Watermelons are loaded with an organic compound called citrulline that can trigger blood vessels to relax, much like Viagra does, according to scientists from Texas A&M University in the United States.
Dr Bhimu Patel, who led the study, said that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to an amino acid called arginine which improves circulation.
"Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.
"Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra but it's a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects." ~ Telegraph.co.uk, 3 July 2008
Yes. Like you, I never expected that. All this time, I never thought that this sweet fruit has Viagra-like effects.
Locally known as "pakwan," it has been my favorite dessert when I was growing up in the province. I ate lots of pakwan when I was young. I especially like it more when it is served cold and freshly sliced after hours of being stored in the refrigerator.
If it relaxes blood vessels, then, it may be a natural anti-hypertensive, too.
QUESTIONS ---- Can those suffering from hypertension use this as alternative to their anti-hypertensive medication? Can those with erectile dyspfunction use this as alternative to Viagra?
Answer: I do not think so. The best option is still to take the doctor-prescribed anti-hypertensive maintenance medication(s). Watermelons may supplement the anti-hypertensive treatment, but I don't think it should replace the standard medications. 'Same principle applies with erectile dysfunction problems, I think. Viagra has that advantage of being organ-specific.
Another tip -- if you want to get more of the citrulline from watermelons, concentrate on the rind. According to scientists who studied watermelons, "there is more citrulline in the rind than the flesh."