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A vendor slices a watermelon to sell for 20 pesos ($0.47) a piece along a main street in Manila March 8, 2012. - File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Eating watermelon can lower blood pressure and protects you from pre-hypertension the main cause of heart attack, researchers say.

Watermelon is not only consumed well when you're thirsty, because the sweet taste and high water content, but also because the nutrients are abundant.

The fruit is rich in compounds that proved able to dilate blood vessels and may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, The Telegraph Reported.

In a study by scientists, an amino acid found in watermelon improves the performance of the arteries and reduces blood pressure in about one in nine patients with pre hypertension.

You might have to take the L-arginine, an amino acid essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure, as a supplement. However, these supplements to some adults have adverse effects such as nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Instead, the researchers found no adverse effects of respondents who ate watermelon. The fruit even store other nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

“As the evidence from this preliminary study, we hope to continue research to reach a wide group of participants,” said Dr. Arturo Figueroa, Florida State University, who led the study.

High blood pressure affects more than 16 million men and women in the UK.

This disease increases the risk of heart attack or stroke was doubled, and resulted in over 60,000 deaths annually.