You must have seen the smooth, deep yellow to orange vegetable fruit with ribbed skin. It is from the squash family (Cucurbita pepo) and whose white hull contains flat, symmetrically oval, slight green seeds are edible. Pumpkins are nutritionally rich, endowed with multiple vitamins and minerals as we shall see in this article.
Health Benefit 1: Source of Magnesium
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, with just a quarter of a cup supplying you with more than 50% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Magnesium helps in creation of ATP, synthesis of RNA and DNA, relaxation of blood vessels as well as proper tooth and bone formation. Additionally, magnesium assists in bowel movement, prevents cardiac arrest among other heart diseases.
Health Benefit 2: Source of Zinc
The body requires zinc for boosting immunity, cell growth and division, fighting sleep disorders, skin health, and insulin regulation among others. Pumpkin seeds contain lots of this mineral. People who are deficient in zinc experience fatigue, acne, depression, low birth with babies, learning problems and host of other problems.
Health Benefit 3: Contains Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats
Pumpkin seeds offer one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid also known as ALA). ALA Is useful in the body when it is converted into essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA .This conversion is done by an enzyme. Although pumpkin seeds provide as with ALA, animal sources such as krill oil are equally important.
Health Benefit 4: Prevents Prostate Cancer
The high zinc in pumpkin seeds is crucial for prostate health. Pumpkin sees extract plus oils assist in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is another name for enlarged prostate. It has been shown through research that pumpkin seed oil together with the pumpkin seeds play this important role of protecting the prostate from such diseases as prostate cancer.
Health Benefit 5: Fights Diabetes
Pumpkin seeds assist in the regulation of insulin thus preventing diabetes. The role of the pumpkin seeds is to lower oxidative stress.
Health Benefit 6: Role in Post menopause
The phytoestrogens in pumpkin seeds are beneficial in menopausal women. Studies show that the phytoestrogens increase High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) also known as good cholesterol while at the same time lowering blood pressure. They also deal effectively with other symptoms of post menopause such as hot flushes, headaches and joint pains.
Health Benefit 7: Heart and Liver Health
The fats, anti-oxidants and fibers in pumpkins are important in the heart and liver especially when taken together with Pumpkin seeds.
Health Benefit 8: Promotes Sleep
Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid known as tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin, then melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep “sleep hormone’’ which promotes good sleep especially when consumed before retiring to bed.
Health Benefit 9: Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The oil in pumpkin seeds contains anti-inflammatory properties similar to those found in a drug called indomethacin which is used in the treatment of treatment of. Arthritis. Pumpkin oil has an advantage over this drug in that it causes no side effects.