When we’re eating watermelons, their sweet, juicy pulp is usually the only part of the fruit we pay any attention to. Most of the seeds end up getting spat out and thrown away. This is a terrible nutritional crime because watermelon seeds are packed with health benefits which can do our body a world of good. Each seed is bursting with essential nutrients and is very low in calories, making them a perfect snack. But accidentally swallowing a few seeds when you’re eating watermelon won’t help you reap their benefits. The nutrients in watermelon seeds become accessible only when they’re roasted or made into a tea.
Roasted Watermelon Seeds
Watermelon seeds are very simple to roast and make for a delicious snack or salad topping. Spread watermelon seeds over a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake them in an oven at 325 degrees for around 15 minutes. The seeds should crisp up beautifully and turn into a crunchy snack. You can also dust them with your favorite seasonings like cayenne pepper and paprika.
Watermelon Seed Tea
Grind about 4 tablespoons of fresh watermelon seeds into a fine powder. Add this to 2 liters of boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Drink the tea without straining out the seeds. You can drink this tea over two days.
Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds
1. They’re Low In Calories
Watermelon seeds are rich in nutrients and low in calories, making them the ideal snack for people trying to lose weight. Ounce by ounce, watermelon seeds aren’t much lower in calories than potato chips (an ounce of watermelon seeds is 158 calories while an ounce of chips is 160 calories). However, one ounce of watermelon seeds contains 400 seeds while an ounce of potato chips contains only 15 chips. Most people will never eat 400 seeds in one sitting, but they will eat far more than just 15 chips. So if you’re looking for a delicious snack to munch on, roasted watermelon seeds could be what you need.
2. They’re High In Magnesium
Watermelon seeds are very high in magnesium, with 4 grams of watermelon seeds containing as much as 21 mg of magnesium. This mineral is essential for your overall health because it boosts your immunity and helps your body defend itself against diseases. Magnesium is also an important trace mineral to maintain your bone density and strength of your bones. It also helps speed up your metabolism and improve nerve function.
3. They Are A Good Source Of Iron
Eating a handful of watermelon seeds every day can help you meet your daily recommended iron intake. Iron forms an essential component of hemoglobin, the substance which gives our blood its white color. Hemoglobin helps transport oxygen to various parts of our body, which gives your cells the energy they need to perform basic functions. If you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet, you might develop anemia, a condition when hemoglobin is abnormally low. This can make you feel fatigued and drastically reduce your productivity.
4. They Contain Folate
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient for women and is one of the most important prenatal nutrients for pregnant women. Low levels of folate during pregnancy have been associated with birth defects such as malformation of the neural tube. Watermelon seeds contain a good amount of folate, making them a great snack for pregnant women and women trying to conceive.
5. They Are A Source Of Healthy Fats
Not all types of fat should be tarred with the same brush. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are actually essential for healthy functioning. Watermelon seeds contain both these kinds of fat in small amounts. Consumption of these fats has been linked to maintaining a healthy weight and preventing heart disease. If you’re watching your weight, the presence of these fats shouldn’t scare you away from watermelon seeds. Unsaturated fats can actually help you reduce your weight by increasing satiety and staving off hunger cravings.