Eating watermelon may help prevent high blood pressure, according to findings published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
During a six-week study, four men and five postmenopausal women aged 51 to 57 were given 6 grams (g) of amino acid, which was extracted from the fruit. As a result, the researchers found that all the participants experienced better arterial function, which led to lower blood pressure.
The investigators suggest that these findings occurred because cardiovascular complications are improved by nutrients found in the fruit, such as vitamins A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant.
Arturo Figueroa, co-author of the study, stated that “these findings suggest that this ‘functional food’ has a vasodilatory effect, and one that may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.” He added that because of the success of this trial, “we hope to continue the research and include a much larger group of participants in the next round.”
People who are interested in adding other food sources to their diet that combat high blood pressure can benefit from beetroot juice, brown rice, grapes and walnuts, which all contain several of the nutrients found in watermelon.