’t enough Cantaloupe also happens to be the best food source of a nutrient that’s very important for bone health but not well heard of: Inositol.

A quarter of cantaloupe provides 355 mg of Inositol which has an important relationship with calcium and is critical for bone formation. Inositol helps calcium move out of cells and into bone collagen where it influences the bone mineralization process. In other words, the process that makes bone hard.

While once considered to be a part of the B vitamin family, Inositol is actually a carbohydrate. In addition to fruits like cantaloupes, Inositol is also found in whole grains, raw cereals, seeds, and natural fiber, however in these sources the Inositol is bound-up in a form called phytate that is difficult to digest. Too much undigested phytate can bind calcium in the intestines and prevent absorption where it is needed – in bone! The type of Inositol in cantaloupe is called myo-inositol and is known to be easy to digest and get into bone.

‘Good’ cantaloupes are available from June to December, giving us plenty of time to enjoy their nutritional benefits. The key to purchasing a good quality melon and one rich in Inositol is to pick a perfectly ripe one. It should feel full and weighty and make a hollow sound when tapped. Pressing in at the stem should give way ever so slightly. And the rind should be a cream-colored yellow or golden, but not green or gray. Once you’ve found the one, here are a few quick serving ideas:

• Add some sparkling water to fresh squeezed cantaloupe juice for a delightfully refreshing drink in the warm months of the year.
• In a blender or food processor, purée cantaloupe and peeled soft peaches to make delicious cold soup. Add lemon juice and honey to taste.
• Top cantaloupe slices with yogurt and chopped mint.
• Slice melons in half horizontally, scoop out seeds and use each half as a basket in which to serve fruit salad.

Inositol also deserves a spot in your bone health supplement. Experimental studies have reported improved bone mineral density with inositol supplementation - increasing calcium activity in bone by almost 50%.

Silical® System is one of the only bone health supplements that provides Inositol (500 mg) – in the form of myo-inositol (like cantaloupe) for easy digestion. There are lots of nutrients you may not be familiar with that are very important for bones. Just as Inositol impacts calcium, others like silicon and boron also work together and improve the effects of calcium and vitamin D. A complete and balanced supplement includes at least 9 essential nutrients including Inositol.

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