Watermelon Wonders

By Susan Littlefield

Here's more good news about keeping your heart healthy, especially for gardeners. A recent study by researchers at the University of Kentucky showed that eating watermelon reduced plasma cholesterol and the development of atherosclerosis or clogged arteries in mice.

According to an October 27, 2011 article on the Science Daily website, mice with diet-induced high cholesterol were given either water or watermelon juice to drink. After eight weeks the watermelon juice sippers had lower fat levels, lower cholesterol levels, and statistically significant reductions in the build-up of atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries.

Noting the multiple health benefits to the mice, lead investigator Dr. Sibu Saha hopes that the findings will point the way to heart health benefits for humans as well. ″Our ultimate goal is to identify bioactive compounds that would improve human health,″ he says.

In the meantime, the National Watermelon Promotion Board notes that these fruits are tops among fresh fruits and vegetables in the healthful antioxidant lycopene, as well as a good source of Vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium. Watermelon smoothies, anyone?

To read the entire article on the research, go to: Science Daily. To find out more about the health and nutrition benefits of watermelons, along with some tasty recipes, go to: National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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