File this heart healthy fact away for next summer’s barbecue season: watermelon can help fight hypertension.
Florida State University gave nine prehypertensive study participants the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine from watermelon extract for six weeks and all of them exhibited improved arterial function and lower aortic blood pressure.
Watermelon is also a source of vitamins A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and the antioxidant lycopene. Antioxidants are vital to eye health and help to fight the free radical oxidation damage that causes eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Study author Arturo Figueroa highlights another condition that could benefit from daily watermelon intake: diabetes. “Individuals with increased blood pressure and arterial stiffness especially those who are older and those with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes would benefit from L-citrulline in either the synthetic or natural (watermelon) form,” he said. “The optimal dose appears to be four to six grams a day.”
Diabetes can lead to the eye condition diabetic retinopathy.