Pumpkin Seeds: Are they really good in your daily diet?

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are well known for their small size and delicious flavour but apart from that. They are also packed with valuable nutrients like healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.

Including a small portion of pumpkin seeds in your recommended daily intake can improve your:

  • Heart health
  • Bladder health
  • Prostate health
  • Glucose blood levels
  • Sperm and ovules quality
  • Protection against certain types of cancers.
  • Sleep
  • Energy
  • Mood
  • Immune function

Pumpkin Seeds: Nutrition Facts

Pumpkin seeds are also known as “Pepita” or “Pepita de Calabaza” – a Mexican Spanish term.

You can eat them in two main ways:

  • Whole – with its natural white shell
    • Like when you carve a pumpkin.
  • Without a shell – Green coloured with a flat and oval shape.
    • Commonly found like this in the supermarket.

Pumpkin Seeds

An ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds have around 151 calories, (mainly from vegetable protein and healthy fats) (1):

  • Energy: 151 calories.
  • Macronutrients
    • Protein: 7 grams, 14% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
    • Fat: 13 grams, 20% of the RDI.
      • Polyunsaturated fats: 5.9 grams.
      • Omega-6 fats: 5797 milligrams
    • Carbs: 5 grams, 2% of the RDI.
      • Fibre: 1.7 grams, 4% of the RDI.
  • Minerals:
    • Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI.
    • Manganese: 42% of the RDI.
    • Magnesium: 37% of the RDI.
    • Iron: 23% of the RDI.
    • Zinc: 14% of the RDI.
    • Copper: 19% of the RDI.
    • Potassium: 6% of the RDI.
  • Phytonadione (Vitamin K): 18% of the RDI.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 5% of the RDI.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): 4% of the RDI.

Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seeds oil also contain lots of antioxidants that have been shown to provide health benefits (2, 3).

Antioxidants in Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin SeedsAntioxidants are important for your body because they reduce inflammation and protect your cells from free radicals damage.

And this is why they help to protect your body against many different diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in antioxidants and it is believed that they are partly responsible for their effects on human health.

Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like (4, 5):

  • Carotenoids
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium

Magnesium and Fibre in Pumpkin Seeds

Apart from antioxidants two of their main nutrients is magnesium and fibre.

One ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds has:

  • Magnesium: 150 mg
  • Fibre:
    • Whole seed: 5.2 grams
    • Without shell: 1.7 grams

A diet high in fibre can promote in your body (36):

  • Good digestive health.
  • Reduced risk of
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Obesity

Magnesium deficiency is common in western countries and it is estimated that more than half adults have a magnesium intake below the recommended daily intake (7).

This mineral is necessary for your body in more than 600 biochemical reactions and its especially important for the regulation of (8, 9, 1011, 12):

  • Blood pressure.
  • Heart health.
  • Bones health.
  • Blood sugar levels.

Pumpkins Seeds are Easy to Add to Your Diet

Pumpkin seedsIf you like to experience a variety of flavours in your food without leaving aside health benefits, then pumpkin seeds are going to be easy to incorporate into your diet.

You can eat them raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, alone or as an addition to other foods like:

  • Smoothies
  • Fruit
  • Bread
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Cereals
  • Yoghurt

However, as with many others seeds and nuts, they need to contain phytic acid, which can reduce the bioavailability of some nutrients in your diet.

If you wish to reduce the amount of phytic acid in pumpkin seeds you need to, soak, sprout or roast them.

Take the Home Message

Pumpkin seeds can easily be part of your diet as an addition to meals or baking as well as a snack.

They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and they may protect your body against inflammation.

This article may also interest you; Pumpkin – Delicious and Healthy Treat for Your Tummy

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