Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepita, are loaded with nutrients. They provide several health benefits. The seeds which are obtained from market are usually deshelled and they are flat and oval. It is very easy to incorporate them in daily diet. Even small quantities of these seeds incorporated in your diet can help improve your health in many ways.
Here are the health benefits that pumpkin seeds provide:
• Pumpkin seeds are packed with so many nutrients. They contain proteins, healthy fats, fibre, carbs, vitamin K, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc and copper. They also have fair amounts of potassium, folate and vitamin B2.
• They are antioxidant rich which helps protect against oxidation from free radicals in the body. This helps in keeping many diseases at bay and acts as anti-inflammatory agent.
• Pumpkin seeds help improve the health status of prostate and urinary bladder in older men. Studies say that it reduces the risk for benign prostate enlargement which causes trouble in urinating.
• Some studies conducted show that pumpkin seeds are beneficial for stomach, lungs, breast, prostate and colon health. Evidence says that consuming these seeds may help in preventing the cancers of the above-mentioned organs.
• Pumpkin seeds provide a dose of magnesium to the body which helps improve health. Magnesium is important for many functions in the body like maintaining a normal blood pressure, regulating blood glucose, forming healthy bones and others.
• They are rich in fibre and contain 2 g of fibre per 25 g of the deshelled seeds. Fibre helps in fighting constipation, keeping the gut healthy.
• Magnesium, zinc, antioxidants help in improving heart health, pumpkin seeds contain all these. Pumpkin seeds may also help increase good cholesterol.
• Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. This can help improve sperm quality, as zinc is essential for healthy sperms.
• They help improve sleep as they contain tryptophan- an amino acid, which gets converted to serotonin. Serotonin promotes sleep.
• It is easy to incorporate them in your diet. You can add these to smoothies, shakes and Greek yogurt, can be added to salads and soups or can be sprinkled on cereals. They are eaten raw or roasted and salted. It is best to roast or sprout or soak them to reduce the phytic acid content in them. Phytic acid hinders nutrient absorption.
They can be more beneficial as they are packed with nutrients and provide other health benefits like improving immune strength. Pumpkin as a vegetable can also be incorporated in your diet, it provides similar health benefits as the seeds.