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Watermelon seeds are a superfood product - full of nutritional values ​​and having a beneficial effect on he alth. The seeds provide plenty of protein and he althy fat, as well as magnesium, iron, B vitamins and antioxidants. They have a very broad pro-he alth effect - they lower blood sugar levels, have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, heal stomach ulcers and protect the liver from toxins. Watermelon seeds can be eaten as a snack, roasted and seasoned.

Watermelon seedsare what we carefully get rid of when eating the fruit, or at least try not to chew it. Often you will come across the question of whether it is safe to swallow watermelon seeds, and children are told not to eat them because they will just grow watermelon in their stomachs.

Meanwhile, it turns out that watermelon seeds are not only safe, but also very beneficial to he alth. Dried and roasted seeds are a tasty snack full of nutrients that will successfully replace crisps and s alty sticks.

The taste of watermelon seeds resembles sunflower seeds, but they are a bit more nutty. They are traditionally used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines, as well as in Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria. Most often, seeds are eaten without the skin as a snack, but they are also made into flour and oil is pressed.

Nutritional value of watermelon seeds

Watermelon seeds have a nutritional value similar to that of other seeds and seeds and significantly exceed the nutritional value of the fruit flesh. They are quite caloric. 100 g of dried seeds provides 557 kcal, a lot of fat and protein - they contain almost twice as much as sunflower seeds and almonds.

They also provide a lot of arginine - an amino acid that supports the regulation of blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary artery disease. The fats in watermelon seeds are saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Unsaturated fats have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, but you should remember to maintain the correct ratio of consumption to omega-3 fatty acids.

An excess of omega-6s can have a negative effect on he alth. Watermelon seeds provide significant amounts of magnesium. 30 g added to the porridge, for example, coverthe demand for this ingredient is 38 percent.

They are also an important source of iron, zinc, copper and manganese, as well as B vitamins, which control the body's energy changes and affect the functioning of the nervous system.

Very large amounts of antioxidant compounds have been discovered in watermelon seeds that protect cells, proteins and DNA from free radical attacks, thus reducing the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and premature aging.

Antioxidants present in seeds include saponins, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The presence of small amounts of oxalates and phytates has also been found, which hinder the absorption of minerals.

Nutritional value of 100 g of dried watermelon seeds

Energy557 kcal
Protein28.3 g
Fat47.4 g
Carbohydrates15.3 g
Tiamina0.2 mg (13% DV)
Riboflavin0.1 mg (9% DV)
Niacin3.6 mg (18% DV)
Vitamin B60.1 mg (4% DV)
Folic acid58 µg (14% DV)
Calcium54 mg (5% DV)
Iron7.3 mg (40% DV)
Magnesium515 mg (129% DV)
Phosphorus755 mg (76% DV)
Potassium648 mg (19% DV)
Sodium99 mg (4% DV)
Zinc10.2 mg (68% DV)
Copper0.7 mg (34% DV)
Manganese1.6mg (81% DV)
Saponins2.93 mg
Alkaloids1.42 mg
Tannins1.15 mg
Phytic acid0.43 mg
Oxalic acid0.07 mg
Phenolic acids0.45 mg
Flavonoids2.63 mg
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Watermelon seed oil

Watermelon seed oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, which was confirmed in a study on rats.The extract causes a significant reduction of paw swelling induced in animals within a maximum of 3 hours.

Its effectiveness is comparable to that obtained with the use of diclofenac - a known anti-inflammatory agent. Watermelon seeds inhibit the synthesis of serotonin, histamine and prostaglandins - the main mediators of inflammation.

What's more, watermelon seed oil has a protective effect on liver cells. Following administration of the liver-toxic compound carbon tetrachloride to rats, followed by doses of the oil for 10 days, there was a marked drop in blood levels of liver enzymes, which are indicative of organ failure.

The activity of watermelon seed oil is comparable to that of silymarin, a compound known to protect the liver.

Medicinal properties of watermelon seeds

Watermelon seeds are used to treat urinary tract infections and for bedwetting. They are also effective in gastrointestinal helminthiasis.

Traditionally, watermelon seeds are used to treat gastrointestinal stones, edema, alcohol poisoning, regulate blood pressure, lower sugar levels, in diarrhea and gonorrhea. You can prepare a he alth tea from watermelon seeds. 20-30 seeds should be dried, ground and boiled for 15 minutes in 2 liters of water.

Drink this drink within 2 days, then take a day off. Drinking tea for a few weeks is to support the functioning of the kidneys. According to Ayurvedic medicine, eating 1 teaspoon of watermelon seeds daily for 3-4 weeks in the morning and in the evening lowers blood pressure.

