June 29, 2012
12 Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Among the many benefits of pumpkin seeds, they are the only seed that is alkaline-forming in this world of highly acidic diets.
Did You Know? History and Interesting Trivia
- Pumpkin seeds were discovered by archaeologists in caves in Mexico that date back to 7,000 B.C.
- North American tribes were the very first to observe the particular miracle in pumpkin seeds. Pumpkins and their seeds were an important Native American Indian food used for their dietary and medicinal properties.
- Pumpkin seeds are called pepitas in Mexico and they are a trademark of Mexican cuisine.
- Pumpkin seeds were very popular in ancient Greece.
- The nutrition in pumpkin seeds improves with age; they are among the few foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose. According to tests made at the Massachusetts Experimental Station, squash and pumpkin seeds stored for more than five months show a marked increase in protein content.
- Pumpkin seeds are high in calories, about 559 calories per 100 g.
Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits
- Are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper.
- Contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Contain L-tryptophan, which helps with good sleep and lowering depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is also very helpful in helping us to have a good night’s sleep.
- Are high in zinc, making them a natural protector against osteoporosis. Low intake of zinc is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis. In a study of almost 400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition they found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
- Are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.
- Are the most alkaline-forming seed.
- Are an excellent source of vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates).
- Contain good quality protein. 100 g seeds provide 30 g.
- According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
- Reduce inflammation for arthritis without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.
- Are good for prostate health! The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.