July 1, 2008
Better Sex, Increased Libido, Via Produce
Watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body's blood vessels and may even increase libido, U.S. scientists say.
Dr. Bhimu Patil of Texas A&M in College Station said beneficial ingredients in watermelon and other produce are known as phyto-nutrients -- naturally occurring compounds that are able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions.
When watermelon is consumed, the phyto-nutrient citrulline is converted to arginine through certain enzymes. Arginine is an amino acid that works wonders on the heart and circulation system, and maintains a good immune system, Patil said.
The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes, Patil said. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.
Deep red varieties of watermelon are also loaded with lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects the human heart, prostate and skin health, Patil added.