andrew schneider investigates

July 2, 2008

Watermelon like Viagra? Sure.

Filed under: Food - good, bad, weird,Random observations,Sustainable food — Andrew Schneider @ 16:41

The humble but ever popular watermelon may give new meaning to the phrase sustainable food, especially its green rind.

Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station, has reported that watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido.

This is not a joke. Check out the Aggie’s announcement.

Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, says watermelon may have Viagra-like effects. (Photo: Texas A&M University)

“The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,” said the scientist, who added, “We’ve always known that watermelon is good for you, but the list of its very important healthful benefits grows longer with each study.”

Beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other fruits and vegetables include lycopene, beta carotene and the rising star among its phyto-nutrients – citrulline – whose beneficial functions are now being unraveled.

“Among the ingredients is arginine which boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent,” reported Patil.

He admits that watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra, but said “it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

The scientist offers this advice for those Fourth of July watermelons: “They store much better uncut if you leave them at room temperature. Lycopene levels can be maintained even as it sits on your kitchen floor. But once you cut it, refrigerate. And enjoy.”

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