You are late to work; you skip the breakfast thinking that you will compensate for it at the office. Just as you leave your home, you get stuck in never-ending traffic, and by the time you reach the office, it’s time to get on to that critical concall. You have no option but to sip on a cup of coffee dispensed by your coffee vending machine and munch on some junk food to satiate your hunger momentarily.
Well, many go through this situation every day.
That’s why we have got a simple and tasty solution for you.
It’s called pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are easy to identify. They are flat, oval green seeds covered with a whitish yellow shell.
Now don’t let the name pumpkin dissuade you from trying it. They are tasty and filling. However, most importantly, they are a powerhouse of nutrients, as they contain everything right from magnesium to zinc, copper, protein and other anti-oxidants.
Here are a few benefits of consuming Pumpkin Seeds:
1. Abode of anti-oxidants
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, phenolic compounds, zinc and carotenoids. All of these minerals help in reducing inflammation and protecting the cells from harmful free radicals.
2. Promotes heart health
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps in maintaining blood pressure and prevents sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. Magnesium provides the energy required for pumping of the heart, formation of ATP, bone and tooth formation, proper bowel functioning and most importantly in handling physiological functions.
Based on studies, it has been observed that in 12 weeks, pumpkin seed oil reduced diastolic blood pressure by 7% and increased the good HDL cholesterol by 16% in 35 postmenopausal women.
3. Reduces risk of certain cancers and relieves BPH
Due to its ability to protect the body from free radicals; Pumpkin seeds are known to reduce the risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.
BPH( Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), a state in which the prostate bladder expands and gives trouble while urination, can also be controlled by daily intake of pumpkin seeds.
Doctors suggest that eating 10g of pumpkin seeds every day can also solve urinary problems.
4. High in fiber
The easiest way to increase the fiber content of the body is to have pumpkin seeds. One ounce of the seed is equivalent to around 5g of fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, improves heart health and controls the blood sugar level. It also reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes and obesity.
5. Improves fertility
Low concentration of zinc in the body can impact the quality of sperm and even lead to infertility. Since pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, they are known to boost fertility. One ounce serves for about 20% of a man's daily zinc requirement. Zinc increases testosterone levels which not only protects the sperm but also enhances the overall health because of the anti-oxidants present in it.
6. Treats insomnia
Do you spend sleepless nights almost every day, only to wake up tired? Pumpkin seeds can fix those woes for you. They contain a small amount of tryptophan, an amino acid, which aids in promoting sleep. 7 ounces of pumpkin seed contain 1g of tryptophan which gets converted into melatonin, thus improving the cycle of sleep. Consuming them a few hours before going to bed can enhance the quality of sleep.
7. Improves immune system
Apart from improving male fertility, the rich source of zinc is essential for insulin regulation, cell growth and division, sleep, taste buds, skin and eye health, boosting immunity, etc. The vitamin E content also strengthens the immunity and is responsible for healthy blood vessels.
8. Reduces the risk of Diabetes
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) increases diabetes, but the anti-oxidants and nutrients present in pumpkin seeds help in preventing it. It reduces the risk of developing type 2-diabetes by 15% due to the rich magnesium content.
9. Helps in losing weight
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to munch on the pumpkin seeds. These small powerhouses of nutrients are heavy and filling. They can curb the hunger pangs that you feel between the meals, which results in reducing your weight.
10. A rich source of protein
Protein helps in cell regeneration and in maintaining structural integrity. Pumpkin seeds can be called the reservoirs of protein as just 100g of these seeds can yield about 30g of protein. Regular consumption of pumpkin seeds can easily meet the daily protein requirement of the body.
Apart from these benefits, pumpkin seeds also help in balancing the pH level of the body and reduces skin ageing due to the presence of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It also eliminates intestinal parasites as it consists of compounds like acids, berberine, and palmatine and reduces menopause symptoms. The nutritionists say that pumpkin seeds require no additional aid. They can easily be carried in small boxes and can be consumed anywhere on the go, whether you are in a meeting or stuck in traffic.
Intrigued by the uses of pumpkin seeds but not quite sure where to find them?