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Pumpkin seeds are the flat, oval-shaped seeds of the pumpkin or squash, both types of seeds have nearly identical benefits. Pumpkin seeds are light green on the inside, but their hull is white. Most pumpkin seeds come with their shell or endosperm still attached, particularly when they are eaten after being roasted, the most common way of consuming them. They can, however, be shelled, and the inner germ can be eaten for a healthy snack with less work and chewing involved. Some of the benefits of this are discussed below.
Antioxidants are powerful substances that rid the body of free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can lead to a host of diseases, including cancer. Pumpkin seed extracts contain a number of anti-cancer properties and components, including phenolic compounds that have directly been attributed to scavenging free radicals. Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are good for relieving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, primarily due to its activity as a diuretic. This keeps the prostate healthy, one of the most common places for men to develop cancer.
Pumpkin seeds have long been associated with antiparasitic activity, and has been used traditionally as a way to eliminate tapeworms and other dangerous parasites in the body. For children, who are the most susceptible to worms, pumpkin seeds provide a delicious snack and a very important defensive line against those worms, which can result in malnutrition, incorrect growth patterns, and even death.
Pumpkin seeds have been directly associated with a decrease in inflammation and the associated pains of arthritis. Inflammatory conditions like arthritis can be debilitating, so adding healthy amounts of proteins into your body to keep the tissues healthy and repaired, as well as a good amount anti-inflammatory compounds will prevent these.
Pumpkin seeds have been connected with a reduction in toxins in the body, due to its diuretic properties, as well as the antioxidant activity. Furthermore, they stimulate circulation and increase the speed and processing of the livers and kidneys. Uric acid and various other toxins are therefore removed from the body, which means they cannot accumulate into dangerous kidney stones or other forms, like gout and arthritis, as mentioned earlier. Pumpkin seeds promote the health of the kidneys and helps to detoxify the body from top to bottom.
Pumpkin seeds are a huge source of protein. 30% of pumpkin seed volume is made of protein. There are 12 grams of protein in a single cup of pumpkin seeds, which is approximately 25% of our daily requirement of protein. Having a stable and adequate amount of protein in your diet is essential, because proteins are made up of amino acids, which can be used in thousands of enzymatic and metabolic processes every day. Deficiency of these essential amino acids and proteins would make you weak, lethargic, unhealthy, slow-witted, and generally exhausted.
Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of both magnesium and tryptophan, both of which are closely associated with sedation and soothing qualities that stimulate sleep.
Pumpkin seeds are extremely popular due to their effects on osteoporosis. They have high levels of zinc, calcium, copper, and assorted other minerals that are linked to increased bone density. Studies have shown that consistent intake of pumpkin seeds can reduce bone weakness and the symptoms of osteoporosis.
One of the unique organic compounds in pumpkin seeds is phytosterols, which are directly connected to lower LDL cholesterol levels, which prevents blood clots and atherosclerosis, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, the high copper levels increase red blood cell count in the body and improve oxygenated passage of blood through the vessels. This fact, combined with a low sodium content, can increase heart health by reducing blood pressure, so pumpkin seeds should be considered a valuable cardiovascular booster.
Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack food available throughout the year. So keep these powerhouse of nutrients handy.
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