Can You Eat Watermelon Seeds? How Much Cyanide Do They Have?

When you hear “watermelon,” you probably think of a sweet, juicy, red fruit. 

But did you know it also has seeds? 

Watermelon seeds are just like any other seed but are edible and nutritious. 

They are often the most sought-after part of a watermelon because they taste delightful. 

Some believe it helps reduce high blood pressure and prevent other chronic conditions. 

There are many reasons why people eat watermelon seeds. 

Some people like to eat them because they are a source of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and calcium. Other people eat them because they are a source of minerals not found in other foods, such as selenium, phosphorous, and potassium.

Can you eat watermelon seeds? 

Yes, watermelon seeds are edible, so you don’t have to avoid eating them. Interestingly, they provide nutrition and flavor. People enjoy them in various ways, such as by roasting or boiling them.

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What happens if you eat watermelon seeds?

Usually, nothing bad happens when you eat watermelon seeds. The seeds will be broken down and digested in your gut passing through the intestine without harming and coming out with other waste material. So nothing terrible will happen if you swallow a watermelon seed accidentally. 

There are popular questions online, such as can you swallow black watermelon seeds,

is it ok to eat white watermelon seeds, and can you eat watermelon seeds? 

The answer to all these questions is Yes. Therefore, it is safe to chew and swallow watermelon seeds in moderation. Interestingly, there are even health benefits to having watermelon seeds in your diet. 

However, watermelon seeds can be toxic to some people, and it is essential to be careful about what you eat because of cyanide in seeds like apple seeds. 

How much cyanide is in watermelon seeds?

Watermelon seeds contain minimal non-toxic amounts of cyanide, about  0.79 to 0.01 milligrams of cyanide in every 100 grams of seeds.

People with allergies should avoid eating watermelon seeds because they contain the same allergen as watermelon. It is also a good idea to avoid eating watermelon seeds if you are pregnant because they may have a minimal risk of miscarriage.  

How does watermelon with seeds compare to watermelon without seeds?

Seeded watermelon contains hard black seeds, while seedless watermelon often has very soft and pliant edible seeds that sometimes are not easily visible. But both seeded and seedless still have significant health benefits and are nutritious. 

Are there any benefits of eating watermelon seeds?

Do watermelon seeds have nutritional value? Yes, according to data from the USDA Food Data, about 30 g of watermelon seeds contains: 

  • 4.34 g carbohydrates
  • 146 mg magnesium
  • 214 mg phosphorus
  • 184 mg potassium
  • 158 kcals
  • 8 g protein
  • 13.4 g fat
  • 15.3 mg calcium
  • 2.06 mg iron
  • 2.9 mg zinc
  • 16.4 mcg folate 

So, what are watermelon seeds good for? Although they are not often eaten, there are several health benefits of consuming highly nutritious watermelon seeds: 

  • The lycopene in watermelon seed has been studied to have potent anti-cancer properties, and there’s evidence that it works against prostate cancer to some extent.
  • Watermelon seeds promote hair and skin health because they contain many essential fatty acids and minerals. For instance, watermelon seeds are full of magnesium which helps to improve your overall skin appearance. In addition, manganese in the seeds helps to prevent hair fall and damage.
  • In addition to providing a rich source of magnesium, these foods are also high in a variety of beneficial nutrients that benefit the entire body, which includes the brain and the heart.
  • Watermelon seeds act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and vasodilator (widening of blood vessels), which is a probable reason for their usefulness in a healthy heart.
  • The seeds contain manganese, phosphorus, potassium, protein, folate, and essential fatty acids, which benefit bone growth and help strengthen the hair and overall well-being. 
  • Watermelon levels are rich in micronutrients that help boost and maintain your energy for extended periods.
  • Watermelon seeds are a rich source of vitamin B, which helps to keep your brain and nervous system healthy.
  • Watermelon contains a high amount of zinc essential for the male reproductive system.
  • The seeds can help lower blood sugar levels if you are suffering from blood sugar level fluctuations and aid in diabetes treatment. 
  • Watermelon seeds are packed with iron and minerals, which enhance immune functions.
  • Unlike processed foods, watermelon and its seeds are not high-risk and are free of long-term health risks for most people. 

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How to eat watermelon seeds

As mentioned before, some great health benefits are associated with watermelon seeds. But how can you consume them? 

There are several ways people enjoy watermelon seeds: 

  • Snack: Watermelon seeds are a great snack as they can be tasty and crunchy. They will give you a lot of energy and help you feel fuller for longer, so they are great to have on hand when trying to lose weight.
  • Salad: They can be added to salads to enhance the diversity and texture of your diet. They are even found in some recipes. 
  • Tea: Tea from watermelon seeds helps lower blood sugar, regulates metabolic processes, and helps control blood pressure. However, with watermelon seed tea, side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion can result from excessive intake.
  • Roasted seeds: Some people roast the seeds and add them to casseroles, stir-fries, soups, and stews.
  • Boiled seeds: Some people cook them before eating them to make them softer. 
  • Dried seeds: Some soak the seeds in water, put them in a dehydrator, dry them in the sun, and make them into a powder, or use it in their dry form.  

Although you can eat the seeds raw, it is better to process them before eating, especially if you intend to take large quantities. Another reason is that after 48 hours, seeds left in the watermelon may have a greater risk of contamination.


Watermelon seeds are edible and can be consumed in many ways, such as as a snack, in salads, and in casseroles. In addition, watermelon seeds provide many health benefits since they are high in fiber and full of nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, and iron.

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  1. Oyenihi, O. R., Afolabi, B. A., Oyenihi, A. B., & Ojo, G. B. (2022). Toxicity assessment of watermelon seed supplemented diet in rats. Drug and chemical toxicology, 45(4), 1891–1898.
  2. Manivannan, A., Lee, E. S., Han, K., Lee, H. E., & Kim, D. S. (2020). Versatile Nutraceutical Potentials of Watermelon-A Modest Fruit Loaded with Pharmaceutically Valuable Phytochemicals. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(22), 5258. 
  3. Schagen, S. K., Zampeli, V. A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 298–307. 
  4. Al Alawi, A. M., Majoni, S. W., & Falhammar, H. (2018). Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. International journal of endocrinology, 2018, 9041694. 
  5. Patel, S., & Rauf, A. (2017). Edible seeds from Cucurbitaceae family as potential functional foods: Immense promises, few concerns. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 91, 330–337.

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