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Watermelon is an extremely popular fruit. While we all enjoy eating this sweet refreshing fruit, we usually discard the tiny seeds scattered in it without realising or rather knowing of their health benefits. These seeds are loaded with nutrients including fatty acids, essential proteins and lots of minerals.
These seeds are rich in vitamin B like thiamine, niacin, folate and minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Besides, they are a great source of calories with 100 grammes of watermelon seeds providing around 600 grammes 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.
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.
As stated earlier, watermelon seeds are a rich source of nutrients and minerals and therefore, should not be discarded. These seeds have a hard outer covering so they should be chewed before swallowing to get their nutritional content. Some of the health benefits of watermelon seeds are given below.
1. Your body requires amino acids but there are some essential amino acids such as arginine and lysine which the body cannot produce on its own and these have to be provided from food sources.
Watermelon seeds contain some of these essential amino acids such as tryptophan and glutamic acids. Lysine helps in calcium absorption to facilitate the formation of collagen and connective tissues in the body whereas arginine improves the body’s metabolism, cardiovascular system and sexual health.
2. Watermelon seeds are good sources of magnesium with 100 grammes 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.
3. Watermelon seeds contain lycopene which is good for your face and also helps in improving male fertility.
4. These 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. 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.
6. Watermelon seeds are effective in recovering health after illness and sharpening your memory.
7. 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 grammes of fat which constitutes about 80 percent of the daily recommended value.
Thus, watermelon seeds are an important source of calories and energy.
Credits: The Nation