Q: Visiting friends abroad, I learned melon seeds can be eaten. Are they useful for something and how to consume them?
A: Melon is an annual plant of the gourd family. Famous doctors had used this juicy fruit for treatment of numerous diseases as early as Ancient Times, and the Arabs considered it as one of the heaven’s fruits in the Middle Ages.
Melon is often overlooked for its richness of the carotenoid vitamin A, because of its more pastel color compared to the bright colors of oranges for example.
A recent study held by Californian scientists finds out that the content of beta-carotene may reach levels up to 3138 mcg (per 100 g fresh weight), and this is around 30 times more than the content of beta-carotene in fresh oranges. It contains also up to 30 mg of vitamin C, folic acid, pectin and various aromatic compounds.
The abundance of potassium, which is valid for the whole gourd family, promote the strong diuretic properties of melon that makes it quite useful for kidney diseases.
Melon seeds possess at least the same curable value, no matter most of us discard them. To start with a good news for vegetarians and vegans – the small seeds are unusual source of protein.
A study, published in “Science” proves that the protein content of melon seeds is comparable to that of soy milk. The abundance of fibers is another peculiarity that makes them particularly suitable in impaired digestion and constipation. Melon seeds are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins A, C and E, as well as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The natural medicine often uses infusions from the seeds as a diuretic mean in renal diseases. The regular washing with chilled decoction has a rejuvenating and whitening effect on the face.
So, eat melon but don’t throw its seeds! You have several options for them:
- Eat them raw!
- Bake them in the oven and you’ll get a healthy snack.
- Add them to your morning smoothie. This is a perfect way to consume them. They are great additive for fruit and green smoothies!