Pumpkin seeds contain wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. Only 30g pumpkin seeds contain about 5 grams of protein, which makes them a perfect snack that will leave you satisfied for a long time. They can be eaten raw or roasted in oven. You can eat them as a snack, add them to your soup, salad, oatmeal and granola and so on. Be careful though, they also contain about 285 calories per cup, so consume them in moderation. Pumpkin seeds can be found in almost any store. They should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, up to several months, but they may lose their freshness after one to two months.
There is scientific evidence proving that women that went through menopause and eat pumpkin seeds daily have a 23 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. German and Spanish scientists found that pumpkin seeds contain compounds that can successfully fight cancer cells of different types and have anti-inflammatory effect.
Oil found in pumpkin seeds is rich in natural phytoestrogens which can lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol and regulate hot flashes, headaches, reduce joint pain and reduce the incidence of sudden changes of mood.
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid which body first converts into serotonin and then into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds along with a carbohydrate a few hours before bed is recommended for a restful sleep.
Scientists have found that pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory effect that relieves the symptoms of arthritis. Just 30g of seeds a day is enough to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy unsaturated fatty acids, and scientists have found that they are effective in regulating blood sugar levels. That is why these seeds are recommended for diabetics for daily consumption.
Zinc, which is important for prostate health, is abundant in pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seed extracts and oils are a part of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate) treatment. Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds are beneficial in supporting prostate health.
Not only do pumpkin seeds improve physical health, but they also have a beneficial effect on mental health by reducing depression symptoms, the level of stress and anxiety.
Consuming Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are best to be eaten raw in order to preserve the healthy fats present in them. If you prefer to eat the seeds roasted, make them yourself so you can control the roasting temperature and time and limit the nutrient loss.
To roast pumpkin seeds, season them with Himalayan or natural salt and bake on no more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit or 75 degrees Celsius. They can be eaten shelled or unshelled.
Foto: La Healthy Living