There was a time during my childhood when my mom would give me some very yummy coconut like kernel whenever she used to cut pumpkins. Fast forward a few(!) years and here I am selling those very same kernel – Oh Yes! Pumkin seeds are superfood.
Did you know how well we have been provided with – SUPERFOODS. You will do when you complete reading my post.
Pumpkin seed is a Superfood!
Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
Patel S from Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, San Diego State University in his recent review says thus “Cucurbitaceae family members such as pumpkin seeds (which are discarded) have been discovered to contain a rich repertoire of nutrients such as proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, tocopherol, phytosterol, squalene etc.”
Now that is a lot to have in those little humble seeds right! And this is exactly why we call them superfoods too!
Pumpkin seeds are native to America. The consumption of these seeds dates back to Aztec civilization around 1300-1500 AD.
Pumpkin seed also known as Pepita (Pepita de calabaza -‘little seed of squash’ in Spanish), is the power house of protein and packed with antioxidants, minerals like zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, Iron, and Vitamins B and K.
Pumpkin seeds are enriched with Magnesium that helps to regulate nerve and muscle functions in our body. So it gives relief from insomnia and anxiety. Potassium content in this seed helps to protect our heart and regulates blood pressure.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols and omega 3 fatty acids. Hence helps to reduce cholesterol and improves the cardiovascular system. It’s a great plant-based substitute (yes, Mercury free!) for those who don’t eat fish to get omega 3 fatty acids. It also prevents osteoporosis and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
So why should we neglect this panacea for our overall health problems?
Well, Go on read the nutritional facts below.
Nutritional Facts Of Pumpkin Seeds
Just a small amount of these seeds are enough to provide you with substantial amounts of nutrition you would want on a daily basis, especially healthy fats, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
As usual I get to the bottom of all superfoods – here I have come up with the nutritional facts sourced from Wikepedia
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of antioxidants, specially the carotenoids.
Antioxidants as we have already learnt enough about are great inflammation reducers and controllers. This is very important when it comes to reduction in pain in conditions like arthritis.
A study shows a control in arthritis by using pumpkin seeds.
Benefits of Magnesium and Phosphorous
Pumpkin seeds have exceptional magnesium and phosphorous contents. Magnesium is very important as one of the seven dietary microminerals and plays major role in thyroid functioning and bone health.
Just 2 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds is enough to meet your daily dietary requirement of magnesium.
In fact magnesium deficiency, which is a serious issue as one gets older is linked to many health problems including resistance of insulin, heart diseases, brain dysfunction and osteoporosis.
Magnesium also helps in lowering diabetes especially type 2 diabetes because it directly helps in insulin secretion by pancreas.
Next to calcium, the most abundant mineral in human body is phosphorous. Phosphorous works closely with calcium in building bones and teeth.
Phosphorous helps in
- Filtering our waste from the kidneys
- Helps body in storing energy
- Reduce muscle pain after a workout
- Maintain and repair all tissues in the body
- Maintains genetic material – DNA and RNA
- Helps maintain balance of other minerals – iodine, magnesium and zinc.
Pumpkin Seeds Health Benefit For Heart and Liver
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids present in pumpkin seeds combines with the antioxidants present and the ample fiber of these seeds to protect your heart and liver from any kind of health issues.
The fiber in these seeds helps in sequestering out cholesterol from the blood thereby reducing risk of coronary heart diseases by a large extent.
Omega 3s have been seen to help in
- Decreasing risk of thrombosis and arrhythmias – which goes a long way in protecting against heart attack.
- Decrease LDL and triglyceride levels
- Reduce fatty build up on artery walls
- Improve endothelial function
- Reduce blood pressure
4. Pumpkin Seeds for Insomnia
Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used to treat insomnia. Pumpkin seeds are naturally rich sources of this amino acid.
In a research it was done on sleep inducing and feel good factors such as serotonin and melatonin, pumpkin seeds were found very effective source of these hormones. When taken with a carbohydrate rich food, pumpkin seeds were comparable to pharmaceutical grade of tryptophan.
It is thus advisable to take a few pumpkin seeds along with a fruit before going to bed to have a peaceful sleep and good melatonin production.
5. Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds For Pregnant Women
Zinc intake is very important for pregnant women. Since pregnancy involves multiple hormonal changes, women need to take special care at this time.
Zinc is also very important to
- Increase immune in the body
- Prevention of uterine infection
It is considered that during pregnancy strong immune and a healthy uterine system helps in maintaining the right balance of health during pregnancy and also saves you from risk of preterm delivery.
How To Add Pumpkin Seeds In Your Diet
You can roast pumpkin seeds and take them as snack. If you however are bored here are some tips you can use to take pumpkin seeds
- Use as salad toppings. Coarsely grind the pumpkin seeds and add them as topping to any salad.
- When you make laddoos, add some pumpkin seeds after frying them in ghee.
- Add pumpkin seeds to your daily breakfast either in kichdi/pongal or in chutney.
- Sprinkle a handful of seeds on smoothies, salads, cereals.
- Make granola energy bars
- Add to baked foods.
- Add to vegetable stir fries
- Eat as roasted snack either spicy or sweet.
- Use pumpkin seed oil to sprinkle over salads and vegetables.
It’s no wonder that these super seeds regained popularity in the recent years due to their dietary and medicinal properties. It’s better to use organic pumpkin seeds to reap the full benefits from this super food.
Pumpkin seeds can be stored in airtight containers and keep in the refrigerator for getting longer shelf life. Remember to toss a handful of this delicious and healthy superfood in our every day diet routine!
Well you can buy pumpkin seeds from us at SIM Organics