Pumpkin seeds contain almost the entire periodic table: zinc and calcium, potassium and selenium, magnesium and sodium, iron and manganese, phosphorus. In addition, the seeds contain vitamins of group B, A, E, C, K, D, etc.
Did you know that by consuming 30 – 35 g of pumpkin seeds daily (which is ¼ cup), you get about half of the recommended daily value of magnesium and tryptophan, more than 73% manganese, 40% phosphorus, and 22% of copper.
Unsurprisingly, doctors and nutritionists recommend including this product in your daily diet. Want to know what happens to your body if you consume pumpkin seeds every day? We will tell you about it. And let’s start with one of the frequently asked questions.
Which pumpkin seeds are healthier – raw or roasted?
During high-temperature processing, the lion’s share of nutrients is destroyed in pumpkin seeds, which become harmful to the body.
So, at temperatures exceeding 90 ° C, essential oils evaporate from the seeds, an oxidative process starts, accompanied by the formation of free radicals – toxic substances that poison our body.
Conclusion: exclusively raw peeled pumpkin seeds are helpful for the body.
How many pumpkin seeds can you eat per day?
The answer to this question is ambiguous. If you do not have problems with being overweight and are not predisposed to being overweight, you can safely eat up to 100 g of raw pumpkin seeds per day.
If you follow your figure, nutritionists recommend limiting the use of this product to 30-60 g per day.
Do pumpkin seeds help you lose weight?
Pumpkin seeds are a very high-calorie product, 100 g of which contains:
- proteins ≈ 25 g
- fat ≈ 46 g
- carbohydrates ≈ 5 g
- calories ≈ 560 kcal.
Considering the calorie content of pumpkin seeds, nutritionists recommend that when using them, adhere to the norm of 20-30 g, especially if you are predisposed to gaining excess weight or are actively fighting with it.
If you do not eat less than a glass of pumpkin seeds at a time, then you will have to “work off” the extra calories in the gym.
At the same time, one cannot fail to note the benefits of pumpkin seeds for weight loss:
- Pumpkin seeds contain a large amount of fibre that cleanses the intestines, normalizes stool, and speeds up metabolism, contributing to more intense fat burning.
- If your goal is to lose weight but at the same time maintain muscle mass, pumpkin seeds, rich in vegetable protein, will help.
- Having trouble fighting sugar cravings and minimizing snacking? And again, pumpkin seeds will come to the rescue, which is absorbed for a long time and have a low glycemic index, due to which there are no sharp jumps in blood sugar and the desire to enjoy delicious cakes decreases.
Can pumpkin seeds be eaten before bed?
Considering the high-calorie content of the seeds, it is not recommended to consume them before bed.
BUT! There are exceptions to every rule! Raw pumpkin seeds contain magnesium and tryptophan to calm the nervous system and stimulate sleep mildly. Thus, the amino acid tryptophan promotes the production of the hormone serotonin, which is converted into the “sleep hormone” melatonin.
Therefore, if you are tired after a hard day at work, if you feel anxious and irritable, treat yourself to a handful of pumpkin seeds with honey or fruit an hour before going to bed. This second dinner will help you relax and fall asleep.
Well, here we come to the main question.
What happens to the body if you eat pumpkin seeds every day?
The mood will improve
The amino acid tryptophan increases the production of the pleasure hormone serotonin, which improves the emotional background, and stress is more easily tolerated. Towards nightfall, serotonin is converted to melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness, fights insomnia, and helps you get enough sleep.
But these are not all the valuable properties of pumpkin seeds, including which you will improve cognitive functions in the daily diet, strengthen memory, reduce fatigue, and improve the brain’s overall functioning.
Immunity will be strengthened
Do you want to forget about frequent colds, runny noses, and coughs? Include in your daily diet pumpkin seeds containing zinc – a trace element that is a natural immunomodulator necessary for the thymus gland to function correctly. It is this organ that produces T-lymphocytes, which neutralize bacteria and viruses.
The role of selenium in strengthening the immune system is also essential since this microelement takes an active part in the production of red blood cells.
