You may have heard of the benefits of pumpkin but do you know that the little seeds of this vegetable as healthy as the vegetable? Pumpkin seeds are packed with plenty of nutrients that make it a healthy snack. In fact, some people also consume pumpkin seeds for weight loss. They may be eaten as roasted seeds or salted pumpkin seeds. The seeds give you the feeling of being full and this prevents over-eating. Not just this, pumpkin seeds offer plenty of other health benefits as well. In this article, we are going to tell you some facts about the pumpkin seeds which we bet you didn't know. From the nutrition to benefits and pumpkin recipes, here is everything you should be aware of:
Pumpkin Seeds: Nutrition
Also known as pepita, a Mexican Spanish term, pumpkin seeds are full of various nutrients and plant compounds. Here is the nutrition profile of 1-ounce (28-gram) pumpkin seeds:
- Calories: 151
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
- Protein: 7 grams
- Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
- Manganese: 42% of the RDI
- Zinc: 14% of the RDI
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Copper: 19% of the RDI
Other than this, pumpkin seeds also contain plant compounds and antioxidants. They also contain a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), potassium, and folate.
Facts and Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Since pumpkin seeds have an excellent nutrition profile, they come up with various perks. People have been using pumpkin seeds in their meals for a long time. They don't just put them into recipes but also make snacks by drying pumpkin seeds. Here are some of the benefits that make them an important part of your diet:
- Rich In Magnesium And Other Minerals
Raw pumpkin seeds are known to be excellent source of minerals, especially magnesium. This particular mineral help in boost mood and sleep. While other minerals also play vital role in various functions. Manganese, for instance, plays a crucial role in collagen production that promotes healthy skin and bones. This is why people also consume pumpkin seeds for skin. Moreover, iron and copper help in energy production. Zinc also supports immunity, skin health, and vision. In short, the minerals present in pumpkin seeds offer plenty of benefits that you would not want to lose.
- Excellent Source of Antioxidants
It is not just the minerals that make raw pumpkin seeds or all types pumpkin seeds good for health. These mighty little seeds also contains cell protective antioxidants such as Vitamin E as carotenoids. These antioxidants fight off the free radicals and also reduce inflammation. In addition, they can also fend off premature aging and other chronic diseases.
- Controls Blood Sugar
Studies suggest that eating pumping seeds helps in protecting you from type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar. In case you already have diabetes, then eating pumpkin seeds can prevent further complications by improving insulin regulation. They can also prevent any organ damage due to diabetes.
- Boosts the Immune System
Since pumpkin seeds richin zinc and iron, they are vital for immune function. In addition, they are also full of anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that further ward off infections and diseases to keep the body healthy. So you can also try this use of pumpkin seeds and get a healthy immune system.
- Improves Sperm Quality
Yes, you read it right. It is suggested that both pumpkin seeds and its oil help in protecting the health of prostate gland. This zinc content in pumpkin seeds is also associated with make fertility. Lower zinc levels may lead to reduced sperm quality. In contrast, the higher the zinc content, the better the sperm quality.
- Promotes Hair Growth
The use of pumpkin seeds is not limited. For instance, pumpkin seed oil is beneficial for your hair. The oil can be used to hair-related issues such as male pattern baldness. A study found that fatty acids, phytoestrogens and vitamin E found in pumpkin seed oil can promote hair growth. Just use the oil directly on the scalp and you can see the results.
- May Improve Sleep
If you have been facing sleep issues, you can try eating white pumpkin seeds before bed. As they are natural source of tryptophan, they can help in promoting better sleep. The presence of zinc also lead to better sleep. Some other benefits of pumpkin seeds are:
- Promotes weight loss
- May reduce risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers
- Improves bladder and prostate health
- Promotes healthy heart
All these benefits confirm that fact that using pumpkin seeds good for health. So make sure you add pumpkin seeds or at least the vegetable in your daily diet.
Top Pumpkin Recipes
The use of pumpkin seeds may vary but majority of them are culinary. So, if you don't just want to munch on the roasted pumpkin seeds, you can turn to pumpkin recipes. The recipes listed below can be made using roasted pumpkin seeds and even green pumpkin seeds (pumpkin seeds without shell). Read on:
- Homemade Protein Powder:
- Begin by toasting almost for 4-5 min in an oven. If you do not have oven, you can roast them on low flame. Now, dry roast pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, oats and sunflower seeds separately in a pan. Try not to burn. Once you are done roasting the seeds, let them cool down in an open surface. Combine them all in a blender jar and grind to get a fine powder. Your homemade protein powder is ready. Keep it in an airtight container and use when required.
- Pumpkin Subji:
- In this recipe, we are not exclusively using the pumpkin seeds but the whole vegetable itself. Begin by washing, peeling, and chopping the pumpkin. Do not remove kaddu seeds (pumpkin sees). Now, heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Fry for a while and then add red chillies. Fry for 15 seconds on low flame. Add copped pumpkin and dry spice powders such as turmeric powder, cumin powder but do not add garam masala and dry mango powder. Also add sugar. Mix all the ingredients. Ass water and salt and cover eh lip. Cook for 7-8 minutes. In case you do not have a pressure cooker, cook the vegetable in a pan with a lid for about 15-20 minutes till they become soft and mushy. Now, mash the pumpkin and add garam masala and dry mango powder. Stir well and let it cook for a minute. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with puris or chapatis.
- Pumpkin Soup:
- To make the pumpkin soup, you first need to peel a pumpkin. Also cut onion and garlic. Now, place these vegetables along with broth/stock and water in a pot. Boil them for abut 15 minutes to make the pumpkin tender and mushy. Now, suing a stick blender, blend the whole ingredients. Adjust the salt and pepper. You can also add milk or cream to enhance the flavour of the soup. Your tasty and healthy recipe is ready!
Apart from the recipes mentioned above, you can also prepare the following dishes with pumpkin and pumpkin seeds:
- Pumpkin Quinoa Khichdi
- Superfood Trail Mix
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Oat Cookies
- Pumpkin Seed Brittle
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