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Can Eating Watermelon Seeds Be the Ultimate Secret to a Guaranteed Pregnancy Miracle?

Updated: Jan 26

Dark haired woman wearing a white v-nect T shirt and eating watermelon
Photo credit: Anfisa Eremina via Pexels

I first heard about the connection between watermelon seeds and pregnancy from my grandmother. I was a young, naïve child at the time. My granny was a wise old woman.


I’d sit quietly at her oval, behemoth dining table waiting for her to serve my juicy slice of watermelon.


The table was adorned with a thick, plastic, 50s-style, kitcheny-like tablecloth. It was basically an oversized picnic table cover. It reminded me of the colorful, flowy muumuus Mrs. Roper wore on that old TV show called Three’s Company. But it was perfect for eating a drippy melon wedge with my bare hands – letting the fruit’s sticky nectar trickle down and dribble from my elbows.


Flowers and birdhouses were printed on one side of the cloth and a soft, white, cottony layer completed the underside. The tablecloth was worn from years' worth of meals served to every family member and vagrant who happened by.


I think if you were to hold the tablecloth up to the light you’d be able to identify a new constellation pattern from all the holes caused by careless cigarette burns.


Every man who visited Granny’s house invariably smoked like a chimney.


I sat underneath the flickering fluorescent lights, listening to the hum of the magnetic ballasts. Granny would slash her way through the veil of cigarette smoke as she delivered the much-anticipated watermelon delicacy. As she set the melon on the table in front of me, she’d lean down to whisper in my ear, “Be very careful when eating watermelon. Don't swallow the seeds," she'd say. "You'll get pregnant."


What in the actual H E double hockey sticks did she just say?


Pregnant?


First of all, people didn’t say the word pregnant back then. Nuh-uh. That was taboo.


Tsk, tsk, tsk. For shame, Granny. For shaaaame.


The adults referred to this female condition as P.G.


I have no idea why. Maybe parents thought they were being sneaky by abbreviating the pregnancy word in front of children.


Second, I was six years old. What did I know about pregnancy – or being P.G.? What did I know about the dangers of swallowing watermelon seeds?


NOTHING.


What a scary situation for a little kid to think about.


Holy cow, Grandma. I just went from 6 to 60 faster than you can say, “Bob’s your uncle.”


Forget the watermelon. Pass me the Geritol, give me a shot of Milk of Magnesia, and bring me my cane.


I took Granny’s guidance seriously.


I avoided eating melons as much as possible. No way was I going to risk explaining a pregnancy predicament to my parents at six years old. And when I was eventually brave enough to indulge in this summertime treat again, I used caution. I carefully examined each bite for a hidden cache of seeds before eating.


But is there any truth to my wise ol’ Granny’s watermelon warning? Was I the victim of watermelon folklore humor? Or did my grandmother have an inherent knowledge of watermelon seed benefits? After all, she had given birth to seven children.


Maybe she was onto something.


Okay, you've gotten this far. Please hear me out.


I admit, I was skeptical too.


Sorry Grandma!


Nutrients of Watermelon Seeds

old woman in a white shirt wearing glasses and a red and yellow wide brimmed hat
Photo credit: unknown

To determine the accuracy of Granny’s unusual advice, let's dissect the nutritional value of watermelon seeds. According to Penn State University [1], a collection of watermelon seeds contain the following nutrients:


Protein


These little watermelon seeds are packed with protein. About 30.6 grams per cup. Who knew?


Apparently Granny.


I need to remember this tidbit about protein for my backpacking trips.


You gym rats may want to add a watermelon seed reminder to your list of workout protein supplements.


B Vitamins


Watermelon seeds contain several of the B vitamins, including:


  • Thiamin (B1)

  • Riboflavin (B2)

  • Niacin (B3)

  • Pantothenic acid (B5)

  • Folate (B9)

Of this list, niacin is the most crucial. A cup of watermelon seeds contains 3.8 grams and supplies 19% of the daily recommended amount of niacin.


Minerals


Watermelon seeds also carry the following minerals:


  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Iron

  • Potassium

  • Sodium

Magnesium is listed first for a good reason. One cup of watermelon seeds contains 556 mg of magnesium. This is 139% of the daily recommended amount.


Fats


There are 51 grams of fat per cup of watermelon seeds. This includes monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-6 fatty acids.

Benefits of Watermelon Seeds and Their Nutrients

Triangular shaped watermelon pieces on a blue board background. Sprinkling of watermelon seeds surround the pieces.
Photo credit: Disha Sheta via Pexels

Watermelon seed nutrients play an important role in human health. According to Northwestern Health Sciences University [2], the vitamins and minerals of watermelon seeds provide the following benefits:


  • Energy production

  • Better nerve function

  • DNA and protein synthesis

  • Blood pressure regulation

  • Decreased risk for cancer

  • Decreased risk for depression

  • Protects against heart attack

  • Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL)

  • Decreased risk for stroke

Granny was almost 90 years old when she passed. She was still living at home with Gramps and enjoying her normal crocheting activities until a couple of months before her death.


I don’t know if eating watermelon seeds had anything to do with her longevity. But it sure makes me wonder.


How Watermelon Seeds Impact a Woman's Reproductive Health

Two men and one woman all wearing glasses and white lab coats looking at a computer screen
Photo credit: National Cancer Institute

It’s no medical mystery that optimum nutritional health is best for a woman when trying to conceive. I would venture to guess most women do not give much thought to nutrition before conception.


