The latest study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, suggests watermelon juice could be of significant help than was previously known.
Just a daily slice of watermelon could help prevent heart disease by halting the build-up of harmful cholesterol, the new research shows.
Scientists who carried out studies on mice fed a high-fat diet found the fruit halved the rate at which ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, accumulated.
LDL is a form of cholesterol that leads to clogged arteries and heart disease.
Researchers from Purdue University in the US also found eating watermelon regularly helped to control weight gain and resulted in fewer fatty deposits inside blood vessels.
They believe the secret to watermelon’s health-boosting properties lies in citrulline, a chemical found in the juice.
Previous studies have suggested citrulline has a role to play in heart disease prevention by lowering blood pressure.
Although the latest investigation showed no significant effects on blood pressure, it did reveal watermelons had a powerful impact on other heart risk factors. Fatty diets, lack of exercise and smoking are all key risk factors.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 17.6 million people die yearly from heart-related/cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and it is feared that the figure could rise to 23.6 million by 2030.