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Eating watermelons can help reduce blood pressure

Friday, April 26, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: watermelon, functional foods, hypertension

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(NaturalNews) According to a new study, a pre-hypertensive condition is one of the major risk factors for serious health threats such as strokes and heart attacks. However, not too many people are aware that simply eating watermelons can be very effective in naturally fighting off pre-hypertension and therefore, considerably lessening the risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Food scientists from the Florida State University have discovered that consuming 6 grams of L-citrulline contained in watermelon extract for a period of six weeks helped normalize the blood pressure of all the participants in the study (nine adults) who were previously observed to have raised blood pressure. This recent activity was reported in The News.

The research

The lead researcher of the group that conducted the new study, Dr. Arturo Figueroa, claimed that the team is the first to document the significant improvements in aortic hemodynamics in middle-aged people (both men and women) who have been diagnosed to be pre-hypertensive, but are otherwise healthy, and regularly receiving therapeutic watermelon doses.

To put it simply, the findings imply that the common watermelon, sometimes called the "functional food" possesses a vasodilatory effect. Dr. Figueroa further adds that watermelon consumption can actually keep pre-hypertension at bay, and prevent it from advancing into a full-blown case of hypertension; and as previously mentioned, hypertension is the precursor to more serious health conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

The big and usually round in shape watermelon fruit is not only a refreshing and satisfying treat during hot weather conditions. It is also known as the richest edible source of L-citrulline, a type of amino acid that helps promote and regulate healthy blood pressure. Once it is in the body, L-citrulline is processed and converted into another type of amino acid, L-arginine.

However, when taken in the form of a dietary supplement, L-arginine can cause some minor side effects. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems, particularly among adults who may already be experiencing increased blood pressure at the time of intake.

Dr. Figueroa further implied that those who have arterial stiffness and elevated blood pressure - specifically people who have been diagnosed with various chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus, or those who are older - have a lot to gain from the intake of L-citrulline in either its synthetic or natural form.

Its natural and safer form, of course, is the watermelon; fruit safer because being natural, it does not come with any unwanted side effects. This is particularly ideal for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions like those mentioned above. With these facts, people may see the common watermelon in a different light.

The study discussed above was recently included in the pages of the American Journal of Hypertension.

Sources for this article include:

http://news.fsu.edu

http://www.mnn.com

http://www.dnaindia.com

About the author:
Sandeep is an mountain climber, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on quickeasyfit.

More articles from Sandeep:
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