We have already said that pumpkin seeds contain a relatively large amount of fibre that absorbs and removes the breakdown products of metabolites, regulates the production of food enzymes, and improves metabolic processes.
You will forget about constipation, stomach cramps, and increased gas production if you eat about 60 – 100 g of pumpkin seeds every day.
Puffiness will decrease
Salt metabolism disorders, kidney, liver, and heart diseases can cause swelling of the limbs and face. Pumpkin seeds have a mild diuretic (diuretic) effect, provided by their constituent potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Daily consumption of pumpkin seeds will help reduce swelling and reduce the risk of calcium oxalate formation in the urine, thereby preventing the development of urolithiasis.
Pressure is normalized
Regular consumption of pumpkin seeds lowers blood pressure and strengthens the walls of the arteries, all thanks to their constituent folic and linoleic acids.
Magnesium and potassium regulate the work of the heart muscle, and iron increases hemoglobin, reducing the risk of anemia.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids normalize blood circulation and prevent the formation of cholesterol plaques in blood vessels, thereby preventing blood clots.
Do you want to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies, normalize blood pressure and increase hemoglobin? Eat raw pumpkin seeds more often!
Bones will be strengthened
Zinc and phosphorus are responsible for strengthening bone tissue, preventing the development of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Suppose problems with the musculoskeletal system have already developed. In that case, daily use of pumpkin seeds combined with drug therapy will help reduce inflammation and the manifestation of pain in the early stages of the disease.
The manifestation of prostatitis will decrease
Due to the pronounced anti-inflammatory properties of zinc, purified raw pumpkin seeds help reduce inflammation localized in the prostate gland.
It is also recommended to consume seeds to prevent prostatitis and maintain sexual function in men.
The condition of the skin, hair, and nails will improve
The rich composition of pumpkin seeds, including zinc, vitamins A, E, C, and fatty acids, helps keep the skin elastic and elastic, prevents premature wrinkles, and renews epidermal cells.
According to the conclusion of the American Academy of Dermatologists, it is zinc, which is extremely important for the treatment and prevention of acne.
If you eat a handful of seeds every day, within a month, you will notice increased hair growth and thickening, nails will become stronger and stop exfoliating, and the number of acne will decrease.
Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer
According to a study published in the medical journal Nutrition and Cancer, eating foods that contain phytoestrogens can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In addition, phytoestrogens, which are present in large quantities in pumpkin seeds, contribute to preserving the youth of the female body since they act like female sex hormones (estrogens), the production of which decreases with age.
Blood sugar is normalized
By consuming 30 – 60 g of pumpkin seeds per day, you normalize your blood sugar.
And all thanks to the magnesium contained in pumpkin seeds. The lack of this particular macronutrient is observed in 40% of patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. And since the processing of sugar consumes about 98% of magnesium, it must be replenished daily from the outside. Otherwise, there is a high risk of developing heart disease, degenerative diseases, visual impairment, high blood pressure, and obesity.
At the same time, one should not rely on seeds alone to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Intestinal parasites are neutralized
Raw pumpkin seeds have been used for centuries in the fight against intestinal parasites. And all thanks to the amino acid cucurbitacin, which destroys parasitic worms.
If you have a long trip or flight and you suffer from kinetosis (in other words, you feel sick), pumpkin seeds will help cope with nausea, headache, and vomiting.
For the same reason, this product is indicated for the toxicosis of pregnant women in the early stages.
At the same time, we must not forget that pumpkin seeds will be beneficial only if used in moderation, and the existing contraindications are taken into account.
Damage to pumpkin seeds
Excessive enthusiasm for pumpkin seeds is fraught with the following consequences:
- indigestion (more often – worsening constipation);
- increased gas formation;
- failure in the functioning of the nervous system;
- allergic reactions (up to anaphylactic shock);
- weight gain.
Contraindications to the use of pumpkin seeds
This product is contraindicated for:
- individual intolerance;
- increased acidity of the stomach;
- gastritis and peptic ulcer in the acute stage;
- kidney and liver stones since pumpkin seeds have a pronounced choleretic effect.