Pumpkin seeds, as the very name suggests, are the seeds of pumpkin, a gourd-like squash that is popularly associated with Halloween festival. Having a sweet and nutty taste, the seeds are dark green in color and have a flat shape. In majority of the cases, you will also find a yellow-white husk enclosing the seeds. Pumpkins as well as their seeds were first recognized as nutritious by the Native American Indians, because of their dietary and medicinal properties. However, it was the European explorers who spread their cultivation throughout the world. As of now, pumpkins are largely produced in the countries of United States, Mexico, India and China. Through this article, we will help you explore the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Health Benefits Of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
- The oil present in pumpkin seeds can interrupt the activation of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT, in turn avoiding the enlargement of the prostate gland. The carotenoids, omega-3 fats and zinc present in the seeds add to this benefit.
- Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for people suffering from arthritis.
- Being rich in calcium and zinc, pumpkin seeds, if made a part of the regular diet, can improve the bone mineral density of men and help keep the problem of osteoporosis at bay.
- Pumpkin seeds have been found to serve as a very good source of a number of minerals, like magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, apart from iron, copper, protein and zinc.
- Containing a good amount of phytosterols, pumpkin seeds have been found to be helpful in reducing blood levels of cholesterol, enhancing the immune response and decreasing the risk of certain cancers.
- Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, a natural compound that is known to be effective against depression. In other words, the seeds prove beneficial for people suffering from depression.
- Studies have suggested that pumpkin seeds can help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stone.
- If you are suffering from constipation, or catarrh, a condition in which fluids run from mucous membranes, regular consumption of pumpkin seeds would prove beneficial.
- There have been researches suggesting that pumpkin seeds can help treat overweight or obesity and dissolve gall stones as well. They are also good for people suffering from tuberculosis.
- Pumpkin seeds are known to help stimulate the appetite of a person. They also prove to be beneficial for the teeth, gums, nerves, hair and nails.
- In order to cook pumpkin seeds, you will first have to remove them from pumpkin's inner cavity and then wipe them with a paper towel, in order to remove the excess pulp that may have stuck to them.
- It is advisable to roast the pumpkin seeds for a short period of time, at a low temperature. Such a cooking method helps preserve the healthy oils present in them.
- Adding pumpkin seeds to salads or mixing them with grains is a great idea. You can even ground them up and add to salad dressings, casseroles, soups, and baked goods.