With the popularity of watermelon in Nigeria, it is still amazing to believe that many people are yet to realise the benefits of watermelon seeds but to human health and in supplying of nutrition. More percentage of people enjoy the succulent , sweet and refreshing part but discard the watermelon seeds because they believe it contributes nothing to our health and nutrition.
It is a pleasure for me to reveal to you that these seeds are loaded with nutrients such as essential proteins, minerals and fatty acids. Watermelon seeds are rich in vitamin B such as Thiamine, Niacin, Folate and minerals like Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Copper and Phosphorus. Apart from these, they are a great source of calories, for example 100 grams of watermelon seeds provides around 600 grams of calories.
Watermelon seeds, also called as ‘tarbooj ke beej‘ in Hindi are used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Roasted watermelon seeds are served as a snack or used to garnish salads. In Nigeria, they are used in certain soups popularly called "Egusi soup". Watermelon seed oil is extracted from these seeds which are beneficial for your hair and skin. To say the least, watermelon seeds are edible and can be a healthy option.
With these little you have seen, you have realised that watermelon seeds are rich source of nutrients and therefore should not be discarded. They have hard outer covering so they should be chewed before swallowing in order to get the nutritional content of watermelon seeds. Below are some of the benefits of watermelon seeds to both our health and nutrition.
1. Provides essential amino acids
Your body requires amino acids but there are some essential amino acids such as lysine and arginine which the body cannot produce on its own. These essential amino acids needs to be provided from some certain foods in which watermelon seeds falls in that category. The seeds contain some of these essential amino acids such as glutamic acids and tryptophan. Lysine helps in calcium absorption to facilitate the formation of collagen and connective tissues in the body while arginine improves the body's metabolism, cardiovascular system and sexual health.
2. They are good source of magnesium
Watermelon seeds are good sources of magnesium with 100 grams of seeds providing 139 percent of the recommended daily requirement. Magnesium is vital for normal heart functioning, maintenance of normal blood pressure, supporting metabolic process and protein synthesis. It is also beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension besides controlling blood pressure and diabetes.
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3. Helps in improving male fertility
Watermelon seeds contain lycopene which is good for your face and also helps in improving male fertility.
4. Helps in maintaining healthy body
Watermelon seeds are excellent sources of multivitamin B and can replace some of the supplements. Vitamin B present in watermelon seeds comprises of niacin, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. B vitamins are vital for maintaining healthy blood, nervous system and effective immune response.
5. Can be used in treating Diabetes
These seeds can be used for treating diabetes. Boil a handful of watermelon seeds in 1 litre water for 45 minutes, keeping the pot covered. This concoction should be taken every day like tea and they are highly effective in managing diabetes.
6. Aids quick recovery and good memory
Watermelon seeds are effective in recovering health after illness and sharpening your memory.
7. Important source of calories and energy
Almost half of the watermelon seed contains oil which comprises of 20 percent saturated fat and the rest monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat including omega-6 fatty acids. One cup of dried watermelon seeds contains around 50 grams of fat which constitutes about 80% of the daily recommended value. Thus, watermelon seeds are an important source of calories and energy.