Pumpkin Seeds Health Benefits
While the association between pumpkins and Halloween is a hard stereotype to overlook, it is not only towards the end of October that these giant plants should be utilised. While the flesh of the pumpkin is a delightfully sweet treat that can be enjoyed in many recipes, it is the easy-to-miss seeds that actually contain a host of nutritional value and can help in the management of a number of conditions.
One of the most important health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds is the fact that they are high in magnesium. There are many people who suffer from magnesium deficiency around the world but a few pumpkin seed every day can combat this. Having the correct levels of magnesium in the body is important as it can help control blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, forming healthy bones and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fibre is another element that many people struggle to fit into their diets. However, just a single serving of pumpkin seeds offers plenty of fibre. This can improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds can help you sleep…no, really! The seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is believed to be a contributing factor to a good night’s sleep. The combination of tryptophan and zinc found in the pumpkin seeds can produce serotonin, which converts to melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep.
Especially high in antioxidants, pumpkin seeds contain vitamin E and carotenoids. These antioxidants can help reduce the risk of a variety of different ailments but are especially good at reducing inflammation and protecting cells from harm.
Incredibly, pumpkin seeds can be one of the most beneficial foods in reducing the risk of cancer. Many studies have found that diets rich in pumpkin seeds are associated with much lower levels of stomach, breast, lung, colon and prostate cancers. It has also been observed that lignans, or chemical compounds found in pumpkin seeds had the ability to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Pumpkin seeds also have a direct correlation with the management, prevention and improvement of prostate and bladder conditions, specifically benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A study confirmed that those suffering from BPH reported a reduction in symptoms after a year of consuming pumpkin seeds as part of their daily diet.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, pumpkin seeds can significantly help in keeping the heart healthy. The levels of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids found in the seeds all help keep the heart healthy by expanding blood vessels, improving blood flow, reducing the risk of plaque growth in the arteries and much more.