Pumpkin seeds may be on of the most undervalued source of nutrition in the world today. Mostly known for their fiber content, protein content, and recipe applications— there is still more to the pumpkin seed that meets the eye. Here we give you the Top 5 Benefits of Pumpkin seeds so you never repeat the mistake of throwing them away again. Because not only are Pumpkin Seeds of the most portable paleo and ketogenic diet friendly snacks in existence, but they are also a nutritional superfood powerhouse.
1) Healthy Heart
Magnesium is vitally important mineral for several basic physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), and the synthesis of RNA and DNA. Magnesium is also important to proper bone and tooth formation, heart health, and proper bowel function, and is necessary to prevent heart dysrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke. Unfortunately, nearly 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral, while heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, half the daily recommended amount of magnesium can be found in just one-quarter of a cup of pumpkin seeds.
Growing bodies of evidence support that they may also lower cholesterol, which also benefits overall heart health.
2) Antimicrobial Pumpkin Seeds
Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds also exhibit anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-helminthic, and anti-viral properties. Pumpkin seeds also contain Lignans, a polyphenol compound that has also shown antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties in studies.
3) Cancer-Related Benefits
Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which is known to play a key role in the development of some cancers. To combat oxidation, a diet full of antioxidants is optimal for health. Pumpkin seeds are unique in their composition of antioxidants, which may explain some preliminary data that suggests a decrease in cancer risk associated with their consumption. Pumpkin seed residues have also been found toxic to some forms of melanoma, and other cancers.
4) Restful Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that precursor to serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed may be especially helpful in getting a good night’s sleep.
5) Antioxidant Support
Antioxidants are powerful substances which are important to good health and preventing diseases, due to their ability to prevent oxidation of molecules in the body. The most well-known sources of antioxidants are fresh fruits and vegetables, but they are also abundant and diverse in several varieties of pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds contain many different types of antioxidants. These include mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese, as well as phenolic antioxidants like Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and other forms of Vitamin E. Other forms include gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma-tocomonoenols. Alpha-tocomonoenol and Gamma-tocomonoenols isomers are relatively new discoveries in Vitamin E research and may offer greater bioavailability than other forms of Vitamin E.