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Eating Watermelon Could Keep You From Looking Like One

Eating Watermelon Could Keep You From Looking Like One

Have you been told that a lack of exercise and poor eating habits are putting you at risk for cardiovascular disease? Looking for ways to lose weight, lower cholesterol and take some pressure off of your hard-working heart?

A new study out of Purdue University recently found that watermelon juice could hold the key to tackling all of these health issues at once. Published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the research suggests that citrulline, a compound found in watermelon, plays a role in cardiovascular health.

To test their theory, researchers fed two groups of mice diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol (just like what the average American eats every day). Then, half the mice were given water containing 2 percent watermelon juice, while the others received water supplemented with a solution that matched the carbohydrate content of the watermelon juice.

The mice that consumed watermelon juice gained about 30 percent less weight than the control group and had about 50 percent less LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”). The experimental group also had about a 50 percent reduction of plaque in their arteries, as well as elevated levels of citrulline.

“We were interested in citrulline because previous studies showed that it may lower blood pressure,” said Shubin Saha, a Purdue Extension vegetable specialist and study co-author. “We didn’t see a lowering of blood pressure, but these other changes are promising.”

If you’re a conscious consumer who’s dedicated to living a healthy life, you probably already knew that watermelon was good for you…there are few fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t. Still, isolating the beneficial properties of citrulline could be an indirect way to reduce food waste around the world. Nutraceuticals, or holistic medicines, are becoming a huge part of the healthcare market. Using watermelon to create a citrulline supplement could create demand for watermelons that can’t be sold in the store or farmers’ market. According to Saha, 20 percent of each year’s watermelon crop is wasted either because the fruit is visibly unappealing to consumers or because some growers find it too expensive to pay for harvesting as prices drop during the height of watermelon season.

“We could use the wasted melons that can’t go to market for extracting beneficial compounds,” Saha said. “Growers are putting energy into these crops, so if we can do something to help them market their additional product, that would be a benefit to the industry and consumers.”


Related Reading:

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6:17AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you Beth, for Sharing this!

10:03AM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Guess that's what will go into the blender next time I'm on a "fresh -pressed-juice-bender"!

1:51PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

very good headline !! sorry for cannot buy any at this time in our markets.
thank you !

11:31AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

And oh soooo good when just the right sweetness and juiciness is combined with being nice and cold!

7:44AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

The title of this article made me click on it :-)
Yes watermelon makes you fuller and it helps with anti aging as well.

5:33AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

cool, cheers.

9:31PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

Makes you want watermelon right now!

5:37PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

fill a blender about two-thirds full with watermelon chunks, add the juice of two lemons, liquefy, chill, delicious.

12:30PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

Great to know. Thanks Beth.

12:24PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

perfect!! i love watermelon ;)

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