Nothing says summer more than a juicy, bright red slice of watermelon. Enjoying this chilled fruit as a refreshing snack on a hot day or at an annual family picnic is one of summer’s many pleasures. Many consider dealing with the fruit’s tiny black seeds to be the only downside.
You may painstakingly pick out the seeds while cutting up a watermelon for a fruit salad, or spit them out as you munch on a slice of watermelon. Nowadays, you can even buy a seedless watermelon to make life easier.
But watermelon seeds, once dried, are edible and their nutritional value is very high.
The important nutritional components of watermelon seeds are protein, several B and other vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc. The most surprising thing about watermelon seeds is that they are low in calories.
Watermelon seeds make a great snack when they have been dried and roasted and can easily take the place of other unhealthy snack options.
How to Make Roasted Watermelon Seeds
Most people do not like the taste or texture of raw watermelon seeds, but many enjoy the taste of roasted seeds. Here are the steps to roast watermelon seeds.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry the seeds.
- Soak the seeds in water overnight.
- Wait for a few days until they sprout.
- Remove the tougher outer black shell from the seeds, then dry the seeds in an oven or simply under the sun.
- Spread the seeds out on a roasting pan.
- Drizzle a small amount of vegetable or olive oil over them and sprinkle a little sea salt.
- Roast them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Allow the roasted watermelon seeds to cool before enjoying them as a healthy snack.
You can sprinkle a little cinnamon powder or a mix of lemon juice and chili powder over the roasted seeds to make them more flavorful.
You can add some crunch to your salad with a handful of seeds, or use roasted watermelon seeds in your homemade smoothies.
If you prefer to buy roasted watermelon seeds, make sure to check the nutrition label first.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of watermelon seeds, and instructions for roasting watermelon seeds.
1. Aids Diabetes Management
Watermelon seeds are helpful for managing diabetes and preventing related complications.
The seeds contain an amino acid that serves to relax and dilate the blood vessels, thus reducing oxidative stress.
Also, the magnesium in them helps regulate metabolism of carbohydrates, which directly impacts blood sugar levels.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management found that watermelon seed extract may be a supportive treatment to combat diabetes complications.
To reap the benefits, you can boil watermelon seeds to make a kind of watermelon tea.
- Put a handful of watermelon seeds in 4 cups of water.
- Boil it for 45 minutes, keeping the pot covered.
- Allow it to cool.
- Drink this concoction every day like tea.
2. Fights Fatigue
Eating a handful of watermelon seeds will boost your energy level and fight fatigue.
The seeds are rich in iron, an important component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen throughout the body to keep you energized. Iron also helps your body convert calories into energy, as well as nourishing your immune system.
Additionally, watermelon seeds contain an amino acid called L-citrulline, which helps reduce feelings of fatigue.
3. Keeps the Heart Healthy
Consuming watermelon seeds can also help ensure that your heart remains in good condition.
First of all, the seeds are rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help protect against heart attacks and strokes. These healthy fats also lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
In addition, the seeds contain a good amount of potassium that helps combat heart disease and keeps your heart healthy.
Plus, the amino acids citrulline and arginine provided by the seeds help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular functioning.
4. Keeps Blood Pressure under Control
Watermelon seeds are very high in protein that consists of several amino acids. One of the amino acids is arginine. While the body produces some arginine, consuming additional arginine through your diet will help regulate blood pressure and even treat coronary heart disease.
The magnesium in watermelon seeds also helps regulate blood pressure. In fact, a low level of magnesium in the body contributes to high blood pressure.
Low magnesium can also cause a low potassium level, which is an important nutrient for keeping your blood pressure under control.
5. Keeps Muscles Healthy
To improve your muscle health and prevent muscle soreness after workouts, watermelon seeds are very effective.
First of all, watermelon seeds are one of the few food sources that contain L-citrulline, a nutrient important for tissue repair and maintaining muscle mass.
L-citrulline helps with smooth muscle relaxation, enhances anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.
Also, the magnesium in the tiny seeds is important for muscle health. Magnesium stimulates calcium reuptake that can help maintain strong muscles and prevent cramps.
6. Reduces Body Fat
Watermelon seeds are rich in a compound called citrulline, which metabolizes into the essential amino acid arginine. Arginine helps reduce the rate at which the body stores fat.
The seeds also low in calories, which aids weight loss. They do contain a little fat, but it is healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Snack on roasted watermelon seeds to help control your body fat. Although 1 ounce of watermelon seeds contains approximately 158 calories, don’t worry. An ounce contains about 400 seeds, which you obviously won’t be eating all in one sitting.