Studies show watermelon seeds fight cancer, protect the heart and increase sperm count! Plus seeded watermelons are sweeter than seedless!
Watermelon seeds are being touted as a new “superfood” after several recent studies show they are loaded with cancer-fighting, heart-health-promoting, blood-sugar-balancing nutrients.
While Americans grew up learning to spit the seeds out – thanks, in part, to old wives tales about watermelons growing in their stomachs – the Chinese and other cultures save and roast them or chew them up raw.
Since the seedless watermelon was first created in the 1940’s, they’ve become so popular, you can hardly find the good old seeded kind in the store anymore.
Americans have long forgotten fruit seeds are super foods, and have hybridized the little inconveniences many of them (like grapes). Just like white bread, we’ve been conditioned to prefer foods with a smooth, non-seedy texture.
While all fruit seeds are packed with nutrition, researchers are learning watermelon seeds are particularly loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein and a heart-healthy balance of fatty acids.
A 2016 study found that watermelon seeds have a “positive impact on growth, cardio-protective effect, anti-diabetic-effect, anti-obesity , anti-ulcerogenic effect and it has also been revealed that adequate doses of watermelon seed extracts can increase sperm count.”
Another 2016 study provides a full breakdown of the seeds’ impressive nutrient profile, and notes their exceptional free-radical-scavenging antioxidant content.
“Consumption of the seeds may reduce the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases and cancers due to the appreciable amount of total phenols found in the seeds and its antioxidant activity,” the authors write.
A 2018 study finds the nutritional value of the seeds can be increased even more by sprouting, fermenting or roasting the seeds if you want to go the extra mile.
In addition to having higher nutritional value, many people argue seedy watermelons taste sweeter.
Growers of seedless watermelon assure our grandparents it’s just nostalgia that makes them think watermelon and other fruits were sweeter back when they were kids, but many watermelon lovers insist it’s true. Do a taste test for yourself.
Also, while seedless watermelons aren’t technically GMO, their creation was not as simple selective breeding. The seeds in the fruit are made sterile by doubling number of chromosomes by treating the seeds with a chemical called colchicine. Purists think of them as mutants and prefer the real, fertile deal.
Here are some delicious, heirloom, seeded varieties: