Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Patrick . Patrick Wonders, “Do you really grow a watermelon inside you if you swallow a seed?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Patrick !
On a hot summer day, there's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into the sweet, juicy fruit of a watermelon. Cool, light, and delicious, a big pink slice of watermelon really hits the spot when you're hungry for a treat.
As you bite into a chunk of watermelon, you can feel the juices squirt around your mouth as you chew the tender fruit. Your taste buds feel like there's a party in your mouth. Before you realize what's happening, though, a seed slips into your throat. Gulp! Down it goes. Oh no! What now?
If you're like many children, you may have heard an old tale that goes something like this: if you swallow a watermelon seed, a watermelon will grow in your belly. Oh no! What will it feel like? What happens when it's fully ripe?
If you happen to swallow a watermelon seed or two, there's no need to worry. The old tale about a watermelon growing from a seed into a full-size fruit inside your belly is just a myth.
The truth is that watermelon seeds — and other fruit seeds — will simply sail through your digestive system and be eliminated from your body over the course of a day or so. To grow into a fruit, watermelon seeds need to be planted in dirt where they can get the nutrients they need to grow. Your stomach, full of its acidic digestive juices, is not a hospitable place for plants to grow.
Even though they won't grow into a watermelon in your belly, many people still avoid eating watermelon seeds. If you diligently pick out the seeds from your slice of watermelon, that's fine. You can save them up for a watermelon seed-spitting contest!
You've probably noticed that most watermelon seeds are black or a dark brown, red, or tan color. A few of the smaller seeds, though, are white. What's the difference between these seeds? It's simply a matter of maturity.
All watermelon seeds begin as small, white seeds. Over time, they grow into the larger, darker seeds you're used to seeing inside a watermelon. Depending upon when a watermelon is harvested, a certain percentage of seeds may not yet be mature, which is why you see a few small, white seeds mixed in with the darker ones.
If you don't want to pick out all the seeds when you're eating watermelon, that's fine. Swallowing a few seeds certainly won't hurt you. In fact, watermelon seeds can be quite nutritious. The key, though, is not to swallow them whole while you're enjoying your watermelon.
Instead, you should save the seeds so that they can be sprouted, shelled, and dried—doing so makes a seed's nutrients easier for your body to absorb. You can do this yourself, or you can buy shelled and dried watermelon seeds online or in some stores.
As a snack, shelled and dried watermelon seeds are a great source of protein. A single, one-ounce serving contains 10 grams of protein. They also contain a variety of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B, magnesium, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.