If you enjoy crunchy, salty snacks, you’ve no doubt munched on pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds at some point. It’s been a long-time favorite family tradition for my kids to scoop the goop out of a freshly grown pumpkin, then roast the seeds in the oven. So yummy! Sunflower seeds are brain food. In fact, I’ve written about their health benefits before here on the The Hot Mess press. Learning how to improve dietary choices in order to strengthen my immune system and boost overall health is a passion of mine. I hit the jackpot this week when I learned that a part of a food that most people normally discard is super healthy to eat. Want to get healthy? Stop throwing away your watermelon seeds! Eat them, instead!
It just so happens that the seeds are the most nutrient-dense part of a watermelon! All those years with all those seeds wasted as my kids and their cousins had watermelon seed spitting competitions. Ah, well, there’s something to be said for making family memories, right? So, I guess it wasn’t in vain, although if I had known then what I know now, I would have served the seeds as a snack instead of tossing them in the trash or letting the kids see how far they could spit them. lol
More magnesium can help you get healthy
Watermelon seeds are loaded with magnesium. For this reason, regular consumption is believed to help reduce the effects of anxiety. Magnesium is known to reduce anxiety, so eating watermelon seeds may help alleviate depression and reduce feelings of stress. In addition to magnesium, you can acquire a hefty dose of zinc (known to be a COVID-19 fighter!), copper, manganese, B vitamins and protein, as well.
Zinc helps your immune system and metabolism function properly. It also helps wounds heal. And, although I’m not sure exactly how, I have read that it improves the sense of taste and smell, too. People typically get zinc through red meat, chicken and fortified breakfast cereals. It’s nice to know that all you have to do is eat the seeds of a watermelon, and you’ll get plenty of zinc!
Weight loss sometimes helps you get healthy
It’s never good to be obsessed with your weight to the point that you develop an eating disorder. Stressing over your weight can spark low self-esteem or other adverse emotional or mental health issues. However, most of us are realistic and aware enough to know that if we are severely overweight, it can damage our health. Therefore, losing weight in such circumstances is helpful. Watermelon seeds have a lot of fiber in them. Fiber helps you feel full when you eat. They’re also low in calories, with a single handful containing approximately 23 or so.
Watermelon seeds also contain the good type of fats. These facts suggest that regularly incorporating watermelon seeds into your diet might help you get healthy AND lose weight.
What’s the best way to consume them?
The most flavorful way to eat watermelon seeds is to roast them as you would pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Toss them in a small amount of quality olive oil. You can sprinkle with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt before OR after roasting. Roasting the seeds intensifies their flavor and adds crunch, which is SO satisfying when we’re talking about a snack.
Some people prefer to add watermelon seeds to smoothies, although you’ll only want to do this if you like a little crunch in your smooth drinks. Also, even if they soften in a smoothie, they still require chewing, which you’ll want to be sure you’re doing thoroughly to avoid choking or trouble with digestion. No matter how you prepare your seeds, chew them well! If you don’t want to bother roasting them or making them into a smoothie, you can sprinkle them in a tossed salad and get the same nutritious benefits. Finally, some people dry their watermelon seeds and process them into a powder. You can keep the powder in a glass jar with a lid, then use in drinks or food recipes of all kinds.
Other food parts we normally throw away that can help us get healthy if we eat them, instead
How often do you eat the peels on your lemons or kiwis? If you said, “Never,” you’re definitely not alone. Most people discard the peels when their using lemons and kiwis. Just as watermelon seeds can be safely eaten to help you get healthy, the same goes for the peels of lemons and kiwis. You can eat them, and they’re SUPER good for you! I would just caution you to purchase organic fruit or thoroughly wash it before eating because most store-bought fruits are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
If you’re fortunate to live in an area where these fruits can grow, you might consider growing your own lemon or kiwi trees! Lemons (as in, the entire fruit, peels and all) are tremendously beneficial in warding off kidney stones. The reason is that lemons increase urinary citrate. Citrate binds with calcium. This occurrence helps prevent kidney stones.
As for kiwi peels, you can eat a kiwi like an apple! The peel is full of folate, which helps prevent anemia. A kiwi peel also has lots of antioxidants and fiber. If you just can’t get past the idea of eating the thick, tough, fuzzy peel on a kiwi, consider dicing up the whole fruit and adding to a blended drink or salad.
Before you throw food parts away, do some research. You might be surprised at how many usually-discarded-food-parts can help you get healthy!