Pumpkin seeds have a long history of nutritional use, dating back over 7,500 years to the Oaxaca Highlands of Mexico. They have been used as a folk remedy in many cultures to treat:
- Infections of the urinary tract and bladder
- High blood pressure and diabetes
- Stones in the kidney
- Worms are an example of a parasite.
Pumpkin seeds have an impressive nutrient profile that benefits many aspects of your health, according to modern science. They are high in protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, all of which lower the risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer.
Pumpkin seeds can be purchased raw, spouted, or roasted at most grocery stores and specialty health food stores. When sold in their green shells, they are also known as pepitas.
Pumpkin seeds are a high-nutrient source, with high levels of essential vitamins and minerals in a small serving. However, they are high in calories, so limit your portions to maintain a healthy weight.
Include a handful in your meal for potential health benefits such as:
Pumpkin seeds contain a high concentration of antioxidants, which protect our cells from disease-causing damage and reduce inflammation in our bodies. They are also high in dietary fibre, which can enhance this effect. According to research, the anti-inflammatory properties of pumpkin seeds can aid in the maintenance of normal liver, bladder, bowel, and joint function.
Diabetes Risk Reduction
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, which is a mineral that many people do not get enough of in their diet. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels, lowering your risk of diabetes. According to research, pumpkin seeds can also help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin seeds have been shown in lab studies to inhibit the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. They also cause apoptosis, or the death of cancer cells. These effects are largely attributed to the high antioxidant activity of pumpkin seeds, but much more research is required to study a broader range of cancers.
Heart Function that is Healthy
Pumpkin seeds have a high magnesium content, which helps to lower and regulate blood pressure. Diets high in magnesium are associated with a lower risk of stroke and death from heart disease as a result of this effect.
Snacking on pumpkin seeds before bedtime may help you sleep better. Tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep, is found naturally in pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, copper, and selenium, all of which can affect sleep duration and quality. Finally, research indicates that magnesium can help reduce stress and anxiety, both of which contribute to insomnia.
Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamins and minerals such as manganese and vitamin K, both of which aid in wound healing. They also contain zinc, a mineral that aids the immune system in its fight against bacteria and viruses.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of:
Per Serving Nutrients
A quarter-cup serving of dried pumpkin seed kernels contains the following nutrients:
Sizes of Portion
Because pumpkin seeds contain a lot of calories, stick to the recommended serving size of one-quarter cup. The high fibre content of the seeds can help regulate your blood sugar and make you feel fuller, reducing the desire to overeat.
How to Prepare Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be purchased in grocery stores with or without their shells, or they can be scooped directly from a whole pumpkin. When purchasing a prepackaged product, look for added ingredients such as salt that reduce the nutritional value of the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent snack on their own and can be easily incorporated into a variety of meals and recipes.
Here are some great ways to incorporate pumpkin seeds’ small-but-mighty health boost into your diet:
- Blend them into smoothies.
- Combine with granola, yoghurt, or cereal.
- They can be used to add crunch to a salad.
- Serve as a garnish for soups, chicken dishes, or pastas.
- Combine them with other ingredients to make a dip such as hummus, pesto, or guacamole.
- Make cookies and breads with them.
- To make a healthy snack, toast or roast them in any spice or seasoning.