As more people become aware of the benefits of healthy fats in the diet, nuts and seeds (once shunned by many dieters) have really come into their own. This a good thing, as seeds – like the pumpkin seed – not only provide healthy fats, but proteins, fiber and other important nutrients as well. They also can work easily into a variety of diets, being heart-healthy, gluten-free and diabetic-friendly.
The nutrients that pumpkin seeds literally bring to the table mean that they have a variety of health benefits attached. Regular consumption of pumpkin seeds can do everything from helping address nutrient deficiencies to normalizing cholesterol levels. Read on to find out more about the benefits of this amazing seed.
Provides Essential Minerals
One of the best things about pumpkin seeds is that it provides the body with essential minerals that can sometimes be hard to get, especially in a diet which is based on processed foods. Pumpkin seeds, however, provide the body with nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and manganese, all of which are essential for overall bodily health.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Pumpkin seeds, of all the seeds, are highest in phytosterols, plant-based chemicals that have been proven to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the small intestines. This means that cholesterol levels in the bloodstream are lowered and this, in turn, prevents the clogging of arteries that can lead to a heart attack.
Medicine is becoming more aware of the fact that inflammation plays a major role in the development and progress of a number of serious chronic conditions, including ones like arthritis, IBS, diabetes and even cancer. Pumpkin seeds, however, have been proven to help lower levels of inflammation throughout the body.
Calms an Overactive Bladder
Especially in an aging society, overactive bladders can be an issue. As the body grows older, the muscles in the bladder can become weaker and less functional and the result is that people will have to urinate much more frequently than they used to. However, studies have shown that pumpkin seeds contain compounds which naturally calm down bladder muscles and can restore normal bladder function.
Strengthens the Bones
Osteoporosis, or a thinning and weakening of the bones, is a major problem, especially for women who are post-menopausal. This condition, if not treated, can lead to an increased risk for fractures. However, pumpkin seeds are rich in the minerals that build strong and healthy bones, minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous which can help prevent this condition.
These are all great reasons to add pumpkin seed to the diet. From its mineral-rich content to its anti-inflammatory effects, pumpkin seeds are worth their weight in gold, nutritionally speaking, and can fit easily into virtually any diet. Its health benefits make it well worth the inclusion!
Sources: whfoods.com, healthyeating.sfgate.com, nutrition-and-you.com
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