Erectile dysfunction could be cured with watermelon – and has NO Viagra-like side-effects.
Watermelons contain citrulline and lycopene.
It’s believed the humble watermelon boasts properties that can boost blood flow to the penis. Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain and erection.
It can have a range of causes, including narrowing of the blood vessels, a problem usually associated with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
While some men opt for Viagra as a way to treat the condition, experts say watermelon can be used as a natural treatment thanks to the amino acid citrulline, which can help ‘relax’ blood vessels.
Lily Soutter, Nutritionist at lilysoutternutrition.com said: “Watermelons have now been coined as nature’s Viagra.
“Research has shown that these effects are down to their high concentrations of an amino acid called citrulline.
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Unlike Viagra, watermelon comes with no side effects.
“When consumed, citrulline is converted into the amino acid arginine, which boosts nitric oxide – the responsible agent for relaxing and dilating blood vessels.
“This effect can improve blood flow to the penis, which is just how Viagra works to treat or prevent erectile dysfunction.”
A scientific study in 2011 concluded that citrulline consumption had a ‘significant positive impact’ for people suffering with mild erectile dysfunction.
Researchers gave men with mild erectile dysfunction a placebo for one month and a citrulline supplement for another month recording the hardness of their erection and the amount of times they had sex.
Scientists tested a total of 24 patients, with an average age of 56. The results showed: “The improvement in the erection hardness score from three – mild erectile dysfunction to four – normal erectile function – occurred in 2 (8.3 per cent) of the 24 men when taking placebo and 12 (50 per cent) of the 24 men when taking L-citrulline.”
Experts also say watermelon is a good alternative for people who aren’t medically fit.
Experts said the L-citrulline supplements were proved to be ‘safe’ and ‘well accepted’ by patients. Eating dark red watermelons can also boost levels of lycopene, a plant antioxidant which gives the fruit its red colour.
Lily said: “Interestingly we now know that red watermelons contain even more lycopene than tomatoes.
“Lycopene has also been shown to help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis, just like viagra.
“It is important to note however, that as lycopene is a fat-soluble antioxidant, it is absorbed best when combined with fat.”
Experts also advise that eating watermelon with healthy fats such as avocado, seeds or yoghurt can increase the absorption rate of lycopene by as much as five to seven times.
Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition.
Side effects of Viagra include warmth or redness in the face, neck or chest, headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, and sometimes even a loss of hearing and dizziness.
However, unlike Viagra, watermelon consumption comes with no side effects if it is eaten in moderation.
Lily said: “Watermelon is a great alternative for those who are not medically fit to take erectile dysfunction medications.”
NHS Choices said: “Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly in older men. It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have it to some degree.”
This comes after it was revealed Viagra STOPS heart attacks: Sex drug could soon be used to treat hundreds of thousands.
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