Have you ever tasted pumpkin seeds? It really tastes good. Apart from the taste, it also packed with huge health benefits. You must aware of pumpkin seeds benefits so that you can prevent certain health problems. Scroll down to know about its health benefits, nutritional value and the dietary tips.
Pumpkin seeds are termed as “pepita”, flat and oval green seeds. These don’t have a shell. The seeds with its shell are white in color. Shell-less seeds are produced by some varieties of pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are light sweet in taste with a nutty flavor. It is a chewy snack with several benefits.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds nutrition is enormous. It contains essential nutrients which includes
- Vitamin K
Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium which is one of the essential minerals. Magnesium plays a vital role in the synthesis of proteins, metabolism of food and also in the proper functioning of muscles.
Do You Know The Pumpkin Seeds Benefits?
The benefits of pumpkin seeds are enormous as these are a good source of magnesium, calcium and other minerals along with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and antioxidants. which adds to the health of your body. The health benefits of pumpkin seeds are as follows.
1. For Bones
- As pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium which plays a role in bone formation.
- The bone density increases with higher intake of magnesium.
- Magnesium deficiency is mostly associated with persons having osteoporosis.
- It also decreases the risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause for ladies.
- Flax seeds have calcium which is an essential element for bones.
- This improves the bone density and its strength.
2. Helps in Heart and Liver Health
- The fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), anti-oxidants and fibre content of pumpkin seeds help to maintain heart and liver health.
- Omega 3 fatty acids decrease the risk of arrhythmias and thrombosis which results in several heart diseases.
- These fatty acids also reduce triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels.
- The sterols in pumpkin seeds also reduce the level of LDL cholesterol.
- It lowers your blood pressure levels and prevents heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.
- it decreases the risk of heart disease by lowering the total amount of cholesterol in the blood.
- Studies have proved that pumpkin seed oil has an impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels which is considered to be the most important risk factor for heart disease.
- Nitric oxide helps in the expansion of blood vessels which improves blood flow and reduces the risk of plaque growth in your arteries.
- Pumpkin seeds increase nitric oxide generation, has positive effects in maintaining your heart health.
3. Boosts up Immunity
- Pumpkin seeds boost up your immunity.
- These seeds have a good source of zinc, increases the immune level.
- Zinc deficiency is associated with repeated cold, chronic fatigue, Poor stamina, depression, learning problems etc.,
- Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamin E and other anti-oxidants.
- Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and maintains blood vessels in a healthy way.
4. For Diabetic Patients
- Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds have a positive effect on blood glucose levels due to the high magnesium content.
- It regulates the insulin level and reduces blood glucose level thereby reducing diabetic complications.
- The pumpkin seed powder or the pumpkin juice has an impact on type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- Studies reveal that the magnesium rich diets are associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Lower magnesium levels can diminish insulin secretion and increase glucose levels.
- Increased intake of magnesium through pumpkin seeds about 100 mg per day, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Anti-oxidants in pumpkin seeds reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS), plays a role in the development of diabetes.
5. Aids In Weight Loss and Digestion
- Pumpkin seeds are a good source of fibre.
- Shelled pumpkin seeds provide 1.1 gms of fibre per 28 grams.
- The fibre content in pumpkin seeds maintains your body weight and keeps you fit and healthy.
- The fiber rich diet makes everyone to feel full for a longer time after eating.
- This also enhances good digestive health by improving digestion.
6. Treats Insomnia
- Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat chronic insomnia.
- Serotonin is the rest and relaxing hormone which induces sleep.
- Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid which gets broken down to serotonin and melatonin in your body which induces peaceful sleep.
- This oil helps to treat depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.
- Having pumpkin seeds a few hours before moving to bed gives a beneficial effect.
- Zinc in pumpkin seeds also helps in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
- Magnesium also found to be associated with an effective sleep.
7. As an Anti-oxidant
- Pumpkin seeds are the best anti-oxidant which removes the free radicals (unwanted substances) in your body and keeps you healthy.
- Non-refined pumpkin seeds offer antioxidant protection, as refining this oil removes or reduces PUFA and lipophilic antioxidant content.
- Pumpkin seeds contain anti-oxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E, reduces inflammation and protects you from many diseases.
- Higher consumption of pumpkin seeds lowers the risk of breast cancer after menopause.
8. For Skin and Eyes
- Squalene is an anti-oxidant which is similar to beta-carotene.
- This squalene protects your skin during radiation exposure and also UV rays.
- This anti-oxidant also plays a major role in maintaining the health of the retina.
- It also offers cancer protection but not yet proved.
9. Prostate, Sexual and Urinary Health
- Pumpkin seeds have a beneficial effect on sexual health.
- Zinc content in the pumpkin seeds plays a major role in maintaining the prostate health for men.
- These pumpkin seeds oil also helps in treating prostate cancer which is in a benign state termed as BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia).
- Studies have suggested that pumpkin seed oil is considered to be a safe and effective method for benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment.
- Both the oil and seeds support prostate health.
- Pumpkin seeds also improve the quality of sperms and fertility in men.
- In some places, these pumpkin seeds are also used as a sexual stimulant and improve the quality of life.
- This oil not only helps infertility but also treats urinary disorders for both men and women.
- It is found to be linked with a reduction in symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Apart from the above mentioned pumpkin seeds benefits, it is in possession of well-being as follows
- Pumpkin seeds reduce inflammation for arthritis.
- It helps in preventing the stone formation in kidneys.
- Taking out tapeworms and other parasites.
- It is a good Blood Builder.
- It also restores hair. Pumpkin seeds have cucurbitin, a unique amino that is responsible for the growth of hair. It also contains vitamin C, has a positive effect on hair growth.
- It provides benefits for Postmenopausal Women.
- Pumpkin seed is a good source of Vitamin K, which is an essential vitamin for your body.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
- Stick on to raw pumpkin seeds to preserve the healthy fats in it.
- Always be sure about its freshness and the quality of it.
- It is wise to have soaked and sprouted seeds.
- Also, consume roasted seeds along with salt as an evening snack.
- Have salads with pumpkin seeds.
- Prepare pumpkin seed butter by blending it into a fine paste.
- You can also add them to your smoothies.
- Can Sprinkle them over cakes, bread slices, soups etc.,
Side-Effects of Pumpkin Seeds
Commonly fewer side-effects associated with pumpkin seeds. Side-effects may include
- Lowers blood pressure
- Stomach Ache
- Allergic Reactions
- Some might gain weight
Aware of These Risks!
- Increase the shelf life by storing the pumpkin seeds in a cool, dry and dark place as the higher fat content in flax seeds may induce bad taste and odour.
- As pumpkin seeds cause choking, it is better to have supervision when the kids are having the seeds or nuts.
- Patients with lower blood pressure should avoid taking these seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can pregnant ladies have pumpkin seeds?
As pumpkin seed is rich in zinc, improves the immunity thus preventing uterine infections. Low levels of zinc alternate the hormones which are associated with preterm labor.
2. How long can we use the pumpkin seeds with proper storage?
You can use pumpkin seeds for about 3 to 4 months if stored properly.
3. How much amount to be taken daily to induce sleep?
Consume 200 grams of pumpkin seeds to achieve 1 gram of tryptophan, needed to improve sleep.
4. Can I apply pumpkin seed oil on hair?
Yes, you can apply pumpkin seed oil on scalp and hair daily for better hair growth.
Pumpkin seeds have several health benefits and many essential nutrients which are required for your body. This article gives you a better understanding of the pumpkin seeds benefits and also its dietary benefits. Get benefited by including these seeds as a part of your diet to stay healthy!