Do you throw out the seeds of all the fruits and vegetables? You should stop because some of them are a powerhouse of nutrients. Case in point – pumpkin seeds! This kid on the superfood block is an unsung hero that you need to know more about. Don’t be fooled by the size of these tiny seeds AS they are rich in various nutrients and offer several health benefits. From their crunchy, earthy flavour to their impressive nutrient profile, pumpkin seeds could become your secret weapon to stay fit and focused. Still don’t believe us, let’s look at pumpkin seed benefits for health.
Pumpkin or squash seeds are a storehouse of many nutrients, including healthy fats, magnesium, selenium, iron, and antioxidants, says Aruna Mallya, Senior Dietician, KMC Hospital.
Since it contains several nutrients, here are the pumpkin seed benefits for health you should know:
A good source of magnesium, zinc, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants, it can help keep your heart healthy. A study published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found including pumpkin seeds in your diet can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for developing heart disease.
Did you know one of the biggest pumpkin seed benefits is that it is a natural source of magnesium? From controlling your blood pressure levels to reducing heart disease risk to maintaining healthy bones to regulating diabetes, magnesium is important to maintain overall health. Dietitian Aruna Mallya says, “Magnesium is essential for bone formation and a low level of this nutrient poses a risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. A quick pre or post-snack of these seeds helps in meeting the recommended dietary allowance of Magnesium per day.”
Pumpkin seeds contain properties like zinc that help maintain a healthy immune system, as found in a study published in the journal Food Production, Processing and Nutrition. In addition, they are also rich in iron, selenium, vitamin E, and antioxidants, all of which are great for keeping your immune system healthy.
Not able to sleep properly? Try adding pumpkin seeds to your diet. The dietitian explains that pumpkin seeds contain Tryptophan, an amino acid that helps treat insomnia. “Our body converts tryptophan into serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone, that makes you feel relaxed and induces good sleep.”
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Pumpkins are also rich in fiber content and can help relieve constipation and promote digestion. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that the high fiber content in pumpkin seeds helps promote digestive health. Mallya says adding pumpkin seeds to your diet in addition to exercise and lifestyle modification if good to maintain overall digestive health. It can also help you lose weight and regulate blood sugar levels.
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found pumpkin seed extracts contain properties that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Other studies have found the positive effects of pumpkin seeds on cancer. The expert says that the antioxidants in pumpkin seeds can help protect you against cancer.
Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet may even help keep your blood sugar levels in check. A study by Nutrition Research found that people who added pumpkin seeds to their diet experienced a reduction in their blood sugar levels. So, it may help regulate your blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, there is more research required to know the effects of pumpkin seeds on diabetes.
Since pumpkin seeds are rich in so many nutrients, it becomes important to know how to incorporate them into your diet. Here are some ways suggested by the expert to help you make pumpkin seeds a part of your diet.
Pumpkin seed benefits are for everyone, but you need to be careful that you eat it in moderation. Pumpkin seeds give around 163 Kcal of energy, 8.5 g of protein, and 13.9 g of fat. It also contains other nutrients that can help you maintain overall health. You can add this nutritious and tasty superfood to your diet and consume it any time of the day. However, overconsumption of anything should be avoided to reduce the risk. It goes without saying that you must add pumpkin seeds to your diet only after talking to a doctor.