Pumpkin seeds are a delicious and healthy product, but it took a long time for pumpkin seeds to reach our table. At first, our ancestors used pumpkins for household purposes, later they began to eat the flesh of the plant, and only after a long time did it become clear that pumpkin seeds have many useful properties. This is what we are going to learn about today!
The pumpkin is native to Latin America. It is known that it was eaten by ancient Indian tribes and was highly valued for its nutritional value and pleasant taste.
Even young sprouts and pumpkin inflorescences were used for food.
There are fodder pumpkins, used in animal husbandry to feed livestock, and decorative pumpkins, grown as a greenhouse or garden decoration. In short, the vegetable can surprise with its versatility.
But pumpkin seeds, like the beginning of a new life, contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Let’s talk further about who can benefit from them and how.
Chemical composition of pumpkin seeds
The calorie content of pumpkin seeds is 556 kilocalories.
One hundred grams of the product (based on the daily consumption rate) can provide 30.4% of proteins, 71.7% of fats, and 6% of carbohydrates. Dietary fiber is 4.3 grams.
The vitamin composition is represented by almost the entire group B: folate – 57.5 μg; pyridoxine – 0.23 mg; pantothenic acid – 0.35 mg; riboflavin – 0.32 mg; thiamine – 0.2 mg.
Other vitamins are also contained (in milligrams): A – 228; C – 1.9; E – 10.9 (72.7% of the daily value); K – 51.4 (42.8%); PP – 1.7.
Micro- and macronutrients are represented (in milligrams) by selenium – 5.6 µg; manganese – 3.01 (151%); copper – 1.39 µg; zinc – 7.45 (62.1%); iron – 14.96 (83.1%); phosphorus – 1174 (147%); potassium – 807 (32.3%); sodium – 18; magnesium – 535 (134%); calcium – 43.
Useful properties of pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be of great benefit to both men and women.
For women, the seeds will give them thick and shiny hair – the vitamin composition of this product has a very positive effect on the health of the scalp.
Scientists claim that vitamins A and E prolong youth. Pumpkin seeds contain these substances in significant quantities!
The product has a choleretic and diuretic effect.
Pumpkin seeds are especially effective against worms: they are recommended for children as a safe way to expel these parasites.
Traditional medicine has noted that regular intake of pumpkin seeds relieves excessive gas formation and significantly improves the functioning of the entire intestine.
Vegetarians appreciate these seeds for their high vegetable protein content.
Men use pumpkin seeds to prevent prostatitis and prostate adenoma. These unpleasant ailments occur much less frequently in those who regularly consume the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are a powerful antioxidant used in folk medicine to fight cancer.
By regularly eating a small number of seeds, we strengthen the immune system, enrich ourselves with vitamins and minerals, cleanse the body of toxins and heavy metals, normalize heart function, and calm the nervous system.
Pumpkin seeds are used to lower blood pressure. It also cleanses blood vessels from atherosclerotic plaques.
The high content of phosphorus and zinc improves memory and helps to improve concentration and brain function. It affects overall well-being, allowing you to recover from physical exertion in a short time.
The seeds can be safely eaten by people with diabetes. The product lowers blood insulin levels.
If you are constipated, you should eat a tablespoon of raw seeds on an empty stomach.
It will improve intestinal motility and have a mild laxative effect.
Arginine, which is a part of the seeds, helps to gain muscle mass.
Due to its high calcium content, the product is used to prevent osteoporosis and treat joints.
According to folk medicine recipes, pumpkin seeds are used to dissolve kidney stones.
The benefits of pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seeds produce a wonderful oil rich in fatty unsaturated and polyunsaturated acids – a real elixir of life. Pumpkin seed oil is rightfully considered one of the most beneficial for our health and beauty.
It can be called a real treasure trove of carotenoids, tocopherols, phospholipids, sterols, and unsaturated fats, the percentage of which is 90%, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
When taken orally, this oil improves liver function, has a choleretic effect, and normalizes the disturbed functional state of the gallbladder and the chemical composition of bile.
This oil is also popular with cosmetologists and dermatologists: it perfectly copes with inflammation on the skin and accelerates the healing of wounds and burns.
Pumpkin seed oil is recommended for use as a mask and rubbing for mature, dry, and damaged facial skin, for hand skin, and for strengthening and restoring nails. A few drops of pumpkin seed oil can be added to ready-made cosmetic creams, tonics, lotions, and masks.
Pumpkin seed oil will also benefit your hair, especially if it is dry and thin. Regularly, once a week, at night, rub the oil into the roots of the hair and apply it along the entire length, and in a month the result will be noticeable.
In addition to its medicinal properties, pumpkin seed oil has excellent taste, which makes it suitable for cooking.
High-quality pumpkin seed oil is obtained from pumpkin seeds by cold pressing, which allows for preserving all the nutrients and vitamins.
The benefits of pumpkin flour
Pumpkin flour is obtained from peeled and sun-dried seeds by grinding them.
Pumpkin flour is a very valuable product that can be used both for cooking various dishes and as an excellent cosmetic product. If you are engaged in intense mental and physical work, fitness, or sports, pumpkin flour dishes will be extremely useful for you.
Pumpkin flour is rich in essential amino acids, zinc, and choline. Regular consumption improves memory and mental abilities, increases physical and mental performance, and reduces stress, nervous tension, and fatigue.
Pumpkin seed flour is even used as a component of sports nutrition. The phosphorus and calcium it contains affect the speed and strength of muscle contractions; the amino acid arginine helps to increase muscle mass, and the amino acid valine serves as a source of energy for muscle cells.
Contraindications for the use of pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds can bring not only benefits but also harm. This can happen in the following cases: product intolerance; obesity; high acidity of gastric juice; chronic diseases of the digestive system (especially the stomach).
Seeds should be chewed with your teeth to avoid damaging the enamel!
How to choose and store pumpkin seeds
For those who grow pumpkins in the country, getting seeds is not a problem. Ripe vegetables are cut in half, the seeds are removed with a spoon, washed with water, and dried in the oven.
Those who are far from gardening can buy seeds at the market or in a store. A quality product has a light yellow or whitish color (depending on the variety). There should be no impurities or damage to the skin. The seeds are dry to the touch and have a pleasant pumpkin smell.
Seeds are stored in linen bags or airtight containers in a dry and cool place for a year.
As you can see, the pumpkin is not only a symbol of Halloween but also a miraculous remedy that helps with many ailments. If you eat pumpkin seeds, you are sure that they are not only tasty but also useful for the human body but … do not forget to take into account the contraindications and warnings regarding the use of this product. Be healthy!