Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of valuable nutrients.
Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.
Because of this, pumpkin seeds have been associated with several health benefits.
These include improved heart health, prostate health and protection against certain cancers.
You can find roasted, salted, flavoured, coated, fried, battered, and even plain variants. However, you should look for the raw, unsalted, plain type. The raw ones have the most fibre and unsaturated fats. While rich in protein and minerals, these raw seeds are low in calories and deficient in sodium, making them extremely healthy.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
One serving (approximately 15gms/1 Tbsp) of Pumpkin seeds offers:
Fibre: 1.5 grams
Carbs: 2.10 grams
Protein: 3.70 grams
Fat: 6.80 grams
Sugar: 0.20 gram
Vitamin K: 18% of RDI (Reference Daily Intake)
Zinc: 23% of RDI
Magnesium: 37% of RDI
Iron: 23% of RDI
Copper: 19% of RDI
Manganese: 42% of RDI
Phosphorus: 33% of RDI
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and other minerals
Raw pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, and copper.
Magnesium helps improve mood and sleep, while manganese plays a role in collagen production and promotes skin and bone health.
Iron and copper are involved with energy production, and iron also helps transport oxygen to our cells.
Zinc supports immunity, skin health, and vision.
Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants
In addition to minerals, these mighty seeds are also packed with cell protective antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamin E. In addition to reducing inflammation, antioxidants help fend off premature aging and chronic diseases.
Pumpkin seeds are full of beneficial fats
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. Only a small fraction of ALA gets converted into the important DHA and EPA omega-3s, which are found in fatty fish like salmon. However, the benefits of ALA include heart disease protection, reduced risk of artery hardening, and anti-inflammation.
Pumpkin seeds help control blood sugar
On top of being low in carbs and a good source of plant protein, research suggests that eating pumpkin seeds help protect against type 2 diabetes or reduce its complications in other ways, such as improving insulin regulation, and protecting organs against the consequences of diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds improve the immune system
In addition to the zinc and iron in pumpkin seeds, which are both vital for immune function, pumpkin seeds possess anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
Pumpkin seeds may improve sperm quality
Research shows that both pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil help to protect prostate health. The seeds’ zinc content may also support male fertility, as low zinc levels have been tied to reduced sperm quality.
RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE
serving size for pumpkin seeds is 15 grams. It is one-fourth of a cup. While your intake can go up to half a cup, moderation is key. Eating more pumpkin seeds than you need may cause bloating and stomach issues.
If taken in moderate quantities, pumpkin seeds help your digestive system significantly. But, with excess consumption, too much fibre can lead to constipation. It might also result in weight gain, the opposite of your goal.
This happens because even if these seeds are low-calorie, they still contain them. Overeating anything can cause the accumulation of fat. In addition, overeating pumpkin seeds can also cause intestinal inflammation and stomach pain.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CONSUMING PUMPKIN SEEDS:
1. Eating pumpkin seeds in excess can cause stomach ache, flatulence, bloating and constipation.
2. Since pumpkin seeds are loaded with calories, eating them in excess can lead to weight gain.
3. Those who are on diuretic drugs, infants, pregnant or breastfeeding women, allergic to pumpkin seeds, people with hypoglycaemia and those with low blood pressure should not eat pumpkin seeds.