Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are highly nutritious and are packed full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein. You can enjoy them in numerous ways, add them into smoothie, on top of oatmeal, into baking or eaten raw. Consuming only a small amount of these nutrient rich seeds can provide your body with ample nutrients which are associated with good health.
Here are some of the top health benefits to eating these nutritious seeds.
Full of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids
Raw seed are a fantastic source of plant-based omega-3 (alpha-linoleic acid, ALA). It’s important to note that in humans ALA has to be converted by your body into essential omega-3 fats. This is a topic for another day!
A great source of zinc
Two tablespoons (1 oz) of pumpkin seeds contains 2mg of zinc. This beneficial mineral is required for essential catalytic functions in enzymes (more than 300 are known at present). One of the most important roles zinc plays in the body is to support the immune system, it also helps with mood, sleep, cell growth, skin health, insulin resistance, sperm and prostate health.
Rich in magnesium
Two tablespoons of magnesium contains rough 150mg of magnesium. Magnesium is another important mineral which we need to ingest daily as it regulates over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It plays a vital role in energy production, the synthesis of RNA and DNA, supports heart health, relaxation of blood vessels, supports the nervous system and adrenal glands.
High in antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds contain a plant compound known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants.
Very high in fibre
Fiber is important for good digestive health. Two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (with the skin on) contains just over 5 grams of fiber. Fiber is also important for weight-loss, as it helps you create the feeling of satiety, leading to reduced hunger and lower calorie intake.
May improve quality of sperm
Due to their high zinc content, pumpkin seeds can help to improve the quality of sperm. Low zinc levels have been shown to reduce sperm quality. As these highly nutritious seeds also contain high levels of antioxidants, this can also help improve the quality of sperm.
May help improve sleep
Pumpkin seeds contain two minerals which are important nutrients to promote sleep. They also contain small amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin which in turn converts into melatonin the very important “sleep hormone”.