Picking out the seeds from a pumpkin may seem like a gross job for some, as they seem to be covered in a slime-like substance and can be difficult to sort off of the pumpkin membranes. However, if doing this doesn’t bother you and you don’t get squeamish so easily, or if you don’t have a problem buying them from the market, you will find these seeds to be an extremely healthy and convenient snack.
All plants have some type of concentrated nutrients and usually, the healthiest nutrients are found in the seeds. Seeds are extremely rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and beta carotene. When you start consuming them on a daily basis, you will quickly start to notice some great things happening to your body, including the six things below:
The risk of heart disease will be greatly reduced
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, fatty acids, as well as antioxidants which are the key compounds to having a healthy heart. The presence of high levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and high blood pressure, lead to the development of heart disease and several studies have shown that the fat found in these seeds may decrease these levels. One study, in particular, found that supplementing with pumpkin seed oil decreases diastolic blood pressure and increased the level of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) in post-menopausal women.
Another study found that the nitric oxide found in pumpkin seeds, and especially the oil made from pumpkin seeds, expanded the blood vessels, thus easing blood flow and preventing the buildup of plaque.
They will help decrease the risk and symptoms of type 2 diabetes
People who have diabetes have are much more likely to be low in magnesium than people who don’t. This is because of the elevated blood glucose levels which increase the loss of magnesium in the urine, thus decreasing magnesium levels in the blood. Since pumpkin seeds have a high magnesium content, approximately 37% of the recommended daily intake in a one-ounce serving, eating them on a daily basis can get your blood sugar to a healthy range without the use of medications or supplements.
Studies done on animals have concluded that pumpkin seeds and other foods that are derived from pumpkins, such as pumpkin juice and pumpkin powder can decrease blood sugar levels.
You will lose weight in a healthy way
Pumpkin seeds have a high amount of fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals to help your digestion and keep your body healthy and fully energized. This will, in turn, help you to maintain healthy body weight, and if you have excess weight it will help you get rid of it in a healthy manner.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in phosphorus, which research has shown to be linked with successful weight loss. A study published in the journal, Nutrition, and Diabetes found that overweight individuals who had been taking phosphorus supplements for 3 months showed a greater decrease in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference and appetite than the subjects who had been given a placebo.
Can help decrease inflammation
Pumpkin seeds have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids which have been proven to decrease stiffness in your muscles and joints. What’s more, the presence of phosphorus and zinc in them also keep the bones strong and decreases joint pain.
One study found that pumpkin seed oil decreased the inflammation in rats who had arthritis without any kind of side effects. At the same time another group of rats received and anti-inflammatory medication and this group experienced negative side effects. It was concluded that even though anti-inflammatory medications can decrease inflammation, consuming pumpkin seed oil didn’t cause any negative side effects.
Depression and anxiety will decrease
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of potassium, a mineral which helps regulate electrolyte balance and manage blood pressure. So, when everything inside the body is balanced, the mind is also balanced, and symptoms of anxiety and stress are more likely to decrease.
Pumpkin seeds also contain the amino acid called tryptophan which creates serotonin in the brain, a hormone which helps in stabilizing your mood as well as boosting your sense of well being while helping your body get into a healthy sleeping pattern. One study, in particular, gave healthy subjects higher doses of dietary tryptophan, which resulted in a significantly lower level of depression, irritability, and anxiety.
You will become healthier overall
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids which fight the free radicals responsible for all kinds of diseases which can attack any tissue inside your body. The free radicals can damage the cells, proteins and your DNA and can cause all kinds of infections, cancers and even premature aging in some people.
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Eating pumpkin seeds with all the important compounds that they contain will protect your body and keep you healthy and both physically and mentally strong.