March 2, 2024

Healthy pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds have a long history of nutritional use, dating back to the Oaxaca highlands of Mexico over 7.500 years back. In many cultures they have been used as a folk remedy for treatment.

– Urinary tract and bladder infections,
– High blood pressure and blood sugar,
– Kidney stones,
– Parasites like worms.

Modern science confirms that pumpkin seeds have an impressive nutritional profile that benefits many aspects of your health.

They are rich in protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, including cancer.

You can buy pumpkin seeds raw, injected or roasted in most grocery stores and specialty health food stores.

When sold in their green shells, they are sometimes called pepitas. You can also find more topics about health, body and lifestyle on Nice-Magazine.

Health benefits

Pumpkin seeds are a potent source of many nutrients and contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals in a small serving size. But they are also rich in calories.

Therefore, limit your portions to achieve a healthy weight.

Add a handful to your meal for potential health benefits such as:

Anti-inflammatory effects

Pumpkin seeds are rich in many antioxidants that protect our cells from disease-causing damage and reduce inflammation in our body.

They are also a great source of fiber that can enhance this effect.

Studies show that the anti-inflammatory properties of pumpkin seeds can help maintain good function in the liver, bladder, intestines and joints.

Lower risk of diabetes

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, which most people don’t get enough of in their diet.

The magnesium content helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes.

Studies show that pumpkin seeds also help people with diabetes maintain blood sugar control to treat the disease.

Anti-cancer properties

Lab studies show pumpkin seeds can stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. They also induce apoptosis or cancer cell death.

These effects are largely attributed to the high antioxidant activity of pumpkin seeds, but much more research is needed to examine a broader range of cancers.

Healthy heart function

The high magnesium content in pumpkin seeds helps lower and regulate blood pressure.

Thanks to this effect, diets high in magnesium are associated with a lower risk of stroke and death from heart disease.

Studies show that the antioxidants in pumpkin seeds also increase nitric oxide levels in your body.

This molecule keeps your blood vessels smooth, flexible and healthy, improves blood flow and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Better sleep

Snacking on pumpkin seeds before bed can help you get a better night’s rest.

Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.

The zinc, copper and selenium in pumpkin seeds can also affect sleep duration and quality.

Finally, studies show that magnesium can help reduce stress and anxiety, which leads to insomnia.

Nutrition

Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin K, both of which are important for wound healing.

They also contain zinc, a mineral that helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses.

Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of:

– Phosphorus,
– Magnesium,
– Iron,
– Potassium,
– Copper.

Nutrients per serving

A quarter cup of dried pumpkin seeds contains:

– Calories: 180,
– Protein: 10 grams,
– Fat: 16 grams,
– Carbohydrates: 3 grams,
– Fiber: 2 grams,
– Sugar: 0 grams.


Serving sizes

Since pumpkin seeds are high in calories, limit your servings to the recommended serving size of about a quarter of a cup.

The high fiber content of the seeds can help regulate your blood sugar and make you feel fuller, but reduces the urge to overeat.

How to use pumpkin seeds

You can find pumpkin seeds with or without the shell in grocery stores or scoop them directly from a whole pumpkin.

When buying a pre-packaged product, look out for added ingredients such as salt, which reduce the nutritional value of the seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are a great snack in their own right and are easy to add to many meals and recipes.

Great ways to get the small but mighty health boost of pumpkin seeds in your diet include:

– Add them to smoothies.
– Mix them with cereal, yogurt or granola.
– Use them to add a little more crunch to a salad.
– Garnish all meals such as soups, chicken dishes or pastas.
– Mix them with other ingredients in a dip like hummus, pesto or guacamole.
– Bake them into cookies and breads.
– Toast or roast them with spices or seasonings for a healthy snack.