Let Fruit Be Your Medicine: Watermelon’s Remarkable Health Benefits

July 22, 2013 | By | Reply More

Flickr - Wtermelon - © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet PhotographySayer Ji, GreenMedInfo
WakingTimes

Watermelon is so much more than just a highly refreshing summertime treat. From the perspective of a growing body of clinical research, it is a truly medicinal food.

Only this month, research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found watermelon juice is an effective remedy for reducing the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness in athletes who were given 500 ml of watermelon juice (16.9 oz) containing 1.17 grams of the naturally occurring amino acid L-citrulline.[1]

Additional research indicates watermelon may possess the following health benefits:

    • Boosting Your Antioxidant Levels: Watermelon is exceptionally rich in lycopene (hence its red color) and other carotenoids such as lutein and beta carotene.[2] A 2003 study published in theJournal of Nutrition found that regular watermelon juice consumption resulted in significant increases in blood plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta carotene.[3] Keep in mind thatlycopene has been found to have over 40 potential health benefits, and beta carotene (especially in its natural, food-complexed form) equally plentiful health benefits, adding extra significance to this finding. Also, the watermelon-induced increase in plasma antioxidant levels may lend explanation to why an epidemiological study of the Chinese found greater watermelon intake to be associated with a lower risk of cancer.[4]
  • Reducing Blood Pressure/Improving Arterial Health: A 2012 study published in theAmerican Journal of Hypertension found that middle-aged obese subjects with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension who were given 6 weeks of treatment with a watermelon extract containing 6 grams of L-citrulline and L-arginine daily, experienced reduced ankle blood pressure and altered carotid wave reflection, an indication of improved arterial function.[5] The inability of the blood vessels to dilate and function properly is known as endothelial dysfunction, and is likely the most well-known initiating step in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. If watermelon can ameliorate or reverse this process, it would certainly provide a breakthrough alternative to many of the drugs used for primary prevention, such as the cholesterol-lowering statin drug class, whose side effects,numbering in the hundreds, include heart muscle dysfunction and damage.
  • Increasing Plasma Arginine Concentrations: A 2007 study published in the journal Nutritionfound that watermelon juice consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults, proving that the L-citrulline from this plant origin was effectively converted into arginine. This is a highly significant finding because arginine has a great number of health benefits, especially for ameliorating the aforementioned cardiovascular problem known as endothelial dysfunction. There are at least 20 studies in the biomedical literature documenting its therapeutic role in improving endothelial dysfunction, but you can view over 150 potential health benefits of arginine on the GreenMedInfo database.
  • Combatting Metabolic Syndrome: A promising preclinical study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007 found that watermelon pomace, a rich source of L-citrulline, significantly improved metabolic syndrome in diabetic, overweight rats.[6] This study is of particular interest because it lends support to relatively new research showing that fruit consumption is not harmful for type 2 diabetics.[7] The new study results were described as follows: “ These results provide the first evidence to our knowledge for a beneficial effect of watermelon pomace juice as a functional food for increasing arginine availability, reducing serum concentrations of cardiovascular risk factors, improving glycemic control, and ameliorating vascular dysfunction in obese animals with type-II diabetes.”
  • Watermelon Seeds, a Rich Source of Protein:  It behooves us to mention the fact that all parts of the watermelon have something to offer. The seeds, in fact, are an excellent source of protein. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology found that “The good nutritional and functional properties of watermelon seed meal proteins suggest their potential use in food formulations.”[8]  While seedless watermelon are far more convenient to eat, keep in mind that they can not reproduce without human intervention and so there are several good reasons to choose seedless varieties.

So, next time you are in the mood for watermelon, and are concerned about its notorious sugar content, ‘weight-promoting effects,’ and therefore possible diabetogenic and cardiotoxic properties – think again. Quality and moderation are the only things to make sure you are careful about when deciding to consume watermelon. Otherwise, enjoy it (remember Vitamin P(leasure))and know that it may just be as good for you as it tastes.

About the Author

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
Resources:

[1] Martha Patricia Tarazona-Díaz, Fernando Alacid, María Carrasco, Ignacio Martínez, Encarna Aguayo. Watermelon Juice: A Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes.J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jul 17. Epub 2013 Jul 17. PMID: 23862566

[3] Alison J Edwards, Bryan T Vinyard, Eugene R Wiley, Ellen D Brown, Julie K Collins, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Robert A Baker, Beverly A Clevidence. Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta-carotene in humans. J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):1043-50. PMID: 12672916

[4] Cai-Xia Zhang, Suzanne C Ho, Yu-Ming Chen, Jian-Hua Fu, Shou-Zhen Cheng, Fang-Yu Lin.Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Int J Cancer. 2009 Jul 1;125(1):181-8. PMID: 19358284

