Pumpkin seeds can be categorized as a superfood. These small but mighty seeds have become a popular snack over the past few years due to their nutritional value. They contain lots of nutrients that a cupful is enough to provide the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients. They are a rich source of iron, zinc, magnesium, protein, Omega-3, and vitamins which have several health benefits.
Additionally, you can eat them raw but to give them a bit of a taste, you can roast them at home or buy ready-to-eat seeds from the supermarket, sprinkle them in some oatmeal, make a smoothie or add them to a salad. The options are unlimited. Here are some of its health benefits.
- Reduces Risk Of Developing Cancer
Cancer is one of the biggest threats to our health linked to poor diet and lifestyle habits. Pumpkin seeds can reduce inflammation and protect cells from free radicals due to their high carotenoids and vitamin content, which are anti-oxidants. It especially reduces the risk of developing some of the most common forms of cancer such as stomach, lung, prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
- Improves Prostate and Bladder Health
These seeds are a gift that keeps giving. Apart from having cancer-fighting properties, they have protective compounds known as phytoestrogens which shrink the prostate thus promoting prostate health. These compounds also produce chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with an enlarged prostate. Therefore, pumpkins can be beneficial for older men.
- Improves Sperm Quality
Low-quality sperm can cause infertility which could affect a man’s self-esteem. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral that improves sperm quality. A study showed that consumption of pumpkin seeds improved the biochemical reaction of sperms thus improving its quality and reproduction.
- Helps With Weight Loss
Pumpkin seeds are especially popular with health enthusiasts as they help maintain a lean physique. Research shows that regular consumption of pumpkin seeds helps reduce the risk of obesity since it’s packed with fibre which promotes digestion. Additionally, due to their small size but rich protein content, consuming pumpkin seeds ensures you have the required protein intake in a smaller portion.
- Helps With Better Sleep
Many people suffer from insomnia, inadequate, and irregular sleep patterns which can have negative effects on immunity. One way to improve the quality of your sleep is to add a magnesium-rich diet. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium which makes it an ideal bedtime snack without having to worry about unwanted weight gain.
- Control Blood Sugar
Next time you crave a snack, try some pumpkin seeds instead of other fatty foods. Since pumpkin seeds are a good source of healthy fats, it lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes or lower its effects. By boosting insulin regulation, it also helps control blood sugar which improves energy levels and general quality of life.
- Counter Menopausal Symptoms
Women experience a drop in estrogen levels once they reach menopause which comes with symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, weight gain, and irregular sleep. Pumpkins are rich in a class of naturally occurring compounds known as phytoestrogens that mimic the effects of estrogens in the brain and body. Therefore, this counters the effects of menopause as well as preventing diseases associated with menopause such as cardiovascular disease.
- Improves Mood
Generally, pumpkin seeds have a feel-good effect. The L-tryptophan property in these seeds helps boost your mood and makes you feel good. This could also help prevent mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression which many people are prone to. If you’re having a bad day, these seeds might be the remedy you never knew you needed. Foods That You Should Try Out To Boost Your Mood And Elevate Your Energy