Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds of the pumpkin or some particular forms of squash. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants and are considered a super food. They are a regular ingredient in Mexican cooking and are often eaten as a healthy snack. Eating a small amount of these seeds can be beneficial, nutritious and delicious. They have chewy texture, nutty flavour and a subtle sweetness to them. Pumpkin seeds are also known as pepitas, Spanish for "little seed of squash" they are dark green in colour, flat like seeds. And so we rounded up 10 benefits of pumpkin seeds.
1. Packed with nutrients
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of valuable nutrients and are rich in antioxidants, zinc, iron, magnesium and many other nutrients. Add a small amount of these to your diet and you’ll soon begin to notice the difference.
2. They contain anti-oxidant properties
Foods which contain antioxidants are super healthy and are beneficial for your immune system. The anti-oxidants contained in pumpkin seeds are able to reduce inflammation, keep diseases at bay and protect the cells.
3. Reduce risk of certain cancers
Pumpkin seeds can reduce the risk of certain cancers including the likes of stomach, colon, prostate, breast and lung cancer; all of which can have their risk reduced by having a diet rich in pumpkin seeds. Studies state that taking supplements containing pumpkin seeds have the capacity to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
4. Improves bowel movement
If you are experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder, this can be treated by taking pumpkin seeds or food products which incorporate pumpkin seeds.
5. They contain magnesium
Pumpkin seeds are the best natural sources of magnesium, which assists in controlling blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, forming and maintaining healthy bones and regulating blood sugar levels.
6. Improves cardiovascular health
Pumpkin seeds have the ability to increase nitric oxide in the body and helps expand blood vessels, improving the flow of blood, thus reducing the risk of blockages in the arteries.
7. Reduces blood sugar levels
Studies have also shown that a regular intake of pumpkin seeds or pumpkin itself is able to help in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
8. Promote better sleeping patterns
If you struggle to sleep at night then take a few pumpkin seeds before sleeping as they're a natural form of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to encourage sleep.
9. High in fibre
While the right amount of fibre is good for you, consuming too many will make you experience gas and bloating. The fibre factor helps bulk up stool and prevents constipation in the long run. Keep in mind pumpkin seeds are high in calories and fat.
10. Can be added to a variety of dishes
Adding pumpkin seeds to sautéed vegetables can add a kick to your meals. Sprinkle them on a mixed green salad for an added crunch or add them chopped on your favourite cold cereal, oatmeal, granola and raisin cookies. Or simply keep a pack of pumpkin seeds in your bag to snack on when you feel peckish.
So while pumpkin seeds are high in fibre, anti-oxidants and serve as a great source of nutrition, they are also known to aid in fighting depression. These super seeds contain amino acids which are responsible for our hormones; which in turn play a pivotal role in regulating our behavior, sleep patterns and better mood. Pumpkin seeds also aid in weight loss and can give those who suffer from arthritis, relief from the pain. So go ahead, and add these seeds to your diet!