It is safe to say that fall has become synonymous with pumpkins. It is a nutritional powerhouse and is sometimes referred to as the winter superfood. There is a very famous saying about pumpkins.
“The pumpkin itself is a symbol for mortality. Like mortals, the pumpkin seed is planted in the darkness of the earth, where it is left to search for the light. When the plant finally sprouts, it travels along the ground, as if in search of its place in the world. Then, once the pumpkin has found its place, it blossoms into a fruit that towers above all others. And when the pumpkin is ripe, it's a veritable life-giving force.” ―Seth Adam Smith, Rip Van Winkle, and the Pumpkin Lantern
Most parts of the pumpkin are edible. This includes its fleshy shell, the leaves, flowers, and even the seeds! Pumpkin seeds, also known as Pepita in North America are an autumn food that can be consumed all year long.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants and also contain many minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium that our body needs for optimal health. One ounce of pumpkin seeds has roughly 151 calories, mainly from fat and protein.
The nutrition fact of a 1 ounce serving of pumpkin seeds is as follows:
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Vitamin K: 18% of the recommended dietary intake(RDI)
- Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
- Manganese: 42% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Zinc: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 19% of the RDI
Pumpkin seeds also contain a decent amount of potassium, vitamin B2, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and folate. All these nutrients make pumpkin seeds super healthy. Let us have a look at the health benefits that we can achieve by regular consumption of these seeds.
Haven’t Been Getting Sound Sleep? Try Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits but did you know that they can also help you in getting a good night’s rest. Snacking on pumpkin seeds before bedtime is known to help in getting sound sleep. The zinc, copper, and selenium present in pumpkin seeds can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. Pumpkin seeds are also a natural source of tryptophan. This amino acid is known to promote good sleep. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of magnesium that can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are the main contributors to insomnia.
Cares For The Heart
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium can help to lower and regulate blood pressure. Diets high in magnesium are therefore associated with a lower risk of stroke and death from heart disease. The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may also increase nitric oxide levels in your body. This molecule helps in keeping the blood vessels smooth, flexible, and healthy which improves the blood flow. This reduces the risk of heart and circulation problems and helps in keeping the heart-healthy.
Great Snack For Diabetics
Pumpkin seeds is a great snack especially for diabetics since it helps improve insulin regulation and decrease oxidative stress. These seeds are also a good source of digestible protein that helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Magnesium is an essential element that helps regulate blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of diabetes. Including pumpkin seeds in your diet daily may help prevent diabetes and maintain blood sugar control in diabetics since they are high in magnesium content too.
May Help Prevent Cancer
Besides many other pumpkin seed benefits, one of the benefits may be the prevention of cancer. Pumpkin seeds are known to stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. They may also induce apoptosis or cancer cell death. These effects are largely attributed to the high antioxidant activity of these seeds.
Acts Like An Immunity Booster
Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits; they also help in boosting the immune system. They contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals that ensure a good immune system. This further reduces the possibility of viral infections that may lead to cold, flu, and other ailments.
May Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Apart from being a great snack for diabetics, it is also one of the best snacks that can help you achieve your fitness goals. You can enjoy this guilt-free snack while taking care of your calorie intake. They are high in fiber and help you keep satiated for a longer period of time and away from any cravings.
Makes Tresses Beautiful Inside Out
Pumpkin seeds have benefits even for your hair. These seeds contain B vitamins which are a promoter of hair growth. It may also help promote the body’s production of structurally sound keratin. Keratin is a key protein that is a structural material that makes up your hair strands and nails. Apart from this, they also contain vitamin C which plays a crucial role in hair growth. You can either apply pumpkin seeds oil on your scalp or just consume a handful of them daily.
Worried About Your Overall Health? Adopt A New Healthy Habit
Pumpkin seeds are rich in many antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from disease-causing damage and reduce inflammation. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, which can enhance this effect. Consuming pumpkin seeds regularly may help its anti-inflammatory abilities maintain good function in the liver, bladder, bowel, and joints. They may help reduce arthritis pain. Making pumpkin seeds a part of your daily meals can benefit you with your overall health and well-being.
Pumpkin seeds might seem small, but they are nutrient-dense. With so many health benefits to offer it surely deserves an important place in our diet. Eating them regularly can benefit you in some amazing ways. So try and make pumpkin seeds a part of your daily intake and enjoy the goodness of this wonderful ingredient with Himalayan Natives. Read our blog about Best Energy-boosting Foods To Eat Everyday to adopt a better lifestyle for healthful living.