Women who are vulnerable to a PCOS-linked heart attack or stroke may find that watermelon can help keep classic cardiovascular disease risks like high blood pressure at bay.
Researchers have discovered that the fruit is rich in compounds that widen blood vessels and lower hypertension (high blood pressure) … and a daily fix of its juices could be enough to lower blood pressure, according to a study.
Watermelon is an edible source of L-citrulline – a compound vital in the production of nitric oxide, which is a gas that widens blood vessels.
Researchers in the U.S. gave a group of volunteers a daily dose of 6g, or slightly more than a teaspoonful, of L-citrulline extracted from watermelons. All of those taking part had pre-hypertension, or borderline high blood pressure. After six weeks, readings had improved in all nine participants, with none experiencing any side-effects.
However, there is a catch – you’d need to eat one-and-a-half watermelons a day to achieve the same effect. Fortunately, the L-citrulline compound can also be bought in supplement form. Ask your doctor if the supplement is right for your diet.
Researchers found that watermelons with orange flesh contain more L-citrulline than those with red flesh. But both varieties are rich in vitamins A, B6 and C and high in fibre. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium – thought to lower blood pressure – and lycopene, the pigment that gives the fruit its colour, which is credited with a host of health benefits, from helping to ward off cancer to boosting fertility.