Although many people spit them out — or simply buy seedless watermelons — watermelon seeds can also contribute to a healthy diet. Like many other seeds and nuts, watermelon seeds provide a source of healthy unsaturated fat. The seeds’ main benefits, though, come from their mineral content. Consume roasted watermelon seeds as a source of essential minerals to help maintain healthy tissue and prevent disease.
Roasted watermelon seeds come packed with iron. Just an ounce of seeds contains approximately 2 milligrams of iron — 25 percent of the recommended daily iron intake for men and 11 percent of the RDA for women, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Iron helps you make hemoglobin and myoglobin, proteins that help transport and store oxygen in your tissues. Iron also promotes liver function and nourishes your immune system.
Roasted watermelon seeds provide a source of magnesium. Magnesium supports your metabolism so that your cells can produce the energy they need for day-to-day functioning. It also helps your body store energy by helping you make lipids, aids in cell migration and plays a role in cell communication. Each ounce of roasted watermelon seeds provides you with 146 milligrams of magnesium — 35 percent of the RDA for men and 46 percent for women, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Roasted watermelon seeds nourish your hair and skin because of their copper content. You need copper to produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin and hair their color, and also helps protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. It keeps your connective tissue strong and resistant to damage and promotes healthy nervous system function. Watermelon seeds’ copper content also plays a role in iron transport, so it can be used to make hemoglobin. An ounce of roasted watermelon seeds boosts your copper intake by 192 micrograms and provides 21 percent of the RDA, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Serving Tips and Considerations
Try making seasoned roasted seeds at home — a sprinkle of cinnamon or a mix of lime juice and chili powder are two flavorful options. Add some crunch to your salad with a handful of seeds, or use roasted watermelon seeds along with dried fruit in home-made trail mix. If you opt for pre-roasted watermelon seeds, make sure to check the nutrition label before you buy — seeds roasted in oil and seasoned with salt might come loaded with unwanted fat and sodium. Eat your roasted watermelon seeds in the same meal as fruits and vegetables, since vitamin C — a nutrient found in many fruits and veggies — helps your body better absorb the iron in the seeds. Citrus fruits, red peppers, raspberries and strawberries all provide considerable amounts of vitamin C to boost iron absorption.
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