This time of year, when you think “pumpkin”, you are probably thinking about pumpkin pie. While this wonderful dessert has earned its place as the traditional Thanksgiving treat, however, do not ignore the pumpkin seeds. There is a whole array of healthy nutrients wrapped up in that tiny package, and seven of these nutrients (as well as the benefits they bring) are discussed below.
Pumpkin seeds are an incredibly rich source of magnesium, with a quarter-cup serving providing you with nearly half of the magnesium your body needs for the day. While magnesium does not get as much attention as calcium and other minerals, it too is extremely important for cardiac health, strong bones and teeth, healthy blood pressure and good digestion.
There is also plenty of zinc in these little seeds, and this is good news for those wanting to keep themselves healthy. Zinc is very important to maintain a healthy immune system that can successfully fight off infection and disease. It is also important for mood, good sleep patterns and the health of the skin and eyes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Pumpkin seeds are a great plant-based source for Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. Omega-3’s provide an array of health benefits, especially in regards to improved cardiac health.
Foods like pumpkin seeds which are a great source of phytoestrogens can be particularly beneficial for post-menopausal women. It can help to moderate the symptoms of this change of life, include hot flashes, aches and night sweats which are common menopausal complaints.
This amino acid is important for sleep, since it is converted by the body into melatonin, the sleep hormone which regulates cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Eating pumpkin seeds a little while before bed can help promote a restful night’s sleep.
The fiber in pumpkin seeds does a number of things to promote your body’s health. It can improve digestion and avoid problems with constipation or toxin build-up. It can also help when you are dieting, since it digests slowly and leaves you with a feeling of fullness, making it less likely that you will overeat.
It is true that pumpkin seeds are high in fat – but it is the healthy, monounsaturated fats that they are rich in. This fats can help promote heart health by lowering bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol levels. They can also help promote weight loss by naturally curbing the appetite.
So when you make your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, trying making it from scratch and save the seeds! They are wonderful roasted and will provide you will the many benefits listed above, making the holidays that much healthier!
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