Juicy, hydrating and delicious and, as it turns out, more than just a pretty addition to a fruit salad. Watermelons are the perfect low calorie food, rich in fibre and nutrients and packed with health-boosting antioxidants and amino acids.

Why do I need watermelon?

Watermelon is now increasingly recognised for its health giving properties.

Scientist from Florida State University* have discovered that watermelon can lower blood pressure. The researchers gave participants a 6 gram dose of the amino acid L-citrulline taken from watermelon extract, which lowered the blood pressure in all the men and women who took part.

Watermelons are the richest source of L-citrulline but you’d need to consume about 4 pounds of watermelon to get the required therapeutic dose. Fortunately watermelon is also available as a supplement. It is rich in potassium which helps to keep salt levels in check (too much salt causes high blood pressure which is a precursor to heart attack and stroke).

Furthermore, watermelons get their colour from lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant believed to be protective against heart disease, cancer and other disease. In addition, these colourful fruits are abundant in vitamins: A, B6 and C all adding to its antioxidant value.

Some nutritionists believe watermelon supplements also increase sexual performance. In a study from Italy* men with erectile difficulties reported an improvement after taking supplements for a month. This is because L-citrulline acts as a blood vessel relaxer enhancing circulation to all parts of the body.

Can too much watermelon be harmful?

Little is known on this but according to the researchers from Florida State University the optimum dose of L-citrulline (extracted from watermelon) is four to six grams daily.