[5] Arturo Figueroa, Marcos A Sanchez-Gonzalez, Alexei Wong, Bahram H Arjmandi. Watermelon Extract Supplementation Reduces Ankle Blood Pressure and Carotid Augmentation Index in Obese Adults With Prehypertension or Hypertension. Am J Hypertens. 2012 Mar 8. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PMID: 22402472

[6] Guoyao Wu, Julie K Collins, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Muhammad Siddiq, Kirk D Dolan, Katherine A Kelly, Cristine L Heaps, Cynthia J Meininger. Dietary supplementation with watermelon pomace juice enhances arginine availability and ameliorates the metabolic syndrome in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. J Nutr. 2007 Dec;137(12):2680-5. PMID: 18029483

[7] Christensen AS, Viggers L, Hasselström K, Gregersen S. Effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes–a randomized trial. Nutr J. 2013 Mar 5;12:29.

[8] Ali Abas Wani, Dalbir Singh Sogi, Preeti Singh, Idrees Ahmed Wani, Uma S Shivhare.Characterisation and functional properties of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) seed proteins. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2011 Feb;137(2):279-86. Epub 2010 Apr 18. PMID:20824684

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Body, Earth, Food, Natural Health, Resources, Science, Self, Time & Space

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

NASA Brings Scientists & Theologians Together To Prepare World For Extraterrestrial Contact

NASA Brings Scientists & Theologians Together To Prepare World For Extraterrestrial Contact













Arjun Walia, Collective-Evolution
Waking Times

A couple of months ago top U.S. astronomers gathered in front of congress to let them know that extraterrestrial life exists without question. Their main argument was the size of the universe, emphasizing that there are trillions of stars out there, with one in every … More

September 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Mom Says NO to School System Intimidation

Mom Says NO to School System Intimidation













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

And Common Purpose, and the threat of Social Services…

This British mum smacks down the punishing culture of the public school system . She gives a chilling account of what happened when her son was given confusing commands, humiliated in front of class, brought to … More

September 26, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Money and the Myth of Freedom

Money and the Myth of Freedom













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

What if EVERYONE was wealthy beyond their wildest dreams and how would that affect our perceived “freedom”?

I often use an analogy of freedom as a man walking his dog.  The man is the government, you are the dog and the leash is … More

September 23, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More
6 Notoriously Misleading Food Terms Used to Trick Consumers

6 Notoriously Misleading Food Terms Used to Trick Consumers













Arjun Walia, Collective-Evolution
Waking Times

Our modern day food industry has become quite the debacle, with chemicals being sprayed all over our fruits and vegetables, to genetically modifying to processed food. As a result, the world has seen a large resistance to modern day food practices, and the resistance continues … More

September 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Mysterious Virus Spreading Across U.S. and Canada And Primarily Affecting Vaccinated Children

Mysterious Virus Spreading Across U.S. and Canada And Primarily Affecting Vaccinated Children













Dave Mihalovic, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

It’s being considered a severe respiratory virus known as EV-D68. It hits hard and fast and has already created an outbreak in Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, and four more states in the Midwest. It has also crossed over the Canada with confirmed … More

September 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Activism Works

Peace Through Synchronized Global Meditation

Peace Through Synchronized Global Meditation













Lance Schuttler, Personable Media
Waking Times

We live in a world today where the idea of group power is being rekindled and where it’s momentum is gathering. Humanity as a whole is remembering that it is thoughts and actions of kindness, honesty and equality for all that create positive change.… More

September 21, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
7 Ways Cannabis Legalization Has Already Benefited Colorado

7 Ways Cannabis Legalization Has Already Benefited Colorado













Jeff Roberts, Collective-Evolution
Waking Times

January 1st 2014 saw the opening of the very first cannabis shop in Colorado as the cultivation, manufacture and sale of the controversial plant became fully legalized. Since then, the state has seen a lot of promising results.

Laura Pegram of Drugpolicy.org wrote in her … More

September 16, 2014 | By | Reply More
Sweden Recycling 99 Percent Of Garbage, Edging Closer To Zero-Waste

Sweden Recycling 99 Percent Of Garbage, Edging Closer To Zero-Waste













April McCarthy, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

There’s a revolution happening in Sweden right now. Dubbed the “recycling revolution,” the Scandinavian country now recycles 99 percent of their garbage, edging closer to a zero-waste lifestyle, nationwide.

Wouldn’t it be great if no household waste was wasted? If each and every item … More

September 4, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More
Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients

Food as Medicine: How One Hospital Is Using Organic Produce to Help Heal Patients













Coach Mark Smallwood, EcoWatch
Waking Times

In 431 B.C. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

More than 2500 years later, we are inundated with advertisements boasting the latest, greatest cure-all super drug. From a young age, we learn that it doesn’t matter how or … More

August 23, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More