With their many nutrients, ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are real miniature nutritional bombs. They also contain plant compounds, phytosterols, and free radical-scavenging antioxidants, which can boost your health. As they are seeds rich in fiber, they allow you to increase your fiber intake and reach the ideal amount of 50 grams per 1000 calories consumed.
The icing on the cake, pumpkin seeds are very easy to transport. They do not need to be kept cool. They therefore make a very practical snack to take everywhere and can be nibbled at any time of the day.
1. Magnesium for heart health
A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost half of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, which participates in many vital physiological functions. Including the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that provides energy to your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping action of the heart, the proper formation of bones and teeth, the relaxation of blood vessels and good intestinal transit.
Magnesium has been shown to promote healthy blood pressure and help prevent cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke, but an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
Zinc to boost immunity
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (30 grams contain over 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health , insulin regulation and male sexual function. Many people lack zinc for a variety of reasons, from zinc-depleted soils, side effects from medications, vegetarian diets, and other high-grain diets. This deficiency is associated with, among other things, more frequent cases of colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor academic performance in children.
Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids
Raw nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, are among the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA). We all need ALA, but it still has to be converted by the body to the much more important omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA – by an enzyme that is weakened in the majority of people by high insulin levels.
Pumpkin seeds have long been considered an important natural food for human health. This is partly due to their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (the place in the body where it is found in the highest concentrations), and also because pumpkin seed oils and extracts may play a role in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds may be particularly beneficial for prostate health.
5. Benefits for postmenopausal women
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it can cause a significant increase in “HDL” or good cholesterol, as well as a decrease in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, head, joint pain and other symptoms of menopause in women.
Heart and liver health
Pumpkin seeds, which are high in healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber, may benefit heart and liver health, especially when mixed with flax seeds.
Tryptophan for restful sleep
Pumpkin seeds are an important source of tryptophan, an amino acid (or protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone”.
Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate such as a berry, can be especially beneficial and provide your body with the tryptophan needed to produce melatonin and serotonin that promote restful sleep.
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. It is particularly suitable for the relief of joint pain associated with arthritis.
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