You may have already heard of lycopene as a healthy compound found in tomatoes – but recent studies have shown that watermelon is also a great source of lycopene, with similar health benefits.
Regardless of where you get it from, lycopene has been shown to reduce stroke risk and lower blood pressure.
In fact, earlier this year, Brazilian researchers found that lycopene could lower BP in both hypertensive and pre-hypertensive people – with no other diet or lifestyle changes
Study participants saw a four-point drop in systolic BP (the top number) and more than a two-point drop in diastolic BP (the bottom number) in just six weeks of taking 6 gram of lycopene daily.
A diet high in lycopene can also prevent atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries) and heart disease, and it may even protect against cancer, according to a recent article in PharmacyToday.
It’s even shown to reduce risk of cataracts… and help treat asthma!
You watermelon-lovers out there will be glad to know that a fresh slice of watermelon actually has a higher concentration of lycopene than a fresh tomato slice – and just as much as prepared tomatoes (since the heating process makes the lycopene more bioavailable).
Seedless watermelons not only are less messy, but they have even higher concentrations of lycopene – and they’re not GMOs.
You may have heard that the sugar content in watermelon is too high to be healthy… but there’s no need to worry.
Watermelon’s high water content gives it a very low glycaemic load – so even though it does contain lots of natural fructose, it probably won’t spike your blood sugar unless you hog that big melon all to yourself.
But you don’t need to limit yourself to watermelons and tomatoes to get your lycopene. Other brightly-hued fruits like pink grapefruit, apricots, papaya, and pink guavas are also packed with the antioxidant.Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Watermelon extract reduces blood pressure but does not change sympathovagal balance in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects, tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08037051.2016.1150561
Is watermelon loaded with sugar? What you need to know about common food myths, today.com/health/watermelon-loaded-sugar-what-you-need-know-about-common-food-t100982
Is watermelon good for you?, well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/ask-well-is-watermelon-good-for-you/?_r=1
What to eat to reduce your cataract risk, blog.aarp.org/2014/01/03/what-to-eat-to-reduce-your-cataract-risk/