In overweight people both at rest and while under stress, watermelons were found to significantly reduce blood pressure, reveals study.
Florida State University Associate Professor Arturo Figueroa said that the pressure on the aorta and on the heart decreased after consuming watermelon extract.
Figueroa's 12-week study focused on 13 middle-aged, obese men and women who also suffered from high blood pressure. To simulate cold weather conditions, one hand of the subject was dipped into 39 degree water (or 4 degrees Celsius) while Figueroa's team took their blood pressure and other vital measurements.
Meanwhile, the group was divided into two. For the first six weeks, one group was given four grams of the amino acid L-citrulline and two grams of L-arginine per day, both from watermelon extract. The other group was given a placebo for 6 weeks.
Then, they switched for the second six weeks.
The results showed that consuming watermelon had a positive impact on aortic blood pressure and other vascular parameters.
Notably, study participants showed improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress while both at rest and while they were exposed to the cold water.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Hypertension.