Once a test confirms pregnancy, the dietary changes begin. A woman trying to conceive may want to proactively revisit her eating habits for the consideration of watermelon seeds.


A study performed by analysts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School revealed supporting results. Their research found the nutrients listed above had a positive effect on fertility. [3]


Additional advice from the National University of Natural Medicine suggests the importance of balancing hormones and consuming organic foods. The method includes a diet rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.


Sound familiar?


Didn’t I just outline the information for protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals found in watermelon seeds?


Yep, sure did.


The recommendations previously mentioned also explain the benefits of nutrition on fertility. These benefits include the following [4]:


  • Providing ideal progesterone levels

  • Decreasing inflammation

  • Supporting menstrual cycles

  • Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs

  • Promoting estrogen balance

Granny’s advice seems to be on the right path for a connection between watermelon seeds and pregnancy. Since we’ve established Granny’s accuracy in her wisdom, let’s look further into preparing, eating, and storing these little miracle workers.


Preparing the Watermelon Seeds

close up photo of chopped watermelon with seeds and rind
Photo credit: Floh Keitgen

How each person preps and consumes watermelon seeds gets mixed reviews. There doesn’t appear to be any right or wrong way of eating watermelon seeds.


Some advice suggests roasting.


Other tips include sprouting the seeds before eating.


I suppose the deciding vote depends on the preference of the person who is laboring to prepare the seeds – and of the palate of the person who is consuming the seeds.


The result may rank right up there with the famous debate of “Tastes great” vs. “Less filling.”


I've included both methods below to help you decide which process is best for you.


Roasting seeds[5]


The roasting watermelon seeds method involves a process much like roasting pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.


Squirrel moment: Why didn’t Granny warn me about these other seed varieties?


Anyway, here’s what you’ll need to do for the roasting method:


  • Remove the black watermelon seeds from the melon.

  • Wash the seeds to remove any leftover melon flesh.

  • Dry the seeds on a towel.

  • Ensure good airflow for the driest possible seeds.

  • Drying seeds is beneficial for getting the best crunchiness.

  • Once the seeds are dry, add a couple of tablespoons of oil.

  • Use a high smoke-tolerance oil such as olive or avocado oil.

  • Coat the seeds thoroughly.

  • Spread the seeds on a baking sheet.

  • Sprinkle the seeds with salt or other seasonings of your choice.

  • Put the baking sheet of seeds in a preheated 375-degree oven.

  • The roasting won’t take long - 10 or 15 minutes should be enough time.

  • Watch the seeds carefully to make sure they don't burn.

  • Remove from the oven and allow seeds to cool - they get crispier as they cool.

These nutritious seeds are great for snacks, salads, and trail mixes. Store the seeds in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. Remove the shells of seeds like sunflower seeds when eating.


Let the spitting begin.


Of course, there will always be those people who eat both the shell and inner seed together. But those people obviously enjoy gnawing on cacti, toothpicks, and Granny’s pin cushion full of pins.


I vote for removing the shells of watermelon seeds.


Your gums and guts will thank you.


But you do you.


Sprouting seeds[5]


The sprouting watermelon seeds method is a longer process. The extra labor and time boost the nutritional value of the seeds. This process also makes the seeds creamier and tastier.

  • Remove the black seeds from the melon.

  • Wash the seeds to remove any leftover melon flesh.

  • Add the seeds to a mason jar.

  • Fill the jar with warm water to cover all of the seeds.

  • Place cheesecloth over the opening of the jar.

  • Secure the cheesecloth in place with a lid ring, but do not include the lid.

  • Leave the jar for a few days until the seeds begin to sprout about 1/4th inch.

  • Pour out the contents of the jar into a strainer.

  • Rinse the seeds with cool water.

  • Dry the seeds completely with either method below.

    • Place the seeds in a 200-degree oven for two hours.

    • Place the seeds in a dehydrator until dry.

  • Eat the sprouted seeds within three or four days.


**Caution:** Sprouts are prone to bacteria such as E. coli. To avoid illness, thoroughly wash your hands and all equipment used in the sprouting method process. If you buy a watermelon instead of growing it yourself, choose wisely. Buying an organic melon from a store or reputable farmer is ideal. This also aids in reducing potential contamination.


Eating seeds should be an opportunity to expand your dietary nutritional intake. If you’re uncertain of which preparation to use, it seems the roasting method makes more sense for safety reasons.


E. Coli contamination isn’t something to play around with.


I cast another vote in the direction of the roasted seeds method.


But, as I said before…you do you.


Are You Ready to Take My Granny’s Advice?


I have no doubt my wise ol’ granny was pulling a bit of a prank on me. But as you’ve read, there’s some truth to this time-tested debate.


Folklore or not, there is no disputing the nutritional benefits of watermelon seeds. Those benefits produce a healthier body. And a healthier body is ideal for supporting pregnancy.


I can’t say there's a direct cause and effect between eating watermelon seeds and getting pregnant. However, a more robust body and immune system may very well result in a higher fertility rate.


Plus, I didn’t even mention the part about watermelon seeds impacting testosterone levels. What do I know about testosterone? Am I even allowed to say testosterone?


I wonder what Granny would say about all of this. She’d probably lean down and whisper,


“Go ahead.


Eat those watermelon seeds.


You could be eating for two!”












Resources:


Cover photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio

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