Pumpkin seeds are the only seeds that are alkaline-forming; in this world of highly acidic diets, that is a very good thing. But there are many other health benefits of pumpkin seeds. Scroll down for 13 reasons to add pumpkin seeds to your salads and meals.
And if you want an easy method for making pumpkin seeds more digestible, try soaking them in water for 6 hours. (To learn more about soaking nuts and seeds click here: Sprouting Nuts and Seeds.)
Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits
- Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which helps promote sleep and fight depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin, which aids in sleeping.
- Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Pumpkin seeds are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper.
- They are a good source of vitamin K.
- High in zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis, since zinc deficiencies can lead to higher rates of osteoporosis. In a study of almost 400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
- Pumpkin seeds are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.
- They are the most alkaline-forming seed.
- Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates).
- 100 g of pumpkin seeds contains about 30 grams of protein.
- According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
- Pumpkin seeds reduce inflammation and counter arthritis pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- They are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.
- Pumpkin seeds are good for prostate health. The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.
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 Seed Recipes:
- Nutritious Nut Loaf: Hearty and great tasting!
- Seed Topping for Rice or Vegetables: This is a quick way to add some extra flavor to your grain or steamed vegetables or just for a snack.
- Green Raspberry Smoothie/Pudding: It’s a healthy smoothie. It’s a tasty pudding! No… it’s whatever you like!
8 Creative Pumpkin Recipes