Watermelon seeds – A vital source for essential nutrients

watermelonBy Chinyere OGBONNA – Certain fruits and vegetables fulfil your fluid requirements. Some fruits & vegetable have high water content. One of such fruits is watermelon. Your body cannot function properly without enough water, which comprises 60 percent of your body weight. Water helps transport oxygen, fat and glucose to your working muscles, regulate your body temperature, digest food and eliminate waste products. Besides water, certain fruits and vegetables also fulfil your fluid requirements in addition to providing healthy nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. High Water Content Fruits.

Watermelon is one of the fruits that can bring the body back to life when it gets dehydrated. This is because in addition to its high-water content, it contains some essential vitamins like vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, zinc, fat and some calorie. However, it is not just the fleshy part of the fruit that provides amazing health benefits when consumed. Unknowingly to many people, watermelon seeds are packed with nutrients including fatty acids, essential proteins and lots of minerals.

Some of the many health benefits that water melon provides when eaten include: Arginine, an essential amino acids present in Watermelon seed, is believed to improve sexual health in men. Watermelon seeds are a good source of dietary fibres which helps in smooth bowel movements and treatment of constipation. The seeds are considered demulcent or a substance that relieves irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.

Lisin in watermelon seeds, are said to be essential for the forming of collagen in the body to keep our skin healthy and prevent it from aging prematurely. Experts say that oil derived from watermelon seeds is rich in fatty acids that are essential for the hair to keep it moist and safe from breakage. There are also indications that water melon seeds are rich in Vitamin B3 or niacin which increases production of ceramides and fatty acids which protects the skin. Diabetic patients can use watermelon seeds as part of their medications. This can be achieved by boiling the seeds for about 40 to 50 minutes and consumed as a beverage.

Report says that the magnesium content in water melon seeds is important for controlling the blood pressure and carbohydrate metabolism.  Watermelon and strawberries contain about 92 percent water per volume. Other fruits with high water content include grapefruit with 91 percent, cantaloupe with 90 percent and peaches with 88 percent water. Fruits containing 87 percent water by weight include pineapple, cranberries, orange and raspberries. Apricots hold 86 percent water, while blueberries and plums contain 85 percent water. The water content for apples and pears is 84 percent. Cherries and grapes contain an average of 81 percent water. And, a banana’s composition includes 74 percent water. Other High Water Content Vegetables: On top of the vegetables list are cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96 percent water. Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95 percent water. Ninety-four percent of tomato’s weight is water, and green cabbage is 93 percent water. Vegetables that contain 92 percent water include cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers and spinach. Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight. Additional healthy hydrating foods include carrots with 87 percent water and green peas and white potatoes with 79 percent water.

Reaching for a watermelon or cucumber after finishing an intense workout may hydrate your body twice as effectively as a glass of water, claims a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. This is so because water-rich fruits and vegetables also provide you with natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins that are lost in exercise. The study found that this combination helps hydrate you more effectively than water or sports drinks. Eating fruits and vegetables high in water content can replenish your body without all the artificial colours and flavours commonly found in sports drinks. The biggest advantage of consuming high water content foods is that they contain minimal calories and provide a feeling of fullness.

Suggestions: Eat four servings of fruits and five servings of vegetables per day as they may help reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases in addition to providing your body with fluids, reports Rush University Medical Centre. Substitute water-based foods for high-calorie foods to subtract calories and fat from your diet. But take care not to consume too many fruits as they do contain calories. If you have been in the habit of throwing your water melon seeds away, now you know it’s benefits, don’t just eat the reddish part. Begin to see the need to make proper use of the watermelon seeds as one of your beverages.