Watermelon has long been known for a handful of health benefits, including high fiber and an abundance of nutrients. Recently, scientists at The Florida State University discovered research that may place watermelon as an effective food against high blood pressure.
The study evaluated nine individuals — 5 women and 4 men, between the ages of 51 and 57. Researchers issued 6 grams of L-citrulline/L-arginine, an amino acid from watermelon, each day for six weeks. They found improved heart function and lower blood pressure in all individuals.
This research is encouraging as experts believe watermelon may be effective at preventing pre-hypertension from becoming hypertension, a known risk to stroke and heart attack.
Watermelon contains the most abundant, edible source of L-citrulline which is very similar to L-arginine, the amino acid required for nitric oxide formation.
Inside the body, L-citrulline converts into L-arginine. However, supplementation with L-arginine can cause many short-term health problems like nausea and upset stomach.
Watermelon, on the other hand, is very easy to consume and many individuals explain it to taste good as well. Watermelon also contains vitamins (A, B6, C) and minerals (potassium and lycopene).
Since cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in the United States, finding potential prevention methods continues to be a prime concern of researchers.