How about switching over to a healthy snack rather than nibbling on fried snacks during monsoons? Rains do bring relief from summers but it also ups a host of diseases and infections. So being mindful of what you eat and including healthy snacks in your diet could help you a great deal in warding off any possible ailments. One such snack that you can always look up to is pumpkin seed. Yes, you heard that right. Containing a variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium to copper, protein and zinc, these power seeds are bound to make snacking a healthy affair.
According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing House, pumpkin seeds are a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and protein. The seeds have high levels of essential fatty acids that help maintain healthy blood vessels and lower unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.
Delhi-Based Nutritionist Lokendra Tomar shares, “Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses because they are an excellent source of protein, healthy fat and beneficial fibers. These wonder seeds can be used as nutritional snacks for both men and women. They are ideal snacks because they fill your stomach for a longer duration. They suppress hunger pangs as each 100 grams provides about 560 calories and almost 50% of daily protein requirement. These seeds are source of valuable nutrients like zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, antioxidants and phytosterols.”
Here are some benefits of pumpkin seeds –
1. Heart Friendly
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy fats, fibers and various antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart. These seeds consist of monounsaturated fatty acids that help to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the blood. The presence of magnesium in the seeds helps to regularise blood pressure levels.
2. To Get a Sound Sleep
Pumpkin seeds contain Serotonin, a neurochemical, which is also known as nature’s sleeping pill. Pumpkin seeds are high in Tryptophan, an amino acid that further converts into Serotonin in the body, ensuring a sound night’s sleep. A handful of these seeds before going to bed will help you sleep away to glory.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Pumpkin seeds are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to reduce arthritis pain. Pumpkin seed oil is a good remedy when it comes to treating pain in the joints.
4. Builds Immunity
The presence of high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals ensure a good immune system and further reduce the possibility of viral infections that may lead to cold, flu, fatigue and other ailments, especially during monsoons.
5. Improves Prostrate Health
The book Healing Foods states that high in zinc these seeds are useful for promoting men’s fertility and preventing prostrate problems. Pumpkin seeds also have DHEA (Di-hydro epi-androstenedione) that helps reduce the chances of prostate cancer.
6. A Boon for Diabetics
Pumpkin seeds help improve insulin regulation in diabetics and decreases oxidative stress. These seeds are a rich source of digestible protein that helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
7. Helps in Losing Weight
This is one of the best snack to lose weight. They might look small, but are very dense and heavy foods that help you keep satiated for a longer period. They are also high in fiber which takes longer for your body to digest, leaving you full, keeping you away from any craving.
8. Helps in Hair Growth
Pumpkin seeds consist of cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for hair growth. Apart from this, they also contain vitamin C that also plays a crucial role in hair growth. Apply pumpkin seeds oil on scalp to see the results or just consume a handful of them daily.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
1. You can eat them raw or try dry roasted seeds as a snack.
2. You can also use them in baking, garnish for soups and salads, or with granola.
3. If you want to add these seeds in your diet, trust these two recipes to fulfil your healthy needs- Nut and Seed Crusted Cottage Cheese and Cucumber and Pumpkin Seed Salad.
So what’s all the waiting for? Switch over to good health with these power seeds.