Watermelon lowers blood pressure

Watermelon lowers blood pressureWashington, Oct 14 - Watermelon, apart from being rich in nutrients, has been found to lower pre-hypertension, a precursor to cardio diseases.

Assistant professor Arturo Figueroa and Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi of the Florida State University conducted the study on the health benefits of watermelon.

They found that extracts of watermelon, given daily for six weeks, lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive men and women aged between 51 and 57 years, reports the American Journal of Hypertension.

"Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide essential to regulate blood pressure," Figueroa said.

Consuming L-arginine as a dietary supplement isn't an option as it can cause nausea, gastrointestinal tract discomfort, and diarrhoea, Figueroa said.

Consuming watermelon caused no such problems, study participants reported. Watermelon is also abundant in vitamin A, B6, and C, apart from fibre, potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. (IANS)