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 realizing 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 grams of watermelon seeds providing 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. Watermelon seed oil is extracted from these seeds, which is beneficial for your hair and skin. To say the least, watermelon seeds are edible and can be a healthy option.
Health Benefits of Watermelon Seeds:
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.Our 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.
- 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.
- Watermelon seeds contain lycopene which is good for your face and also helps in improving male fertility.
- 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.
- These seeds can be used for treating diabetes. Boil a handful of watermelon seeds in 1-liter water for 45 minutes, keeping the pot covered. This concoction should be taken every day like tea.
- Watermelon seeds are effective in recovering health after illness and sharpening your memory.
- 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 percent of the daily recommended value. Thus, watermelon seeds are an important source of calories and energy.
- Protein deficiency is quite common, leading to diseases like marasmus and kwashiorkor in poorer countries of the world. Being high in protein, watermelon seeds can be extremely beneficial in combating protein deficiencies. One cup of dried seeds provides about 30 grams of protein. Protein and its amino acids are vital for growth and repair of muscles, skin and connective tissues as well as for making enzymes. Protein is also required for the maintenance of long and strong nails.
Skin Benefits of Watermelon Seeds:
In addition to their health benefits, watermelon seeds are good for your skin as well. Being rich in nourishing nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleum acids, watermelon seeds keep your skin healthy and glowing from inside. Some of their benefits for skin are as follows.
- The unsaturated fatty acids in watermelon seeds keep the skin moisturized, soft, firm, well-toned and prevent acne and other skin disorders.
- Watermelon seeds prevent signs of aging because they contain antioxidants and oils which make your skin look younger, healthier and more vibrant. These benefits can be observed by consuming a handful or two of watermelon seeds a week.
- Watermelon seed oil, also known as Ootanga oil or Kalahari oil is extremely beneficial for your skin. Being light in texture, it does not clog skin pores, thus allowing your skin to function naturally and is a great moisturizer. Due to its excellent moisturizing properties, watermelon seed oil is used as an essential ingredient in baby oils.
- Watermelon seed oil also removes sebum, dirt, and grease that build up in your skin pores and are responsible for causing acne and giving a dull appearance to your skin. This oil is suitable for all skin types including dry, oily, acne prone and maturing skin.
- Watermelon seed extract locks moisture, thus combating the aging degradation. It also rejuvenates the elasticity of your skin.
- The wide array of nutrients contained in watermelon seeds protects your skin from certain types of skin cancers and infections as well.
Hair Benefits of Watermelon Seeds:
As stated earlier, watermelon seeds have a high content of protein in them which can keep your hair healthy and shiny. This protein contains certain essential amino acids such as lysine, arginine, tryptophan and glutamic acid which are needed by your body to keep your hair healthy and strong.
- Roasted watermelon seeds contain copper which is involved in the production of melanin. As you know, melanin is a pigment that provides color to your hair and skin.
- In addition to its skin benefits, watermelon seed oil can also be used for your tresses. As pointed out earlier, this oil is light in texture that gets absorbed easily without clogging the pores of your scalp. It provides moisturizing benefits and improves hair growth by maintaining hair and scalp health.
- Watermelon seed oil provides the hair with essential fatty acids which are needed by your hair to prevent breakage and keep it moisturized.