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Watermelon: A Heart-Friendly Food



Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that has significant levels of nutrients needed by our body for overall health. This essential summer snack contains five ounces of water, lower in calories and sugar, contains antioxidants, and vitamins, and minerals.



Nutrition Facts


According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the nutrition facts for the watermelon are as follows:


Serving size: 2 cups diced (10 oz / 280 g)


Calories: 80 (Calories from Fat 0)


Amount per serving (and %DV*) *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Total Fat: 0g (0%)


Total Carbohydrate: 21g (7%) Dietary Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugars: 20g


Cholesterol: 0mg (0%) Sodium: 0mg (0%) Potassium: 270mg (8%) Protein: 1g


Vitamin A: (30%) Vitamin C: (25%) Calcium: (2%) Iron: (4%)



Watermelon And Heart Health


Watermelon is an excellent source of phytonutrients by the time it is fully red. However, the red parts are not only the good ones. A lot of nutrients can also be found in all parts of watermelon. Citrulline is a valuable amino acid that is present abundantly in the white flesh nearest the rind of the fruit. It may increase nitric oxide levels in the body. These amino acids promote blood flow, leading to cardiovascular health, improved circulation (1).


Watermelon is one of few foods rich in lycopene, a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions.  Studies have shown that a cup and a half of watermelon contains about 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene (2). High consumption of foods rich in lycopene has been found to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol (3).


Likewise, a study at Purdue University showed that high levels of lycopene may help lower the risk of heart disease (4).


In a separate study, experts have found that watermelon extracts helped reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults (5).


According to studies in obese, postmenopausal women who have increased aortic stiffness, taking watermelon extract for six weeks had helped decrease their blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract. These beneficial effects have been attributed to the fruit’s citrulline and arginine content (6).


Additionally, watermelon also contains other vitamins and minerals that are also good for our heart. These include vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium, and potassium (7).



Sources:


  1. https://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html
  2. https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2002/jun/lyco
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
  4. https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/watermelon-shown-to-boost-heart-health,-control-weight-gain-in-mice.html
  5. https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/25/6/640/160387?login=true
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23615650/
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

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