Is it safe to eat watermelon seeds?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Is it safe to eat watermelon seeds?” Also, we’ll explore how watermelon seeds can be eaten, the nutritional content of watermelon seeds, why some watermelons have no seeds, and what are the health benefits of eating watermelon seeds. 

Is it safe to eat watermelon seeds? 

Yes, watermelon seeds are safe to eat. They can be eaten when they’re in the watermelon’s flesh, or they can be taken out, dried, and eaten as a snack similar to sunflower seeds, or be used to make granola and other confections. 

They can be used in soups and salads and used to top glazings over meat dishes. 

While it may be tempting to discard the seeds you’ve strained from your watermelon fruit when making a smoothie, the seeds are nutritious and unlike other similarly shaped grains and nuts, they’re not allergens.

Some authors recommend soaking the seeds in moist paper towelettes to make them sprout, as sprouts and seedlings are also edible, and contain a higher protein content than seeds. 

This means that people with severe tree nut allergies and sensitivities can consume them without a hitch. 

Additionally, it can help you reap nutrients from a component that would otherwise be discarded. 

What is the nutritional content of watermelon seeds? 

A 28-gram portion (1 ounce) of watermelon seeds/ kernels, will provide: 

  • 158 calories of which 121 are sourced from fat
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 13 grams of fat (20% of the recommended daily intake) – of which 2.8 grams are saturated (14% of the RDI)
  • 4.3 grams of carbohydrates (1% of the recommended daily intake)
  • 28 milligrams of cholesterol – 1% of the RDI
  • 184 milligrams of potassium – 5% of the RDI

Additionally, the same portion will supply 1.5% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, and 11% of iron.

*Recommended daily intake values are based on a diet of 2000 calories a day. 

Why do some watermelons have no seeds? 

Seedless watermelons are a product of plant breeding efforts. Specifically, they are renowned for having triploidy. Triploidy means that they have 3 sets of chromosomes, rather than 2. 

Normal, seed-bearing watermelons have only two sets of chromosomes, and like human beings, they get one set from a maternal organism, and the second set from the masculine donor, which in the case of plants, is supplied through pollination. 

However, seedless watermelons don’t just occur spontaneously. They come about when a normal (diploid: two sets of chromosomes) watermelon is crossed with a tetraploid (four pairs of chromosomes) watermelon. 

When bred, each watermelon plant will pass on half of its chromosomes (which have recombined amongst themselves), and when joined with another plant’s chromosomes, they’ll give way to a new organism. 

In this case, the single set of chromosomes from the normal watermelon, when combined with the two sets of chromosomes from the tetraploid watermelon gives way to a triploid (three sets of chromosomes) watermelon that is sterile, and will not bear seeds. 

They were first developed by a Japanese scientist in the early twentieth century, though they didn’t achieve market popularity until the 90s. 

Seedless varieties have advantages for both seed production companies and consumers. 

In the case of the first; they make it mandatory for growers to procure seeds at the start of every production cycle, and in the case of consumers, they cater to those who favor seedless varieties over those with seeds.  

What are the health benefits of eating watermelon seeds? 

Eating watermelon seeds provides health benefits when they’re consumed in place of other snack foods that are higher in calories, salt, saturated fat, and carbohydrates. 

For example, their relatively low-calorie content makes them ideal for those looking to replace unhealthy snacks such as salted fried chips and sweets. 

Watermelon seeds and sprouts are a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral your body uses to regulate muscular and nervous functions, maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and synthesize proteins, bones, and nucleic acids.  

They also provide iron and zinc, which are essential for healthy bodily processes such as oxygenation, tissue repair, immune function, and growth and development 

Their unsaturated fat content can also promote circulatory health and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

They can be easily incorporated into many recipes low in calories such as salads, soups, and other types. 

We encourage our readers to explore their options before they discard watermelon seeds, and cut out some of the benefits they can provide. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Is it safe to eat watermelon seeds?” Also, we’ve explored how watermelon seeds can be eaten, the nutritional content of watermelon seeds, why some watermelons have no seeds, and what are the health benefits of eating watermelon seeds. 

References

https://www.nutritionix.com/i/usda/seeds-watermelon-seed-kernels-dried-1-oz/513fceb575b8dbbc21001a83

https://www.thekitchn.com/is-it-ok-to-eat-watermelon-seeds-233815

https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/news/a50326/why-you-should-stop-throwing-out-watermelon-seeds/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/#:~:text=Magnesium%20is%20a%20nutrient%20that,protein%2C%20bone%2C%20and%20DNA.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/#:~:text=Iron%20is%20a%20mineral%20that,iron%20to%20make%20some%20hormones.

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/best-watermelon-seed-benefits

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2000/may00/h5may00.html#:~:text=When%20the%20tetraploid%20plant%20is,and%20it%20produces%20seedless%20watermelons.

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