Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber which are important for good health. Seeds of pumpkin are delicious and have high nutrition value. Roasted pumpkin seeds are an absolute must if you love healthy living. This article discusses the various health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
There’s a lot more to the humble pumpkin than just Halloween and pie. If you’re one of those individuals who firmly believe that pumpkins can make only great scary faces, a taste of pumpkin seeds will change your perspective.
Though many people use pumpkin in various recipes, not many make use of pumpkin seeds. Most peoplethrow away seeds and use only the pulpy flesh in cooking. Let me tell you, if you are throwing away seeds of pumpkin missing out on something. Pumpkin seeds taste delicious when roasted. You can add your own seasoning to create a distinct taste. Aside from their great taste, pumpkin seeds have several health benefits. Seeds can be used in various cuisines depending on preference. Salads, dips, and soups dressed with a generous portion of roasted pumpkin seeds are to die for.
History of Pumpkin Seeds
Research suggests pumpkin seeds were discovered accidently by archeologists at cave sites in Mexico around 7000 BC. Indigenous North American tribes were amongst the first to realize the medicinal benefits of pumpkin seeds. Native Americans ate these miracle seeds because they were an excellent source for energy and also because of their health benefits. In Mexico pumpkin seeds referred to as ‘pepitas’ are used in various local cuisines. Pumpkin seeds were also hugely popular in Ancient Greece. In ancient Greece seeds of pumpkin would be dried and roasted with seasoning of sea salt and served as an accompaniment snack with thick vegetable stews. A number of nutritionists around the world call pumpkin seed the perfect healthy food because of the presence of various natural vitamin types. Because of its medicinal properties and health benefits pumpkin seeds are used in various health food recipes from around the world. Listed below are health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
1. Fibrous food should be a part of healthy diet. Pumpkin seeds have high fiber content that is essential for good health.
2. The presence of Omega 3 and mineral zinc in pumpkin seeds protect from enlargement of prostate gland. Oil of pumpkin seeds is known to reduce BHP (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. Zinc present in seeds of this winter squash protect against osteoporosis.
3. Phytosterols, compounds that are known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels are present.
4. Seeds of pumpkin are filled with minerals essential for good health; these include copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese and copper.
5. L-tryptophan, an amino acid that lowers depression levels and enhances sleep is present in seeds. When tryptophan converts to serotonin, it helps a person sleep well.
6. In some cultures oil of pumpkin seeds is consumed to cure mild urinary tract infections.
7. Pumpkin seeds help in prevention of calcium oxalate, a constituent responsible for kidney stones.
8. Regular intake of these seeds helps stabilize blood sugar level. Roasted seeds as a snack in moderation are excellent for diabetics.
9. Seeds of pumpkins are considered vermifuge. In many regions in Asia and South America, pumpkin seeds are used as a treatment for round worms. Roasted seeds are usually had with tropical fruits papaya and pineapple that have enzymes to destroy parasitic worms.
10. Research and studies reveal phytosterol compounds found in pumpkin kernels help reduce levels of high cholesterol. Seeds of this vegetable have a rich content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Oleic acid present in seeds ensures bad cholesterol is lowered (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL) is increased.
11. Seeds of this vegetable are excellent source of carnitine that promotes healthy cardiovascular activity.
12. Oil of pumpkin seeds is an excellent home remedy for inflammation from arthritis. Applying a little bit of this oil everyday reduces swelling and inflammation amongst arthritis sufferers.
13. Eating pumpkin seeds ensures the risk ofdeveloping blood clots is minimized. Pumpkin kernels have high vitamin E content which acts as a natural blood thinner, thereby reducing blood clot risks.
14. Pumpkin kernels are an excellent source of glutamate which plays an important role in GABA (y-amino butyric acid) synthesis, the chief endogenous chemical in the brain. Individuals that consume nuts and seeds are less likely to suffer from anxiety attacks, depression, and other neurotic conditions.
15. Seeds of pumpkin are an excellent source of manganese which plays an essential role in superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme. Eating pumpkin seeds ensures that a person develops strong resistance and increased immunity against harmful infections.
Culinary uses of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be had as a snack (roasted, sweetened, toasted, fried, and baked)
- A sprinkle of pumpkin kernels to different sauces, dips, pastes, or chutneys gives that unmistakable healthy crunch.
- You can use seeds of pumpkin in different types of vegetable or meat salads.
- For that healthy and crunchy bite you can add roasted pumpkin seeds in batter for making, cake, bread, cookies, biscuits, granolas or any baked recipe.
- You can garnish ice-creams, milkshakes and desserts with roasted pumpkin kernels.
- Pumpkin seed oil can be used is a various salad dressings.
Nutrition about Pumpkin Seeds
Given below is the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds (Per 100g)
- Zinc- 7.81mg
- Calcium- 46mg
- Manganese- 4.534 mg
- Phosphorous- 1233 mg
- Iron- 8.82mg
- Selenium- 9.4 mcg
- Magnesium- 592 mg
- Copper- 1.343 mg
- Vitamin E-y- 35.10 mg
- Folates- 58 mcg
- Pyridoxine- 0.143 mg
- Vitamin C- 1.9 mcg
- Pantothenic Acid- 0.750 mg
- Vitamin A- 16 IU
- Thiamin- 0.23 mg
- Vitamin K- 2.9 mcg
- Niacin- 4.987 mg
- Riboflavin- 0.153 mg
- Carotene 8- 9mcg
- Lutenin-Zeaxanthin- 74 mcg
- Cryptoxanthin B- 1 mcg
- Potassium- 809 mg
- Sodium- 7mg
- Dietary Fiber 6 g
- Energy- 559 kacl
- Carbohydrates- 10.71 g
- Protein- 30.23 g
- Cholesterol- 0 mg
- Total Fat- 49.05 mg
Seeds of pumpkin are healthy. Eat them!