Most common and preferred snacks in Russia, pumpkin seeds, which are usually salted and roasted and used even a snack in Mexico. Pumpkin seeds are available across the year and are great for health. The seeds are usually flat and the outer covering is green. There exists a white hull inside. Some prefer the entire seed, some just the white hull. The oil of the pumpkin seed is used in salads or in cooking.
The nutritional content of the Pumpkin seed comprises of the most essential amino acids, proteins, Vitamin E, B complex and the other most important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese to name a few. The health benefits of the pumpkin seeds are extensive.
Health benefits of Pumpkin seed
Help in gaining weight
For those seeking a weight gain, try adding a few drops of pumpkin oil to your salad or snack upon pumpkin seeds during the day. The high calorie content comprises also of rich dietary fiber, which will help you gain weight.
Pumpkin seed oil is not good for overweight and obese people. Although, due to some fiber content, some experts also advise taking pumpkin seeds in weight loss, but avoid pumpkin seeds while losing weight.
Reduce LDL and Promote HDL
Oleic acid present in Pumpkin seeds helps to reduce LDL and promote HDL. Therefore, lotus seeds reduce the cholesterol level and the heart pumps better. Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated fatty acid.
Pumpkin seeds contains vitamin C and phyto-chemicals such as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Due to these constituents, lotus seeds help preventing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Lotus seeds also decrease the LDL levels, so they are very beneficial in elevated lipids.
Give relief from constipation
Its fiber content supports the alimentary canal and relieves from constipation.
Prevent heart attack
Pumpkin seeds contain abundant magnesium. Magnesium is the greatest channel blocker that improves the blood, oxygen. It also helps improving the flow of other nutrients in the body.
Helps with high blood pressure
The higher levels of potassium in Pumpkin seeds can be of great benefit to the heart. Potassium can reduce the risks arising out of heart attack or even hypertension. It helps to flush out the excess sodium level accumulated in the body. It also aids in muscle contractions, which lead to cramps.
Serotonin & Niacin conversion
The great content of tryptophan in Pumpkin seed is converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin helps to induce sleep and reduces mental stress.
This is required by the body to perform the GABA activities and relieve the stress to the neuro-chemicals in the brain. It helps reducing anxiety, nervousness and other conditions pertaining to the brain.
Manganese present in pumpkin seeds is most important towards the generation of antioxidant enzymes. This helps the body develop its immune system and protects it from the free radicals.
Di-hydro epi-androstenedione in the pumpkin seed performs certain blocking actions. These actions inhibit the risks arising out of ovarian or even prostate cancer.
Manganese in pumpkin seed can help keep the blood sugar levels in the body at a stable and maintained rate.
Helpful in diabetic nephropathy
The phyto-chemical compounds which exist in the pumpkin seed plays a crucial role in keeping diabetic nephropathy at bay.
Food for the skin
Beta-carotene present in pumpkin seed is the one responsible for adequate Vitamin A. It is good for eyes and keeps skin healthy.
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C release the damages caused by the UV rays on the skin. Collagen formation increases as well to make the skin looking fresh and silky soft.
Carotenoids present in Pumpkin seed help against vision impairment. Beta-carotene promotes the production of Vitamin A in the body, which by itself improves vision.
Great pregnancy food
The rich content of folate in pumpkin seed helps promote the development and generation of new cells in the body, which is of great importance during pregnancy and the growth phase of a child.
Pumpkin seed oil when applied externally is supposed to relieve the pain and inflammation arising out of arthritis.
Dementia & Alzheimer`s disease
Pumpkin seeds are abundant in thiamine. Thiamine is required by the body to maintain cognitive functions and the health of the nerves.
The content of this mineral in the pumpkin seed helps protect against osteoporosis.
Tapeworm and Schistosomiasis
It is used as a quick treatment to tackle tapeworm and schistosomiasis infections.
Side effects of Pumpkin seed
Pumpkin seed side effects are as follows:
If not chewed well, the intake of these seeds might cause a stomachache.
If too many of these seeds are consumed, it could cause an upset stomach because of the fatty oils not being absorbed by the system. It could even cause diarrhea.
Some people may experience allergy with pumpkin seeds.
Contraindications & Interactions
Research in ongoing in the area pertaining to the contraindications arising out of the consumption of pumpkin seeds, nevertheless, there is none existing so far.
These pumpkin seeds are best consumed when they are sundried or roasted. Cooking them for a longer period might lead to losing out on the valuable nutrients in them. You could snack on them and provide your body with a replenishing source of minerals and nutrients required to keep yourself in harmony with your body. While buying, check the packaging for the actual contents, since it might sometimes contain sunflower oil, since extracting pumpkin oil is a tedious task. Pumpkin seeds are rated as one of nature’s most perfect food. Enjoy snacking on them.