Watermelon is scientifically termed as Citrullus lamatus and is approximately 92% water. It grows on vines up to 10 feet long. Wild watermelon fruit grows only about 8 inches in diameter while the cultivated one grows to about 24 inches.
In this article we will look into some of the many health benefits of watermelon seeds.
Table Of Contents
What Are Watermelon Seeds?
Watermelon seeds come from watermelon plant. These seeds usually come in two colours black and white. The black seeds are mature and fully developed while the white are immature seeds. These seeds are found in abundance in watermelon and are rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
In watermelon seeds calories are low. It is beneficial for your heart and boosts your immunity. It also helps in keeping blood sugar level under control. In addition, it is a rich source of various micronutrients like zinc, copper, potassium and selenium.
Watermelon seeds can be consumed in numerous forms- raw, sprout, roasted or seed oil. The seeds make your in-between meal snacks a healthy option.
Is Watermelon Seed Edible?
Yes, watermelon seeds are in fact a powerhouse of nutrients. The easiest way to have these seeds are to simply munch them while having the fruit. There is no harm even in swallowing these seeds. Though eating raw watermelon seeds health benefits are not much.
Roasting or sprouting improves benefits of eating seeds of watermelon. Like sprouting increases the protein content of the seeds, roasting increases their flavour and is far better than your other snacks. Watermelon seed oil is another healthy option to use these seeds in your salads or as cooking oils.
How To Eat Watermelon Seed
Watermelon seeds are an ideal option for snacks. Eat it raw, sprout them or roast them, they are beneficial to your health. To get maximum benefits of eating watermelon seeds sprouting is recommended by health experts.
Sprouting- Soak the seeds overnight for 2-3 days. You will notice sprouts on the seeds. You can then dehydrate them by drying them in sun. These sprouted watermelon seeds are a delicious healthy snack.
Roasting- For those of us, who cannot resist benefits of eating watermelon seed or do not want to complicate matters roasting is the best option. You can rinse the watermelon seed and pat dry them. On a baking tray sift these seed. Add salt, cinnamon powder or other flavours to the seeds. Bake at 375 F for approximately 10 minutes. Drizzle some olive oil while still hot. Cool before eating.
Watermelon seed oil- In Western Africa, locals make watermelon seed oil known as kalahari or ootanga oil. This oil can be used as moisturiser for your skin or you can use it for cooking or drizzle it on salads. This oil making process is usually not done at home. It is available at natural health stores.
Nutritional Content Of Watermelon Seed
So what are the benefits of eating watermelon seeds? Watermelon seeds are a storehouse of essential nutrients. It includes a high level of amino acid and protein. It contains nutrients like copper, zinc, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B. These nutrients are required for various functions of your body. A good amount of fats like Omega- 3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. They have high- calorie count approximately 600 calories for a cup of dried watermelon seeds.
Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds
Benefits of watermelon seeds are numerous for your body. It helps in the digestive system, slow down the ageing, improves the immunity and brain health. What are the health benefits of watermelon seeds:
Perfect Source Of Magnesium
The magnesium found in watermelon seeds helps your body in numerous functions like regulating nerve and muscle function, blood sugar levels and help in protein synthesis. Plays an important role in DNA reproduction. Though magnesium supplements are available but experts recommend natural source of magnesium. Magnesium is also found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, seed and nuts.
An average adult requires 0.8 gm of protein per kilogram of body weight for normal body function. Benefits of watermelon seeds during pregnancy is the high protein requirement is fulfilled. Even nursing mothers or individuals experiencing any body changes may have higher that is above the average protein requirement.
A half cup of watermelon seeds gives 15 gm of protein. The protein in the seeds consists of amino acids, tryptophan, lysine, glutamic acid and arginine. Arginine helps in treating coronary heart disease and regulates blood pressure. Other amino acids present in the seed helps in repairing and maintaining normal growth.
The recent trend in health industry has made ’fat’ a hushed word. But fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in watermelon seeds are essential for the normal functioning of our body.
Health experts are of the opinion that monounsaturated fats improve the ratio of bad (LDL) to good (HDL) cholesterol and also improves cholesterol levels. In addition, they provide a protective effect to your heart, regulate blood pressure and also helps to balance your health in case you suffer from Type ll diabetes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids also support a healthy heart and regulate blood sugar.
Essential Folic Acid
Watermelon seeds contain folic acid essential for normal functioning of the body. Like the conversion of carbohydrates to energy, the formation of bone marrow and blood cells and preventing birth defects in the unborn child. This is also one of the benefits of watermelon seeds during pregnancy.
Amino acids like arginine, lysine and glutamic acid boost sex drive in men suffering from impotence or infertility. Eating watermelon seeds benefits for men as it contains carotenoids, which increases sperm count. This increases the conception chances for couples trying to get pregnant.
Increases Athletic Performance
The amino acid, arginine helps athletes to perform better. In fact, arginine helps increase HGH (human growth hormone). This is an anti ageing constituent making the body behave younger and vigorous. It is also used in anti ageing products for skin care. Though supplements can be used arginine in watermelon seeds is natural, safe and effective for your body.
Boost Vitamin B Dosage
Vitamin B is an essential nutrient required for various functions of your body. Watermelon seeds contain a plethora of B vitamins like biotin, pantothenic acid (B5), thiamine (B1) and B6.
Vitamin B1 Or Thiamine
Improves the working of nervous system, digestive functions, reduce nerve inflammation, provides relief from diabetic nerve pain and also boost your immunity.
Vitamin B5 Or Pantothenic Acid
It helps in breaking down carbohydrates and fats. Studies have proved Vitamin B5 improves breakdown of cholesterol, the bad, low-density lipoprotein.
It is required for brain development in children and proper brain functioning in adults. It helps your body in absorbing and utilizing vitamins and minerals. It prevents heart attack and stroke and is also useful for premenstrual syndrome symptoms (PMS).
A beauty benefits of watermelon seed. It is a common ingredient in skin and hair preparations.
Recommended Iron Allowance
Iron aids in the production of essential red blood cells. A cup of watermelon seeds contain 8 mg of iron, that is 44% of your required daily allowance.
Watermelon for skin care
Watermelon seeds are a good source of Omega-3 and other fats required for your skin. Daily consumption of watermelon seeds moisturizes it naturally improving the skin’s elasticity. Antioxidants in watermelon seeds reduce wrinkles, blemishes and age spots. Regular application of watermelon seed oil on your skin prevents pores from clogging and thus preventing acne outburst.
Watermelon Seeds For Hair Care
Watermelon seeds contain a good amount of copper, magnesium, iron and protein. It has a great impact on your hair especially for those of us with thin hair or hair loss problem. Copper is the main component for producing melanin, providing colour to your hair and smoothness. Magnesium keeps your hair strong, prevents split ends and breakage.
A condition when your bones become weak accompanied by low bone density, increasing the risk of fracture. Benefit of eating seeds of watermelon daily prevents this condition or delays it. The seeds are rich in potassium, copper and magnesium. All these nutrients help in strengthening bones and improve their natural density.
Some Side Effects Of Watermelon Seeds
Watermelon seeds benefits and side effects are rare. As it is natural, safe and healthy snack option. Only if you are suffering from diverticulosis it is better to consult your doctor or dietician before including them in your diet.
Interesting Facts About Watermelon Seeds
Is watermelon a fruit or veggie? Watermelon belongs to the gourd family and is typically grown as a vegetable. But botanist are of the opinion that the reproductive mechanism of watermelon makes it a fruit.
Watermelon with all its part from seed to the outer green shell is edible. There are 1200 varieties of this fruit available and watermelon is grown in 96 countries worldwide.