NUTRITION

Six benefits of pumpkin seeds you didn’t know

Pumpkin has healthy oils, magnesium and nutrients that improve body function

In Summary
  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. Researchers have determined that every 100g of pumpkins seeds contains 7.99mg of zinc.
  • Low zinc levels have been tied to reduce sperm quality. Pumpkin seeds may help protect prostate health.
Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Image: pixabay

Experts say pumpkin has healthy oils, magnesium and nutrients that may benefit the heart, bones and improve body function.

However, very few people know about the powerful benefits of pumpkin seeds.

  1. Increased fertility

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. Researchers have determined that every 100g of pumpkins seeds contains 7.99mg of zinc.

Low zinc levels have been tied to reduce sperm quality. Pumpkin seeds may help protect prostate health.

Pumpkin seeds can also be a good source of zinc for pregnant women. Or those that want to get pregnant.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 80 per cent of women worldwide have an inadequate zinc intake.

Zinc is also essential for normal immune function and the prevention of uterine infections. All of these could potentially contribute to preterm delivery.

Researchers also say pumpkin seeds may have a beneficial effect on sexual health status.

  1. Good for your heart

The seeds have been found to contain plant sterols and phytosterols, which are known to help reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol.

Researchers carrying out a review of clinical trials concluded in 2013 that the combination of nutrients found in plant seeds can help protect the cardiovascular system, prevent coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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

They also have plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, which play a role in heart disease protection, reduced risk of artery hardening, and anti-inflammation.

  1. Help control blood sugar

The seeds are tasteless, low in carbs and a good source of plant protein.

Research suggests that eating pumpkin seeds helps protect against type 2 diabetes or reduce its complications.

By decreasing oxidative stress, they may improve insulin regulation, and protect organs against the consequences of diabetes.

  1. Rich in antioxidants

The seeds are packed with cell-protective antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamin E.

Pumpkin seeds also contain conventional mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese.

In addition to reducing inflammation, antioxidants help fend off premature aging and chronic diseases.

A German study, published in 2012, suggested that high consumption of pumpkin seeds may be linked to a lower risk of breast cancer after menopause.

  1. Good for eyes and skin protection

Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamin E, zinc, omega 3- and six- fatty acids as well as antioxidants.

They have tremendous benefits for the skin in terms of retaining moisture, fighting free radicals, and maintaining a youthful appearance.

Fatty acids in the seeds help regulate proper skin oil production, which suits both oily and dry skin.

Squalene compound in the seeds appears to play a role in protecting the skin during UV and other types of radiation exposure as well as retinal health.

  1. Promotes healthy sleep

Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, copper and selenium, which directly affects the quality and duration of sleep.

Packed with magnesium, it also helps reduce stress and anxiety, a great contributor of lack of sleep.

Snack on the seeds before you sleep for the benefits.

 

Where to use them

  • Add them to smoothies or fruit juices
  • Mix them into granola, yogurt, or cereal
  • Use them to add some extra crunch to a salad
  • Garnish any meal, like soups, chicken dishes, or pasta
  • Blend them with other ingredients; in a dip like pesto, or guacamole
  • Bake them into cookies and pieces of bread
  • Toast or roast them in any spice or seasoning for a healthy snack
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