Hypertension? Here's Why You Should Be Eating More Watermelons This Summer

One of the most popular health benefits of watermelon is its ability to keep blood pressure levels in check.

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: March 26, 2019 17:36 IST

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Hypertension? Here's Why You Should Be Eating More Watermelons This Summer

Summers are here and we cannot wait to dig into all the amazing fruits the season has to offer. One of our most favourite out of the bunch is watermelon. Sweet, juicy and delectable, watermelon is available only for a few summer months. Profuse with vital antioxidants and minerals, watermelon is one of the healthiest additions you can make to your diet. It is said that watermelons were first cultivated in Persia, 4000 years ago. They then became a mainstay in ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. They have found a mention in variety of ancient texts too.

About 94 percent of watermelon's weight is just water! Yes, you heard us! The fruit is all water and nutrients! The red-fleshed watermelon is enriched with vitamins, which are good for skin and immunity, beta-carotene that is known to boost eye health, and a range of antioxidants. It is also a very good source of plant pigment called lycopene that keeps risk of heart diseases at bay. The citrulline content in watermelon helps enhance blood flow. 

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One of the most popular health benefits of watermelon is its ability to keep blood pressure levels in check. High blood pressure is a condition that occurs when the force of blood against your artery wall is too high. When your blood pressure levels are consistently above 120/80 mmHg, you are likely to have high blood pressure problems. You must seek a medical expert and take all medicines prescribed. High blood pressure, if left untreated, may increase risk of stroke.

High blood pressure patients must also take extra caution when it comes to their diet. They should refrain from foods that are oily or salty. Excess salt disrupts the water balance in the body exerting extra force on blood vessels, which in turn increases blood pressure. Doctors often advise high blood pressure patients to eat foods rich in potassium. Potassium helps negate the ill-effects of sodium and eliminates extra sodium from the system through urine.

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Without visible symptoms, most people are unaware that they are suffering from high blood pressure.
 

Chowing down watermelon may help keep blood pressure stable. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, "Watermelon contains a useful amount of potassium, a natural diuretic that helps to normalise blood pressure. Watermelons are rich in lycopene, which helps lower the risk of heart disease."

The book also notes that watermelon is a good source of citrulline, an amino acid that helps production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, which boosts better blood flow and prevents abnormal spike in blood pressure levels.



How To Eat Watermelon 



You can eat watermelon as part of your breakfast or evening snack. You can also include them in your salads, or blend them in smoothies. Watermelon popsicle made without sugars or additives is also a yummy way to tuck into this fleshy fruit.
 

Make the most of this delicious fruit while the season allows, but remember to not go overboard. Excess of anything may prove harmful to your health.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.



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