Pumpkin seeds: Amazing health benefits; ways to add them to your diet
Pumpkin seeds not only help manage blood sugar levels but also support better sleep. Here are all the wonderful benefits of the tiny superfoods.
Pumpkin seed is the tiny superfood the world in embracing due to its amazing nutrient profile and health benefits. The edible seeds of pumpkin are roasted and consumed as a standalone snack and also added to salads, trail mixes, smoothies and granola. They can also be soaked and sprouted. A storehouse of wonderful micronutrients pumpkin seeds are excellent in managing diabetes, promoting heart health and helpful in managing moods. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals. However, being high in calorie, they should be consumed in moderation. Pumpkin seeds are also anti-inflammatory and this can help maintain liver, bladder, bowel and joint function. (Also read: Papaya seeds: Know wonderful health benefits; the right way to consume them)
Abhilasha V, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bangalore, in a conversation with HT Digital talks about many benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats, promoting heart health, immune function, and potentially better sleep. They're also a good source of antioxidants and may support prostate health.
Health benefits of pumpkin seeds
- Nutrient-rich: They are a rich source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper, essential minerals for various bodily functions.
- Heart health: High magnesium content supports heart health by regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Immune support: Zinc in pumpkin seeds plays a crucial role in immune function, helping the body fight off infections and illnesses.
- Anti-inflammatory: The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing inflammation in the body.
- Prostate health: Some studies suggest that the compounds in pumpkin seeds may be beneficial for prostate health and may help prevent prostate enlargement.
- Sleep aid: The seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can contribute to better sleep and mood regulation for all.
- Rich in fibre: The high fibre content promotes digestive health and can help with maintaining a healthy weight.
- Healthy fats: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of healthy fats, including essential fatty acids, which are beneficial for brain and eye health.
- Mood regulation: Besides several other benefits, pumpkin seeks help in mood regulation as they contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to mood regulation and may help with managing stress.
- Blood sugar control: Some studies suggest that compounds in pumpkin seeds may contribute to improved insulin regulation, aiding in blood sugar control.
- Menopause: The phytoestrogens in pumpkin seeds may help with symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and joint pain.
- Intestinal parasites: They also have anti-parasitic properties and contain compounds that have been traditionally used to expel intestinal parasites.
- Protects bone and skin: Rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and other minerals, pumpkin seeds contribute to maintaining healthy bone density. The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds, including vitamin E, may help protect the skin.
How to add pumpkin seeds to your diet
Incorporating pumpkin seeds into your diet can be a tasty and nutritious way to boost overall well-being.
There are several delicious ways to incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet as suggested by Abhilasha V.
- Enjoy as it is: Enjoy them as a standalone snack. Raw pumpkin seeds are crunchy and nutritious.
- Roasted: Roast them with a bit of olive oil and your favourite spices for a flavourful snack or salad topper.
- Trail mix: Mix pumpkin seeds with nuts and dried fruits for a tasty trail mix.
- Yogurt topping: Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on yoghurt or oatmeal for added texture and nutrition.
- Smoothie add-in: Blend them into your smoothies for a nutty flavour and an extra nutrient boost.
- Baking: Incorporate pumpkin seeds into your baking recipes, such as bread, muffins, or granola bars.
- Salad garnish: Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads to enhance both flavour and nutritional value.
- Laddoos: Seed and dry fruit laddoos are a health snack idea for all ages.
- Raita topping: Crunchy cucumber and pumpkin seeds raita can add zing to any meal.
- Khakra: Healthy khakras can be made by incorporating seeds into the recipe.
- Bhel: Everyone’s favourite snack can have a nice mix of seeds makhana, puffed rice, peanuts, tomatoes, cucumber and onion for a healthy snack.