Pumpkin seeds or "Kaddu beej" are flat and dark green seeds. Some of them are encased in a yellow-white husk, mostly known as "Shell", while some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Pumpkin seeds have a chewy texture, subtly sweet and nutty flavor. Pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family. These pumpkin seeds are known to be nutritional powerhouses containing a lot of nutrients in them, and they play a really great role in improving our health. In this article, we will talk about some of the best health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds or Kaddu Beej:
Heart Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:
It is known that one quarter cup of pumpkin seeds, comprises nearly half of the daily recommended amount of magnesium, which plays a crucial role in a lot of vitally important physiological functions, including the ATP or Adenosine triphosphate creation, the RNA and DNA synthesis, pumping of your heart, relaxation of the blood vessels, proper tooth and bone formation and proper functioning of bowel.
Magnesium is known to benefit the blood pressure and help in preventing sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, and heart attack. Still, about 80% of Americans are deficient in this crucial mineral. Taking pumpkin seeds can help you in improving heart health.
Pumpkin Seeds are Beneficial in Building Immunity:
Pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej are a great source of zinc and one ounce of it contains more than 2 mg of zinc. This mineral is very much important to your body in several ways including immunity, cell division and cell growth, sleep, moods, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, your senses of taste and smell, an also male sexual function. Many people are deficient in zinc because of mineral-depleted soils, plant based diets, drug effects and other diets rich in grain. Because of this deficiency, there is an increased cold and flu, chronic fatigue, acne, low birth weight in babies, depression, learning problems and poor performance at school in children. Taking pumpkin seeds that are rich in zinc, can be very much helpful in improving immune system health and several other conditions.
Prostate Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds or Kaddu Beej:
Pumpkin seeds have long been known as an important natural food for men's health. This is in part because of the presence of zinc in it, which is crucial enough for prostate health and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may act in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate. As per the research, it is found that both pumpkin seeds as well as pumpkin seed oil may be beneficial in supporting prostate health.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds For Postmenopausal Women:
There is one wonderful benefit of pumpkin seeds for the postmenopausal women. Pumpkin seed oil, being loaded with natural phytoestrogens, it may lead to a significant increase in good cholesterol or HDL, and also reduce the blood pressure, headaches, hot flashes, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.
Heart and Liver Health:
There is also one more benefit of pumpkin seeds. These seeds, being rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may offer benefits for heart and liver health, especially when mixed with the flax seeds.
Helps Provide A Restful Sleep:
Pumpkin seeds are filled with tryptophan, or an amino acid that your body converts in to serotonin, which in turn is converted to melatonin or the sleep hormone. Consuming pumpkin seeds a few hours prior to bed along with a carbohydrate such as a small piece of fruit, may be very much beneficial in providing your body the tryptophan required for your melatonin and serotonin production so as to promote a restful sleep during night.
Anti-Diabetic Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds:
There have been animal studies that suggest that pumpkin seeds may help in improving insulin regulation and aid in preventing diabetic complications by reducing oxidative stress.
Pumpkin seed oil is known to exhibit tremendous anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug named, "indomethacin" in treating arthritis, without any side effects.
Beneficial in Treating Osteoporosis:
Being loaded with zinc, pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej are a natural protector against osteoporosis; as deficiency in zinc can lead to higher rates of osteoporosis. As per a study of almost 400 men from age group of 45 to 92, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that there is a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and high rates of osteoporosis at the hip and the spine.
Prevents Kidney Stone Formation:
One more benefit of pumpkin seeds or Kaddu Beej as per studies is that they help in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stone formation. So, you got one more reason to add this seed to your diet.
Nutritional Facts of Pumpkin Seeds:
- Pumpkin seeds are loaded with L-tryptophan that aids in promoting sleep and fight depression.
- There are also phytosterols present in the pumpkin seeds.
- Phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, etc. are some of the minerals found in the pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej .
- Pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej are a great source of vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin B (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folates, vitamin B6) etc.
- Pumpkin seeds are filled with zinc and that helps in osteoporosis.
- In 100 grams of Pumpkin seeds there are 30 grams of protein found.
How to Use Pumpkin Seeds?
It is better to eat the pumpkin seeds raw so as to preserve the healthy fats present in them. In case you are purchasing the pumpkin seeds from a bulk bin, then make sure they smell fresh, not musty, spoiled, which could indicate the presence of fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej are mostly preferred, as they are not contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
If you are planning to consume pumpkin seeds or kaddu beej on a regular basis, then it is wise to soak them. You can then dehydrate them in oven, so as to make them more palatable.
You can also consume the seeds roasted, and if you prefer so, then do so yourself so that you can control the roasting temperature and time. Raw pumpkin seeds can be roasted on a low heat setting in the oven and then sprinkled with natural or Himalayan salt for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Hope this would have amazed you and made you know the importance of taking pumpkin seeds. So, why not add this wonderful food to your regular diet and see the health improvement in you