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Safe to eat watermelon seeds?

  1. Nov 22, 2005 #1


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    With the advent of the amazing japanese watermelon, I am eating more watermelon now. I recently had two friends undergo appendictomies. Makes me wonder, are these watermelon seeds contributing to my appendictomal (??, sounded good) health? What about the underdeveloped white ones as opposed to the black ones? Also, how do the white ones pass through the digestive system in comparison to the black ones?
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  3. Nov 22, 2005 #2
    No, watermelon seeds do not pose any health risks. Fruited plants like watermelon, apples, etc are evolutionarily "designed"* to be eaten by animals such as deer, mice, birds, or even you. The idea is that grazing animals will eat the watermelon, seeds and all, and then pass the seeds out unharmed in the feces. The animal has thus spread the seed to a new area and even surrounded it in fertilizer.

    So you see, eating is watermelon seeds isn't just safe, but is a part of the natural life cycle of the watermelon. You are in no danger. Eat up!

    *-- not to imply intelligent design, of course.
  4. Nov 22, 2005 #3


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    I have eaten seeds and nuts, and I have never has a problem with appendicitis. Seeds usually pass right through, unless one chews them into small peices, and then only the indigestible portion (e.g. husk) passes through.

    So, AFAIK, it is safe to eat wartermelon seeds.
  5. Nov 23, 2005 #4


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    In traditional Chinese medicine, eating watermelon seeds is supposed to be
    good for the kidneys. http://faculty.che.umn.edu/fscn/Ted_Labuza/PDF_files/OthersPapers/BlackFoods3B&W.pdf [Broken]. Watermelon seeds are also mentioned in Native American tradition as medicinal.

    Watermelon is a member of the Curcurbit or Latin Curcurbitaceae family, which include cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin as well as watermelon. They are so closely related, many can crossbreed with each other. I've enjoyed eating pumpkin and squash seeds (dry roasted) and available in the healthy section of your market. That would also lead me to believe that watermelon seeds would not be harmful.

    BlueNoteM3's comments about eating them and their role in seed dissemination has merrit.. The surface of the seeds are slippery and most would slide down your gut along with the fruit and pass right through you. However, not all seeds are harmless. For instance you can get
    http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/greenline/i1250_384.html#11 [Broken] from chewing and eating apple seeds. They contain cyanogenic glycosides which will hydrolyze to cyanide. (though an adult would need to consume a cup of apple seeds to be fatal) . (I've heard of this before). Apricot seeds also contain these poisonous glycosides. Other seeds (kernels inside the pit) you should avoid chewing include: cherry, nectarine, peach and plum.

    So why don't we see more people dying or getting sick or dying from eating those seeds?
    Because we don't normally try to eat the pits of stone fruits. If you did consume apple seeds, most likely they would be whole and pass right through your digestive tract.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. Nov 23, 2005 #5
    The danger in swallowing watermelon seeds is that the seed may take root in the stomach and grow another watermelon there. At first this might not seem so bad since it's like eating an entire watermelon and not have to share it with anyone. However, when that thing starts to make its way down your small intestines, it will be like a watermelon making its way down your small intestines. Ouch. If I were you, I'd stick with grapes.
  7. Nov 23, 2005 #6


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    :rofl: Funny guy.. The http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio104/atom-h2o.htm alone, would inhibit growth of new plant tissue. The pH in your gut is between 1 - 3. Inside the intestines, it is not there long enough to germinate. Even if it did, it becomes crushed and flushed out before doing any damage. The seed's best protection for survival, until it reaches a habitable medium, is its seed-coat.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
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