Pumpkin seeds. For most, they conjure up memories of childhood, scraping out pumpkins to make them into jack-o-lanterns and sorting out the seeds to dry out and snack on as roasted pumpkin seeds. As wonderful as those memories are, eating pumpkin seeds shouldn't just be part of a holiday tradition. The taste alone should be enough to convince us, but there are also a wealth of health benefits that they offer.
Antioxidants In Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, and their close relative, Pepitas (naturally unshelled from a specific variety of pumpkins), are packed with flavor and health benefits that can be enjoyed raw, or combined in salads, breads, or other snacks and dishes, and are available in bulk raw, shelled, unshelled, and roasted. The consumption of pumpkin seeds should be added to your healthy diet planning, whether you pack a handful of pumpkin seeds to snack on during the day or grab a cup of pumpkin seeds to add to your healthy cooking and meal planning. These tiny edible seeds are packed with nutrients, including:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Even the shells are healthy. They are a rich source of fiber, offering up to 5 grams of fiber!
Nutritional Makeup of Pumpkin Seeds
Recommended daily intake
Serving size: 1 ounce (28 grams of pumpkin seeds/Shell free) | Calories: about 151 (mainly fat and protein)
Essential Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds:
|Fiber Content||1.7 grams|
|Fat||13 grams (6 of which are omega-6 fatty acids)|
|Vitamin K||18% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||33% of the RDI|
|Manganese||42% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||37% of the RDI|
|Iron||23% of the RDI|
|Zinc Content||14% of the RDI|
|Copper||19% of the RDI|
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
The nutrients in them sound great, but what does it really mean? Here's how that translates to health benefits, from bone health to heart health, to managing blood sugar levels, to improving sleep quality, on top of the rich delicious taste. Raw pumpkin seeds, or cooked ones, are an excellent source of antioxidants, and a great source of Magnesium. They help with:
- Heart health / Cardiovascular health: since they are high in magnesium, pumpkin seeds' role in heart health includes
- help in controlling blood pressure,
- help reduce bad cholesterol and manage cholesterol levels
- improving blood flow, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease
- Bone Health: the magnesium content in pumpkin seeds contributes to the development and protection of healthy bones
- Glucose control: the magnesium in pumpkin seeds also helps manage and regulate blood sugar levels, a critical need, especially for people with Diabetes.
- Prostate health: reducing BPH symptoms
- Cancer: offering protection against some cancers
- reduce the risk of breast cancer due to the lignans in pumpkin seeds,
- stomach cancer,
- lung cancer,
- prostate cancer by slowing the growth of prostate cancer cells,
- colon cancer / colorectal cancer
- Help reduce symptoms of overactive bladder
- Reducing inflammations: the anti-inflammatory properties and benefits, including those from arthritis pain and other joint pain.
- Improving sperm quality and sperm count, even offering protection for sperm from damage caused by chemotherapy
- Assist those with autoimmune disease - by continually strengthening the body's natural defenses and relieving symptoms of inflammation and associated pain.
- Skin health: manganese, and vitamin E both help improve skin health
- Increased energy: iron, and copper help with energy production
In addition to all these great health benefits, pumpkin seeds are also a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid, making them a healthy, organic option to improve your sleep quality. The combination of the tryptophan and zinc levels works to manage the serotonin and melatonin levels, helping regulate your sleep cycles, a healthy option for medications.
These totally natural mighty seeds have all the nutritional value, packed with flavor, with nothing added to give you an energy and flavor boost whether you eat them raw or mix them in salads or trail mix, nut or snack mixes or use them in baking or cooking. They are a delicious snack, but also a healthy snack.
As a natural source of protein, they offer a healthy supplement to any diet. And they're not just a favorite of ours, your feathered friends will love and benefit from them as well. Include them as treats for your parrots or other birds, and include them in their daily food mixes for a healthy diet for all.
So what are you waiting for, stock up on bulk pumpkin seeds now and make sure you have enough on hand for baking, garnishing, and snacking, and make pumpkin seeds a part of your healthy and balanced diet!
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