Watermelon Seeds – Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Eat Them

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Watermelon seeds are found from the watermelon plant and contrary to numerous beliefs the seeds are not poisonous. On the contrary they are beneficial as they are rich in nutrients that may not be available in daily diets. Some of the benefits that come with eating watermelon seeds include boosting heart health, keeping blood sugars under control and boosting the immunity of users.

Nutritional Value of Watermelon Seeds

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1. Low Calorie
These super seeds are low in calories. Five grams of watermelon seeds have approximately 30 calories.
2. Magnesium
Being rich in magnesium, watermelon seeds help in restoring and boosting the body’s metabolism system, immunity and nervous system. A 5-gram serving of watermelon seeds will give you as much as 25 mg of magnesium to your body. Daily, our body needs as much as 420 mg of magnesium, as per National Institutes of Health (NIH).
3. Iron
Our body needs 18 mg of iron every day to function correctly, and watermelon seeds are a perfect way of giving our bodies that touch of iron. A handful of these super-seeds contain as much as .3 mg of iron, which constitutes 1.6 per cent of the daily intake portion.
4. Good fats
Rich with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids—types of fats which are considered as good fats—watermelon seeds’’ handful portion can lend your body 0.3 and 1.1 grams respectively.
5. Zinc
Watermelon seeds are a great source of zinc, which aids our immunity and nervous system, helps in digestion, cell regrowth and olfactory senses. Four-five grams of watermelon seeds can cover 20 to 25 per cent of your body’s zinc needs.

Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds

Promote Heart Health

Watermelon Seeds - Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Eat Them

The magnesium in watermelon seeds greatly contributes to heart health. It aids in normal heart functioning and regulates blood pressure.

As per a Kentucky study, the beneficial effects of watermelon seeds on the heart could be due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and vasodilatory (widening of blood vessels) properties. The seeds are also a rich source of a substance called citrulline, which has been found to reduce aortic blood pressure – ultimately protecting the heart. The extract of the seeds was also found to lower cholesterol levels. Citrulline may also be useful in athletic performance and endurance.

One American study also throws light on the importance of magnesium in this aspect. Magnesium is one of the minerals that contribute to electrolyte balance in the body – a factor important for cardiovascular stability. And in patients with congestive heart failure, the presence of sufficient total body magnesium serves as an aid.

Low magnesium concentrations, especially at the time of surgery, can lead to cardiac glycoside toxicity. This basically means deficiency of magnesium can be lethal, more so in heart patients. And electrolyte abnormalities, as we saw, and potentially dangerous for patients with heart failure. Magnesium is also important in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat rhythm).

Improve Male Fertility

The zinc in watermelon seeds is important for the male reproductive system. According to a Chinese study, zinc supplementation can significantly enhance sperm quality of infertile men. Also, zinc is only second to iron as the most abundant element in human tissues. And trace elements like zinc play a major role in the male reproductive system as they exhibit high activity at the molecular level. Studies have also found lower levels of zinc in the seminal plasma of infertile men than that in normal males. Though further studies are required, the possibility is encouraging.

Strengthen Hair 

Watermelon Seeds - Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Eat Them
Watermelon Seeds – Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Eat Them

Apart from strengthening hair, magnesium plays a role in preventing hair breakage – consequently promoting hair growth. Low levels of magnesium, as per certain studies, could accelerate hair loss. It is important to note that your hair goes through changes every seven years – and consuming adequate magnesium is one of the ways to preserve your tresses.

How to roast them

Roasting watermelon seeds is easy. Set your oven at 325°F and place the seeds on a baking sheet. It should only take about 15 minutes for them to roast, but you may want to stir them halfway through to ensure an even crispiness.

You can make the seeds taste even better by adding a little olive oil and salt, or sprinkling them with cinnamon and a light dusting of sugar. If you prefer more flavor, you can add lime juice and chili powder, or even cayenne pepper.