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If someone asked you to choose the healthiest fruit (a difficult question, we know), you might opt for oranges or another vitamin-C-rich staple. While vitamin C content is a great reason to add fruit to your daily menu, there are some unsuspecting players that provide even more of an antioxidant boost.
We got the chance to speak with longevity expert and Harvard geneticist David Sinclair, Ph.D., on the mindbodygreen podcast, where he shared his all-time favorite fruit for longevity. Here, we’ll explain why it’s a winner.
Why cantaloupe is A+ for longevity.
It may not be the most popular fruit to bring to the party (a fresh bowl of berries and cream is the ultimate crowd-pleaser, no?), but cantaloupe is Sinclair’s top choice for a longer life span. “As a fruit, that’s the most nutritious you can get,” he says.
Specifically, its orange-inducing pigment is chock-full of antioxidants. This sunset-like hue comes from the carotenoid beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. And vitamin A provides a long list of benefits, including immune, eye, skin, and reproductive health. That’s a whole lot of goodness from one tasty yet unsuspecting melon. Plus, it’s a high-fiber melon, meaning it’s beneficial for blood sugar regulation.
Cantaloupe is also high in vitamin C, which isn’t naturally produced in the body. That’s why experts (like integrative medicine doctor Taz Bhatia, M.D.) recommend eating cantaloupe to increase nutrient intake and support healthy aging. Finally, cantaloupe is super hydrating—we’re talking 90% water content and plenty of electrolytes—and proper hydration is crucial for longevity.
You may deem oranges the queen of vitamin-C-rich fruits, but cantaloupe might just pass up sweet citrus given its added vitamin A. At the end of the day, the important thing is to consume whole foods that you enjoy and get variety into your diet when you can. Sinclair shared even more of his standout staples, a few of which you can read about here, or feel free to tune into the episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to hear all of his longevity tips.
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