Who doesn’t love a good watermelon? Its refreshing, sweet flesh tastes like carefree, hot summer days! Watermelon seeds, on the other hand, get tossed away without a second thought. But did you know that watermelon seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber? They are also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which play an important role in many bodily functions. Watermelon seeds can also lower you blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And according to some traditional systems of medicine, watermelon seed tea can also help with kidney stones and bladder infections. So go ahead and snack on some roasted watermelon seeds!
Who can resist a juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? But while we all love sinking our teeth into the refreshing red flesh of the watermelon, the seeds are rarely treated with so much deference. But before you spit them out, here’s some food for thought!
In many parts of the world, watermelon seeds are valued for their nutritional and health benefits. Watermelon seeds are roasted, salted, and eaten like peanuts in several Asian countries. In Vietnam and China, watermelon seeds are a part of the traditional festivities to ring in the New Year. They are a favorite in Nigeria too. These seeds were even recovered from the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun in Egypt, packed in for the afterlife! Apart from a mighty reputation across countries and ages, what does the watermelon seeds have in store for you?
The Seed Of Health
Watermelon seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. A watermelon seed consists of 31.9% protein, 4.4% carbohydrates, 57.1% fat, 8.2% fiber, and also has many amino acids like leucine, tryptophan, isoleucine, arginine, and valine.1 It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA, a 100 gm serving of watermelon seeds contains 54 mg calcium, 7.2 mg iron, 514 mg magnesium and 755 mg of phosphorus.
Calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus play an important role in many bodily functions, serving as cofactors in enzyme systems, helping with communication between muscles and nerves, and, in the case of iron, maintaining the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Our daily diet doesn’t always provide these micronutrients in adequate quantities. So a good measure of these nutty seeds can help correct any deficiency.
The fat in watermelon seeds is mostly linoleic acid, which is involved in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, oxygen transfer to blood, cell division, and neural functions.When consumed in moderate amounts, linoleic acid can do your body a lot of good.
Turn Down The Pressure
Watermelon seeds have been found particularly helpful with maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. Watermelon seeds contain a compound called cucurbocitrin which helps in widening blood capillaries. Research has found that the seeds lower blood pressure because of this vasodilatory effect.[ref]Evans, William, and Owen Loughnan. “The drug treatment of hyperpiesia.” British heart journal 1, no. 3 (1939): 199.
Lower Your Cholesterol
The major component of watermelon seeds is unsaturated fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid. Research has shown that linoleic acid can lower cholesterol levels. A study in 1998 found that hamsters fed linoleic acid not only showed lower cholesterol levels but also had less early atherosclerosis.
Watermelon Seeds In Alternative Medicine
Naturopathy recommends watermelon seed tea as a remedy for kidney stones. The tea is prepared by grinding a handful of watermelon seeds, steeping them in hot water for ten to fifteen minutes and then straining them. You can add a little honey to sweeten it.
Watermelon seed tea has also been used down the ages for bladder infections as it’s known to be a diuretic and can flush out the urinary system.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine, melon seeds have cooling, soothing, diuretic, and nutritive effects. If you have problems urinating or feel a burning sensation every time you do, an infusion of watermelon seeds can help. They can also reduce high blood pressure, especially when combined with poppy seeds and almonds.
High On Energy
Watermelon seeds definitely have many health benefits. However, do keep in mind that it is also a high-energy food. A 100 gm serving will give you 535 calories and 65 percent of that comes from fat. So watermelon seeds are best enjoyed in moderation!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Razavi, Seyed MA, and Elnaz Milani. “Some physical properties of the watermelon seeds.” African Journal of Agricultural Research 1, no. 3 (2006): 065-069.|