While most people only think of pumpkins for Thanksgiving or Halloween, the seeds of this powerhouse of a fruit offer a unique cocktail of health-enhancing and disease-fighting compounds, minerals, and vitamins. While emerging evidence reveals its miraculous potency in battling heart disease, anxiety, arthritis, bladder dysfunction, and osteoporosis, pumpkin seeds have long been used in many cultures for their medicinal properties for centuries.
Some Interesting Trivia
- The earliest known evidence of domestic use of pumpkin seeds dates back to 7000 B.C in Mexico.
- Pumpkin seeds were first embraced by Native Americans for their miraculous properties before the knowledge of its use was spread to Europe.
- There is proof of usage of pumpkin seeds in Greek societies.
- Pumpkin seeds are among the few foods whose nutritive value improves with age. Tests conducted at the Massachusetts Experimental Station reveal that pumpkin seeds stored for more than five months show a marked increase in protein content.
- Today pumpkin seeds, called pepitas by Mexicans, are a basic ingredient in Mexican dishes.
- In Russia and Ukraine, pumpkin seeds are a popular snack. If you crave to binge next time, pumpkin seeds are the right option!
Nutritional Facts And Health Benefits
- Bone Protection
- Battling Heart Disease
Rich in phytosterols, pumpkin seeds are very effective in thwarting heart diseases by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Containing magnesium, pumpkin seeds benefit blood pressure and help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
- Tryptophan For Restful Sleep
Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid, known as tryptophan, which is a natural sleep inducer. Since carbohydrates increase the bioavailability of tryptophan to the brain, try combining pumpkin seeds with your favorite cereal or a peanut butter sandwich and enjoy a pleasant rest if you have trouble sleeping at night.
- Improving Bladder Function
Among its multitude of health benefits, pumpkin seeds possess the unique ability to improve prostrate health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostrate health, and also because pumpkin seed extract and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostrate.
- Antimicrobial Benefits
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits including anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. They have even shown to eliminate seriously dangerous microbes from the body including parasites like tapeworms. Furthermore, pumpkin seeds may contribute to preventing yeast overgrowth and yeast infections.
- Easing Arthritis
- Acting As Protein bombs
Pumpkin seeds are a great alternative to boost your protein intake without resorting to red meat.
- Chock-full Of Antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds are unique in their abundance of vitamin E, phenolic acids, and antioxidant phytonutrients. The diverse mixture of these compounds in pumpkin seeds may provide them with anti-oxidant related properties that are rarely found in food.
Ways To Enjoy Pumpkin Seeds
- Add pumpkin seeds to sautéed vegetables, soups, meatloaf, and stew.
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of green salads.
- Enjoy chopped pumpkin seeds by adding them to your favorite cereal.
- Bake them in the oven and enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack.
Whether you’re growing an 1800 pound whopper, or you’re reaching for your second serving of pumpkin pie, or if you’re enjoying the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits from this miraculous alkaline squash, you’re in for a powerful health punch offering protection against common health problems.