In folk medicine, watermelon seeds are used as a soothing and toning agent.

The very broad spectrum of the seeds' activity is also more and more confirmed in scientific research. It is currently found that watermelon seeds have antibacterial, antiparasitic, laxative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, prostate-inhibiting, anti-diabetic, blood pressure-lowering, supporting kidney function and liver regeneration.

Antibacterial and antifungal activity

Watermelon seed extract is effective in combating bacteria and fungi, including Escherichia coli and Candida albican. Its activity is compared to drugs such as clotrimazole and gentamicin.

Antioxidant effect

The strong antioxidant potential of watermelon seed extracts has been demonstrated in studies using free radicals - DPPH and hydrogen peroxide.

Antidiabetic action

Watermelon seeds protect and prevent pancreatic cellsdying away. As a result, they can be important in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

They lower blood glucose and increase insulin levels. Tannins, saponins and flavonoids, as well as soluble fiber are probably responsible for this action.

Effect of watermelon seeds on the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers

Studies in rats have shown that watermelon seed extract is effective in treating stomach ulcers comparable to standard medications.

Its positive effect may be caused by the inhibition of the secretion of juices and digestive enzymes as well as a protective effect on cells.

Inhibition of prostate hypertrophy

The effect on prostate reduction by watermelon seed extract was demonstrated in studies on rats. Histological studies have clearly shown that methanol seed extract is a potential candidate for the treatment of disorders caused by male sex hormones, incl. prostate hypertrophy.

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Benefits of using watermelon seeds

In addition to the he alth-promoting properties confirmed by scientific research, watermelon seeds may also exhibit other effects resulting from the presence of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in them. The potential benefits of consuming watermelon seeds include:

  • Hair strengthening - iron present in watermelon seeds promotes faster hair growth, and magnesium and copper are responsible for their he althy appearance and intense color. Fatty acids, on the other hand, moisturize the hair, prevent it from drying out, breaking and splitting.
  • Shiny skin - unsaturated fatty acids prevent skin dryness and blemishes, make the skin less gray and look he althy. Antioxidants protect against wrinkles, discoloration and premature aging.
  • Improving potency in men - thanks to the content of arginine and other important amino acids, watermelon seeds can have a positive effect on potency.
  • Positive effects on the cardiovascular system - Magnesium, potassium and iron are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and circulatory system, and the amino acid arginine helps to lower blood pressure levels.
  • Positive effect on the nervous system thanks to the content of magnesium and B vitamins.
  • Supplementing Protein Requirements in a Vegan Diet - Watermelon seeds are an excellent source of protein and can be a valuable part of a vegan diet.

Culinary uses of watermelon seeds

In West Africa, it is popular to use watermelon seed flour, which is used to thicken soups. The seeds are also fermented and obtainedthus a sweetener called "ogiri". Another sweetener ("igbalo") is made from roasted beans wrapped in leaves and cooked.

Eating not only watermelon flesh, but also seeds and skins has a long tradition in Asian and African countries.

The most common use is to eat roasted and spiced watermelon seeds as snacks. The seeds are best roasted and peeled. They can also be eaten in their shell, but should be chewed thoroughly to enable the use of valuable nutrients hidden in the seeds.

Otherwise, the seeds pass entirely through the digestive tract and can only help to facilitate bowel movements. Watermelon seeds can be eaten on their own, added to a mixture of nuts and dried fruit, and added to e.g. porridge or sprinkled on soups and salads.

How to roast watermelon seeds?

Roasting watermelon seeds at home is very simple. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and put in an oven preheated to 160 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Dried watermelon seeds can be purchased at the store. You have to pay about PLN 12 for 300 g.

Pips can be roasted a little longer to make them more crunchy. It is worth seasoning them to taste, e.g. with olive oil and a little s alt, lime juice and hot pepper or sweet with cinnamon and a pinch of sugar. Roasted watermelon seeds are a perfect snack instead of crisps or crackers.

Although they provide a similar amount of calories, the nutritional value of seeds is incomparably higher than that of s alty snacks. In addition, 30 g of chips, which provide about 160 kcal, is only 15 pieces, and 30 g of watermelon seeds with the same calorific value - about 400, which makes the seeds eat much longer and you can eat less of them.

Watermelon seeds that we want to add to salads should be sprouted. As a result, the nutrients contained in them are more easily available for the body, better digestible, and the oxalic and phytic acid, which impede the absorption of minerals, pass into the water in which the seeds were soaked.

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