Friday, January 23, 2009

About Cantaloupe and dietary fiber

For years I've been hearing about dietary fiber which is also called roughage or bulk.

My American Heritage Dictionary define this as:

Coarse, indigestible plant matter, consisting primarily of polysaccharides such
as cellulose, that when eaten stimulates intestinal peristalsis.

I can remember family members who had problems with their digestion buying something in the pharmacy which looked to me to be nothing more than some kind of seed (I believe the product was called Metamucil, or something similar).

What stuck me as odd then, and even now was that many people I know who have had a problem with their digestion, always removed the seeds when they ate watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), whereas I simply swallowed them whole whenever I encountered them.

If our body actually needs a certain amount of indigestible plant matter, it didn't make much sense to remove them from what we ate, especially if they weren't unpleasant or difficult to ingest.

Over the past few years, I've started eating the seeds of cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus)too, also without chewing. When I first tried it, they seemed a bit repulsive as I scooped up a spoonful from the center of the fruit, mostly due to their "strange" appearance and the fact that -- by custom -- I had previously consider them to be garbage.

Now that I've become accustomed to eating them, I consider them to be the most delectable part of the fruit. The membrane which surrounds them is generally quite juicy and has a much more intense flavor than the remainder of the flesh.

On top of everything, I believe I'm helping my intestinal processes and have never had a single one one sprout while still inside me.

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