2. Watermelon Seeds
Watermelons are the quintessential summer fruit. Refreshing and sweet, they are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family alongside honeydew and cantaloupe. The five most common types of watermelon include seeded, seedless, mini, yellow and orange. Though it’s generally believed that watermelon contains only water and sugar, they’re actually rich in nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Various studies have linked watermelon consumption with decreased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Watermelon is also thought to prevent asthma, aid digestion, reduce inflammation, relieve muscle soreness, and prevent dehydration. Watermelon also contains lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that is incredibly important for cardiovascular health, and citrulline, which is an amino acid that can provide further cardiovascular benefits.
Watermelon has been linked to lowering blood pressure. A study conducted by Arturo Figueroa, a professor at Florida State University, found that consuming watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure. Eating watermelon seeds to lower high blood pressure is also an Ayurvedic treatment, because watermelon seeds contain cucurbotrin, a glucoside that can lower cholesterol and dilate the blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure.
If you’re eating watermelon to reduce blood pressure, make sure you get the seeded variety. While there may not seem like many different ways to enjoy watermelon, it can be used in gazpacho, soup, curries, salads, popsicles, custard, sorbet, and even beverages.