Did you know why pumpkin seeds are good for you? These seeds are a rich source of numerous nutrients, vitamins, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, selenium, calcium, iron, amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, etc. They also are rich in plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which offer numerous health benefits.
According to a Spanish study, pumpkin seeds have some constituents which are excellent in killing cancer cells. Pumpkin seeds contain compounds which fight efficiently against cancer cells. In fact pumpkin seeds are effective against different types of cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties. A German study showed that women which pass through menopause should consume pumpkin seeds daily and have 23% lower chances of developing breast cancer.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid. Tryptophan has been used to treat chronic insomnia because the body coverts it into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.
A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience suggested that consuming tryptophan from a gourd seed alongside a carbohydrate source was comparable to pharmaceutical grade tryptophan for the treatment of insomnia.
Having a few pumpkin seeds before bed, with a small amount of carbohydrates such as a piece of fruit, may be beneficial in providing your body with the tryptophan needed for melatonin production.
The seeds from the pumpkin are a rich source of zinc, which is crucial for the immune system. Moreover, they can enhance your sleep, vision, skin and mood.
What’s more, these beneficial seeds are abundant in manganese, fibers, potassium, phosphor and proteins.
Therefore, these seeds can also help you lose weight, as they are a rich source of proteins, and they can keep you full. 30 g of pumpkin seeds contains 5 g of protein.
They’re Plant-Based Protein Bombs
According to the USDA nutritional database, this is how 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds stacks up nutrition-wise:
- 285 calories
- 11.87 grams protein
- 12.42 g fat
- 11.8 g dietary fiber
See all that protein? You want that! Although plant-based protein differs from animal-based, it’s just as important and pumpkin seeds are a great way to boost your protein intake without resorting to red meat. The fiber is a great bonus too; and while the fat content looks high, it is predominantly the “healthy fats” that many of us don’t get enough of.
They Pump Up Your Potassium
The body likes potassium for jobs such as helping muscles contract, regulating fluids, balancing minerals and maintaining blood pressure; it may also help reduce the risk of recurrent kidney stones and bone loss as the body ages. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recommends that adults consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day, which is twice as much as most people get. Pumpkin seeds are a notably rich source of this important mineral with 588 mg per cup. Compare that to the famous potassium source known as a banana — a medium one provides 422 mg.
They Help With Prostate Health
Research suggests that pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds may be beneficial in supporting prostate health as well as treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Prevention magazine reports that pumpkin seeds have protective compounds known as phytosterols, which might be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also offer chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with enlarged prostate.
They May Make You Happy!
Shape magazine suggests that the L-tryptophan in pumpkin seeds can improve the mood naturally and may even be effective against depression. (Can’t hurt to try that!) Meanwhile, The Times of India suggests eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed for the L-tryptophan (which is used in melatonin and serotonin production) to help encourage a good night’s sleep.
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