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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Watermelon isn’t just a great summertime snack, it may also help lower your blood pressure. A recent study has found that watermelon extract, rich in the amino acids l-citrulline and l-arginine, could noticeably reduce blood pressure in adults with hypertension.
The researchers were based at Florida State University and they published their results in the May 2012 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.
Fourteen adults with an average age of 58 with a diagnosis of prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension participated in the trial. Over the course of 6 weeks, half of the group consumed a watermelon extract that contained 6 grams of l-citrulline/l-arginine daily while the other half took a placebo. A two-week washout period occurred, after which the participants switched interventions.
Systolic blood pressure (the top reading) fell an average 15.1 mmHg, in the watermelon group compared to the placebo group. Diastolic blood pressure fell an average of 7.6 in the watermelon group compared to the placebo group.
Watermelon is also rich in antioxidants and numerous studies have shown it to be good for heart health. It has also been shown to be good for reducing the risk of colon cancer, asthma, arthritis and prostate cancer.
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