Health Benefits of the Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin is a lush orange-colored vegetable that is dense in nutrients. Some pumpkins may have a gigantic size than most of the other vegetables. For years, pumpkins have been cultivated for commercial, cooking, and medicinal purposes. China produces the most significant amount of pumpkins annually, followed by India, Russia, and the US. Pumpkins are mostly used in Halloween decorations or to make delicious pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Most people throw away their seeds. Little that they know that these seeds are one of the healthiest things on this planet!
Pumpkin seeds are nutrient-dense. They have a white-colored husk and green skin beneath and are usually consumed after roasting or toasting. Let's face it; most of us crave snacks between meals. Instead of grabbing sugary candy bars or processed foods, the pumpkin seeds provide one of the healthiest snacking options. It satisfies your hunger as well as offers a good munching option.
In this article, you will learn about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds, recommended daily intake, the best way to eat them, and side effects.
Nutrition value of Pumpkin Seeds (Per cup)
Health Benefits of the Pumpkin Seeds
Now, you know the nutritional facts of pumpkin seeds, let's get into the details of their health goodness. After reading this, you will never throw the pumpkin seeds away.
Zinc deficiency is quite common these days. Zinc is needed in every cell throughout your body. Luckily, the pumpkin seeds have an ample amount of zinc in them. It helps to fight numerous diseases and infections. Eating these helps to boost your immunity destroying harmful bacteria and viruses. Zinc is a powerful cold fighter. One cup of pumpkin seeds contains 8mg of zinc that can strengthen your body's immunity naturally.
- Calming effect
If you have sleeping problems like insomnia, or mental issues like stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, or PMDD, pumpkin seeds can serve as a natural medicine for you. Pumpkin seeds are the number one source of magnesium, a mineral that has a soothing effect on your nerves. Magnesium helps your brain to produce melatonin that controls your sleep cycles. In addition to that, the seeds are rich in tryptophan that your brain converts into melatonin. The tryptophan element helps to reduce symptoms of many mental problems. So, pumpkin seeds serve as a fantastic remedy for mental problems with no side effects.
- Fertility and Pregnancy
Many people are facing fertility issues in recent years. Eating junk food, drinking carbonated drinks, using cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs are quite common these days and are the major contributors to fertility issues. Foods to improve men's or women's fertility must be loaded with antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds contain vitamin E, C, dietary fiber, and of course, antioxidants. Zinc present in pumpkin seeds is the best for the reproductive system and helps to conceive.
Moreover, if you are a pregnant or nursing mother, you need to get more minerals into your diet. The use of zinc from natural sources can help in the skeletal growth of your baby. Also, the nutrients found in the pumpkin seeds can help to avoid premature birth and miscarriage.
- Cramps and Inflammation
The high intake of processed white sugar, flour, or rice can cause a deficiency of magnesium levels in your body. This process results in cramps in your legs and shoulders. Pumpkin seeds help boost the magnesium levels in your body quickly and help avoid spasms, cramps, and tightness in the body's muscles. These seeds contain alpha-lipoic acid, which is an essential omega-three fatty acid, which helps to reduce soreness and inflammation throughout your body. So, say goodbye to muscle pains and cramps, the pumpkin seeds have your back!
Internal inflammation in your body results in fatal diseases like cancer. The pumpkin seeds' anti-inflammatory properties can also help lower the risk of breast, stomach, and colon cancer.
- Heart Health
Fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and many other minerals found in the pumpkin seeds do wonders for your heart health. They help to regulate blood pressure and blood circulation. The ALA in pumpkin seeds reduces the inflammation in your arteries and reduces high cholesterol levels and heart attack risk.
- Brain Health
In this competitive world, everyone is in search of a tonic to increase brain power. Studies have found that having a handful of pumpkin seeds daily can enhance your thinking ability and memory. Apart from that, it helps to increase your concentration span and is a mood enhancer. The ALA in the seeds protects your brain cells against many severe disorders like stroke. Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. It also helps to generate a stronger link between neurons, increasing the mental clarity and body functions.
- Weight loss
Obesity is a common problem that people face around the world. Now, as most people are aware that mere starving is not the answer, they look for healthy diet options. The best way to lose weight is to eat the right meals in the right portions. The pumpkin seeds have a high fiber content. Slow digesting fibers are best as they help you to feel full longer and to avoid extra munching. Also, zinc in the pumpkin seeds helps to boost your metabolism and digestion. So, a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds can serve as the best snack option whenever you have a craving.
Studies show that pumpkin seeds reduce insulin intolerance in your body, which means that they help your body absorb more nutrients and lower the risk of type2 diabetes and weight gain.
- Skin and Hair Benefits
The selenium, vitamin E, magnesium, and protein present in the pumpkin seeds can help you get a stunning face. The anti-aging properties of these nutrients help to tighten your skin and thus, to avoid wrinkles. Vitamin E locks the moisture in your skin. Also, these magic seeds have properties that not only reduce hair fall but also encourage good hair growth and texture.
The Recommended Intake of the Pumpkin Seeds
It has been shown that eating a handful or a cup of the pumpkin seeds provides an optimum amount of daily nutrients.
Ways of Eating the Pumpkin Seeds
You can purchase pumpkin seeds raw, roasted, dried, in powdered form. Many people put the powdered seeds into their smoothies. Roasted seeds are the best way to eat the seeds as a snack. You can add the seeds to your salads, oatmeals, soups, or curry.
How to roast the Pumpkin Seeds?
Take the seeds out of the pumpkin, wash, and spread them on a sheet overnight to dry and remove the excessive pulp. Also, you can buy the raw ones from the market. Take the seeds in a bowl and add olive oil and salt in it. You can season it with paprika, black pepper, or any of your favorite spice. Now spread them evenly on your baking sheet. Heat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit and roast the seeds for about 10 to 15 minutes. Don't forget to toss them in between. Crunchy seeds are ready. Keep in your mind that roasting for longer than fifteen minutes may lower its effectiveness.
The Best Way of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
Soak the pumpkin seeds in water overnight and dry them in the sun the next day. This process germinates the seeds and makes them much easier to digest. Eating them raw is best.
Can you eat Pumpkin Seeds with Shells?
Yes, you can. The shells add to the nutritional value of the seeds. They might not have the best taste in the world, but they are a rich dietary fiber source. Eating seeds with the shells will make it much more beneficial. However, it may require a lot more chewing.
The pumpkin seeds are harmless, but you know, 'Excess of anything is bad.' As pumpkin seeds are loaded with fiber, the excess use may cause bloating and gas. It may also result in constipation in some people. Also, if you are intolerant to specific components in the seeds or have a sensitive stomach, these seeds can cause diarrhea. So, overeating the pumpkin seeds is not recommended. Also, if you have eczema or atopic history, you must eat them with caution.
If you are taking any type of allergy pills, you must be careful about using the pumpkin seeds. If you are taking lithium or antidepressants, seek medical advice before consuming the pumpkin pills to avoid any side effects.
To conclude, the pumpkin seeds are as much advantageous as pumpkin itself or maybe more! These are best for physical and mental health. Eating these seeds daily will resolve almost all of your health issues. Also, these provide you with beauty benefits as well. These are the easiest to consume and contains tons of vitamins and minerals. It is best to eat this 'nature's medicine' in raw form; however, spicing it up a little won't do any bad. Although they are considered harmless, it is better to seek medical advice if you have any medical history.