NUTRITIONAL CONTENT/ VALUE AND BENEFITS OF MELON SEEDS(EGUSI)
Melon seed (egusi) is a popular food crop in Nigeria and other African countries that comes with lots of health benefits which are vital for children, young and old, men and women.
Melon seed is popularly or locally called Egusi, and is fortified with essential minerals and vitamins which promotes eye vision, improves the skin and hair, and other numerous benefits it offers.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT/ VALUE OF EGUSI
Egusi (melon seed) is packed with many vital and beneficial nutrients which are good for the body and these nutrients are not limited to protein, potassium, vitamin B1, sulphur, fats, calcium, magnesium, carbohydrate, zinc, copper, vitamins A, E and C, manganese, dietary fibre and more.
|Per 100g serving|
|Unsaturated Fatty Acid||50%|
|Saturated Fatty Acid (Stearic and Palmitic acid)||50%|
Melon Seed (Egusi) and its Derivatives
Melon seed is widely grown and used in West Africa, and its seed is well-known to be rich in fat as well as protein. In Nigeria, it is used mostly in the preparation of delicious food delicacy known as Egusi Soup, and in some cases can be used in thickening soups.
Melon seed has high oil content and because of this it can be processed into oil and can serve as a vegetable oil in cooking, it can also be roasted and ground into butter or even so be used as a snack.
It can also serve as one of the supplement for baby’s food especially in places where there is malnutrition.
Truly, egusi contains nutrients that are good for the body, but as it applies to almost all food crops, the intake of egusi should be moderate.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF EGUSI
Below are some of the health benefits of Melon Seed which is good for the human health:
The vitamins in melon seed provide exceptional benefits to the human body, the presence of vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) makes the fats and oil in the body to undergo the process of metabolism and is also good for improving appetite.
Improves the Skin
The vitamins such as vitamin E as well as others help in improving the skin and making it stay healthy as well, and these vitamins in most cases are used in the production of skin care products such as soap because of its benefits to the skin.
Egusi seed contains alpha-tocopherol which does not only act an antioxidant but also as a vitamin E, as it helps also in improving the skin and prevent ageing (anti-ageing properties) by reducing wrinkles, dry skin and other, and is used for various dermatology purposes.
Owing to its antioxidant properties it helps to prevent cells from damage due to the oxidization processes in the body which helps in the prevention of ulcer and other health condition which are caused by the oxidation processes in the body.
Helps in Digestion
Its content of dietary fibre is also good for the body due to its ability to aid digestion thereby preventing any form of a digestive disorder such as constipation and irregular bowel movement.
Vitamin A content in Egusi, as well as the oil, makes it good for consumption because of its function in the improvement of eye vision and more.
Its properties as anti-inflammatory food helps to prevent swelling in the body and reduce any cause of inflammation especially that which is linked to depression.
Methanol extract from melon seed is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory medicine for swellings and also for analgesic.
This is so because the extracts help to regulate serotonin which is released by the blood platelets to the inflamed vessels in the body which affects the immune cells which are resident in the area of inflammation thereby promoting the accumulation of neutrophils which helps fight infections that can cause inflammation.
Thromboxane which is a type of prostaglandins hormones also promotes anti-inflammatory properties and reduces inflammation and bloating which can lead to ulcer of the gastrointestinal and digestive systems thereby reducing inflammation in all areas.
Due to its ability to stop inflammation, it tries to constrict the blood vessels in the area it was released by the white blood cell which aims to reduce the destruction of the surrounding tissues thereby leading to pain, fever or headache in some cases.
They are said to be an inflammatory mediator.
Promotes Heart Health
Egusi contains a high amount of fatty acids which are “unsaturated” and this makes it beneficial for the heart as it helps in reducing the chances of heart diseases by constantly reducing the blood cholesterols which are known to be bad for the heart.
Its protein content, as well as other essential minerals and vitamins, makes it a good source of food to prevent malnutrition, and in some cases, it is often grounded and used as a supplement for baby food which provides them with the nutrients they need to growth and develop.
Good for Bones
Egusi contains minerals which are essential in the formation and development of bones such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and even phosphorous. It consumption can help alleviate some bones diseases and disorder.
Iron and other minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and even sodium helps in the blood cell formation and its regulation, and help prevent anemia and other blood related health conditions.
In as much as the nutrients are beneficial, some of them such as omega 6 fatty acid might trigger some certain health diseases such as depression and even cancer when taken in excess because of its role in increasing inflammation.
Therefore it might be supplemented with omega-3 fatty acid which does the exact opposite as it helps in the reduction of inflammation.
The fats content which is high in Egusi might also lead to excessive weight gain, therefore, adequate vegetables can be used to complement it, making the diet to be balanced.
Egusi is widely grown in Asia, Africa and other arid areas and contains lots of essential nutrients which is good for the health and skin. The nutritive value is great and should complement our daily dietary plan as it helps:
- Improves Appetite
- Prevent Anemia
- Good for Bones
- Prevents Malnutrition
- Promotes Heart Health
- Improves Vision
- Reduces Inflammation
- Helps in Digestion
- Helps in Digestion
- Antioxidant properties