Last updated on Jan 15th, 2021 at 12:41 pm

A new study by Florida State University has found that watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress.

“The pressure on the aorta and on the heart decreased after consuming watermelon extract,” said Associate Professor Arturo Figueroa.

The starting point

The study started with a simple concept. More people die of heart attacks in cold weather, because the stress of the cold temperatures causes blood pressure to increase and the heart has to work harder to pump blood into the aorta. That often leads to less blood flow to the heart.

Therefore, obese people with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of stroke or heart attack either during the winter or when in rooms with low temperatures.

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So, what might help their hearts?

It turned out that watermelon may be part of the answer.

Studying watermelonâ??s blood pressure lowering affect

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 4 degrees Celsius water while Figueroa’s team took their blood pressure and other vital measurements.

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 six weeks. Then, they switched for the second six weeks.

The study found that participants had improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress both while at rest and while they were exposed to the cold water.

“That means less overload to the heart, so the heart is going to work easily during a stressful situation such as cold exposure,” Figueroa said.

Source: Florida State University via ScienceDaily

Recommended reading: Vegetarian diet helps lower blood pressure

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