You like the cantaloupe juicy, refreshing and sweet pulp, don’t you? But you discard the ‘unwanted’ seeds inside. Some cantaloupes in market often come seedless. This article will throw light on some unknown benefits of cantaloupe seeds which will compel you think before discarding them.
Small cantaloupe seeds are packed with nutrients. It is the reason why dry cantaloupe seeds have been consumed as snack food in many parts of developing world. Roasted muskmelon seeds are a healthy crunchy snacking alternative. The seeds don’t have any fragrance, but sweet nutty taste. Dried cantaloupe seeds are often used in baking, salads, confectionery and even beverages.
Nutritional value of cantaloupe seeds
Just like any seeds, cantaloupe seeds are packed with necessary nutrients which help the seed grow into a plant. They are packed with fatty acids, necessary proteins and micronutrients. Muskmelon seeds contain
The cantaloupe seeds contain about 40-45% fat by weight, 30-35% of protein, 8-10% of carbohydrate and balance fibers and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acid Linoleic acid and oleic acid forms majority of the fat. The cantaloupe seeds also contain micronutrients such as selenium, potassium, copper and zinc. The seeds are also rich in fat soluble vitamin E (Tocopherol).
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Health benefits of cantaloupe seeds
Cantaloupe seeds offer varied benefits as a result of its nutritional profile. Its medicinal properties as Vermifuge, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic, hepatoprotective and renal protective results in wide range of health benefits. Some of these benefits are discussed here.
Alternate protein source
Around 30% of the seed contains fat. A research in Iran tried to find alternative to soya milk with cantaloupe seed extract. The research found the beverage made from cantaloupe pulp and seed extract closer to milk in nutrient profile. The study suggested its use as alternate to soya milk and be used in infant formulations. Protein content is helpful in promoting and maintaining tissue growth. Consuming cantaloupe seeds can ensure healthy growth of hair and nails.
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Excellent source of fat soluble vitamins and minerals
Muskmelon seeds contain considerable amount of fat soluble vitamins including Vitamin A and vitamin E. Both vitamins enhance the antioxidant activity of cantaloupe seeds. It can help in prevention of oxidative diseases like macular degeneration in eye, cardio vascular diseases and even cancer. Cantaloupe seeds are good source of potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. These minerals help regulate blood pressure, improve bone structure and reduce chances of diabetes.
Benefits of cantaloupe seed for intestinal system
Initial studies suggest muskmelon seeds can help expel parasitic worms in Intestine (vermifuge). Eating these seeds can get rid of these parasites which rob body of nutrients. With adequate fiber content, these seeds are also believed to aid digestion.
Cantaloupe seeds benefit heart
Cantaloupe seeds contain good proportion of healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are helpful for your heart. It helps in protecting from cardiovascular diseases and aids heart function. Further studies have confirmed antioxidant nature of muskmelon seed which help protect heart from oxidative stress and resulting disorders. Mineral content in cantaloupe seeds help in reducing blood pressure and prevent cardiac dysfunction.
Cantaloupe seeds and weight loss?
Fat rich cantaloupe seeds cannot be a weight losing snack. However, high fiber content in the seeds makes it a healthy snacking alternative. Studies have suggested diuretic properties of cantaloupe seeds which help in reducing retained water in body and regulate blood pressure.
Stress relief and Cantaloupe seeds
It is believed that applying paste of musk melon seeds to forehead can help relieve tension, stress and headache. However, no scientific evidence is available in this regards. However, enjoying muskmelon juice and snacking roasted seeds is indeed refreshing.
Cantaloupe seeds for kidney
In Pakistan, muskmelon seed are used in treating kidney disorders. Initial studies have showed that phytonutrients in seeds have renal protective properties. Vitamin E in cantaloupe seeds offer antioxidant properties which help in protecting kidney from free radicals. Further diuretic and antiulcer properties of cantaloupe seeds support its traditional use for treating kidney problems.
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Other medicinal properties of Muskmelon seeds
Studies with various extract of cantaloupe seeds have suggested various additional properties. It is found to possess analgesic property which helps in providing pain relief. It is also found that the seed extract has anti microbial properties and can be used in development of potential medicines against selective microbes. Methanol based extract of cantaloupe seed showed property to reduce and prevent ulcers which can be used in treatment of stomach ulcers. Studies have found that phytochemicals in muskmelon seed can help increase immunity, protect liver and kidney with antioxidant properties. An animal study found that the seed extract was effective in treating drug induced diabetic rats. Oil extracted from muskmelon seeds is used just like watermelon seed oil as ingredient in cosmetics applications.
How to eat muskmelon seeds?
We are sure you must have realized that the seeds are indeed healthy and must be eaten. However next question – How? There are several ways to consume muskmelon seeds and incorporating them in your diet.
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Easiest is to eat them raw in your salad or fruit serving. They enhance taste and add crunchiness to salad. You can also separate the seeds, dry and roast them. These dry roasted seeds are an addictive munching option. Adding cantaloupe seeds to smoothies can alter taste and make them thick. Similarly, seeds can be used to thicken soup, stews and gravies. Roasted seeds are also used in breads, buns, sweet fudge. In India, roasted muskmelon seeds are used as mouth fresheners along with seeds of fennel, cardamom, ajwain and other spices. Look out for Nisha’s recipe of making spicy snack from muskmelon seeds.
So to conclude, muskmelon seeds are packed with nutrients which offer wide health benefits. Munching cantaloupe seeds can offer your multiple benefits to your body. So think before you discard them next.