You shouldn’t be eating raw seeds directly from the watermelon, because seeds should be dried first. Only then they become edible and rich in protein. Just 1/8 cup (30g) contains 10g protein, which is the same amount as in the Greek yogurt, and in addition contains a variety of minerals and other useful substances.
Watermelon seeds have a similar taste like sunflower seeds. They’re great when added to a salad, in a mixture of grains, nuts or dried fruit, or you can even nibble on them individually.
Nutritional value of watermelon seeds
Watermelon seeds are rich in protein: 1 cup of dried seeds contain 30.6 g of protein, which is 61% of the recommended daily dose. Proteins from watermelon seeds are composed of several amino acids, including arginine. Arginine helps regulate blood pressure and in the treatment of coronary heart disease. In addition to arginine, watermelon seeds also contain other proteins, such as tryptophan, glutamic acid and lysine.
Also, watermelon seeds contain a number of vitamins of the B complex. These seeds have the highest amount of niacin (1 cup of dry watermelon seeds contains 3,8mg or 19% of the recommended daily dose). Niacin is important for maintaining the health of the nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract and skin health. Other B complex vitamins in watermelon seeds are folate, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid.
As for minerals, watermelon seeds contain mainly magnesium (556mg or 139% of the recommended daily dose in 1 cup of dry seeds). Manganese assists in regulating the pressure and the metabolism of carbohydrates, which has a favorable effect on the blood sugar level. Other important minerals in watermelon seeds are phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, copper, manganese and zinc.
In one cup of dried watermelon seeds there is even 51g of fat (11g saturated). Other fats are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-6 fatty acids. Mono and polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol, and omega-6 fatty acids help in lowering high blood pressure.
How to roast watermelon seeds
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, arrange the seeds on a baking paper and bake for about 15 minutes. To be crispy, stir them once halfway baking. If you want them to be crispy, stir them once during baking.
Sprouted watermelon seeds
Sprouted seeds are often richer in nutrients than seed that are not sprouted. These seeds have increased amount of nutrients and make the food easier to digest. Unsprouted seeds are rich in protein, vitamin B complex, magnesium and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.