When you think of the health benefits of watermelon, the seeds probably don't come to mind. It can be a quite frustrating experience when you’re eating the sweet refreshing fruit and have to pause to take out the tiny seeds scattered in the fruit.
Growing up as a child, I was told not to eat fruit seeds as the seeds could germinate and grow in my stomach, very funny claim that was! I guess the myth was told because if not well masticated or broken down before swallowing, the seeds can easily pass through the digestive tract undigested.
According to nutritionists, roasting watermelon seeds creates a crunchy snack filled with various food nutrients which provide a wide array of health benefits.
In Nigeria, the dry watermelon seeds are used to prepare soup and sauces.
Watermelon seeds are very high in protein, a vital nutrient for overall health which helps build and maintain muscles and other tissues.
One cup of the dried watermelon seeds is said to contain about 30.6 grams of protein, which constitutes about 61 percent of the daily recommended value.
The protein in watermelon seeds consists of several amino acids, including tryptophan, glutamic acid, and lysine.
Watermelon seeds are also loaded with several of the B vitamins which are necessary for converting food into energy and other important bodily functions.
The most prevalent B vitamin in watermelon seeds is niacin. A cup of dried watermelon seeds is said to contain 3.8 milligrams of niacin, about 9 percent of daily value.
Niacin is important for maintaining the nervous system, digestive system and promotes skin health. Other B vitamins in watermelon seeds include thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid.
Minerals also abound in watermelon seeds. Magnesium is the most abundant mineral, weighing in with 556milligrams, making up 139 percent of the recommended daily value in a cup of dried seeds.
Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure. Other important minerals in watermelon seeds are phosphorous, iron, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese and zinc.
The most surprising thing about watermelon seeds is the amount of fat they contain. A cup of dried seeds contains 51 grams of fat, with 11 of those being saturated fat.
Other fats are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-6 fatty acids which can help in the reduction of high blood pressure.
If you're an active individual engaging in regular exercise or just have a high metabolism, the high calorie content of roasted watermelon seeds can be beneficial.
One cup of roasted watermelon seeds provides 602 calories, which is 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.
If you're an athlete, roasted watermelon seeds can be a good choice for supporting your activities; one cup of roasted watermelon seeds provides enough calories to fuel 2 hours and 45 minutes of weightlifting.
While roasted watermelon seeds are high in total fat each cup contains 51 grams with most of the fat being polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats may help improve your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This may come as good news to weight watchers because watermelon seeds are low in carbohydrates! If you're following a carbohydrate-restricted diet, consuming roasted watermelon seeds can be beneficial.
Each cup of roasted watermelon seeds contains only 17 grams of carbohydrates!
It is rich in iron! A cup of dry watermelon seeds provides 44 percent of the daily suggested intake. Iron is a vital nutrient your body needs for proper oxygen delivery throughout your body and cell growth.
So the next time you grab a pulp of watermelon, make sure you do not throw away the seeds, you just might be losing rich nutrients needed for the proper functioning of your body. Spare some time, get the seeds out and you just might be on your way to getting something healthy into your system.