Pumpkin Seeds - Overview, History Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What are Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin is a popular vegetable because of its sweet, fluffy texture and rich nutritional content. However, even if you eat the pulp, the seeds that come out when you cut the fruit tend to be thrown away. But they are very nutritious. Pumpkin seeds are a highly nutritious food element that is used for food, particularly in Europe, and America, and is also widely utilised as a health food in India too. Pumpkin pulp is typically used as a food ingredient. Pumpkin seeds, known as nankanin in Chinese medicine, are used to treat low blood pressure and eradicate roundworms.

The Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables includes the pumpkin, which is grown in warm climates worldwide. There are more than 600 different varieties of pumpkin seeds. Among all, it is said that Pumpkin Pepo seeds account for the majority of pumpkin seeds used for food. Typically, pumpkin seeds have a tough outer shell that needs to be peeled to be cooked or processed.

Since the pumpkin seeds from pumpkin pepo don't have an outer shell, you can squeeze out the germ oil or roast and eat the seeds raw. Pumpkin pepo is produced as a major vegetable in Southern Europe and the United States. The pumpkin pepo, known as "medicinal pumpkin" in Germany, is a highly developed nation when it comes to medicinal herbs. Its edible pulp and medicinal seeds have been used for a very long time to treat and prevent various illnesses.

Nutritional Value Of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients in their tiny seeds. Here are five main nutritional ingredients.

Protein: Each 100g of pumpkin seeds contains about 26.5g of protein. Pumpkin seeds contain 31-46% high-quality protein.

Minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc): Pumpkin seeds are rich in various minerals that are essential to the human body. Each 100g of pumpkin seeds contains the following minerals.

  • Sodium 47mg
  • Potassium 840mg
  • Calcium 44mg
  • Iron 6.5mg
  • Zinc 7.7mg
  • Magnesium 530mg

Vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B9): It is also rich in vitamins. Each 100g of pumpkin seeds contains the following vitamins.

  • Vitamin E 0.6mg
  • Vitamin B1 0.21mg
  • Vitamin B2 0.19mg
  • Vitamin B6 0.16mg
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 79μg
  • Niacin 4.4mg

Among them, it is rich in B vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2, and niacin.

Lipid: Each 100g of pumpkin seeds contains 51.8g of fat. More than half of it is fat, so be careful not to eat too much.

Polyphenol: Pumpkin seeds contain a type of polyphenol called lignan. In addition to pumpkin seeds, lignans include sesame lignans found in sesame seeds and flax lignans found in flax.

Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds

Improve Urinary Problem: Pumpkin seeds can help people with urinary issues, including frequent urination and irritated bladders. Urinary frequency refers to the condition in which you urinate more frequently than usual, while irritable bladder refers to the impulse to urinate or the quick need to urinate. The symptoms of all these urinary problems are common in older men and women, and the imbalance of female hormones that comes with ageing is thought to be one of the causes. Lignans are found in pumpkin seeds. Sesame lignan, which is found in sesame seeds, and flax lignan, which is found in flax, are two examples of lignans, a type of polyphenol, that are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consuming pumpkin seeds high in lignans can also be predicted to help treat urinary issues like irritable bladder and frequent urination because lignans have the effect of balancing female hormones. 

Reduce Enlarged Prostate: It is said that eating pumpkin seeds can help men with their prostatic enlargement. A disorder known as benign prostatic hyperplasia causes the prostate to grow or inflame. Additionally, some disorders cause pressure on the urethra, which can make it harder to urinate or increase the frequency of urine. Although there are several ideas on the origin of this illness, it is claimed to be unclear. On the other hand, it is claimed that the lignans and plant sterols included in pumpkin seeds help to reduce and manage the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy. Consuming pumpkin seed extract regularly helps to normalise the prostate size and prostate health.

Prevent Osteoporosis: It is said that the lignans found in pumpkin seeds can effectively prevent osteoporosis. The condition known as osteoporosis causes the bones to become fragile due to numerous tiny holes in them. It is well known that this illness is more prevalent among the elderly, but postmenopausal women are particularly affected. A female hormone imbalance is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. Estrogen, a type of female hormone, plays a role in preventing calcium from leaching out of bones more than necessary, and a decrease in female hormones is deeply involved in bone density. Osteoporosis can result from the substantial drop in the balance of female hormones in postmenopausal women, which facilitates the easier dissolution of calcium from the bones. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent way to prevent osteoporosis since they contain lignans, which can balance female hormones. Pumpkin seeds are useful for developing strong bones since they also contain nutrients like calcium and protein, both of which are necessary for bone growth.

Increase Physical Strength: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of minerals that can improve overall body functions as well as physical strength. Pumpkin seeds include several nutrients, such as zinc, selenium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Minerals, as one of the five major nutrients, are involved in various life activities such as maintaining and enhancing the functions of the entire body, fatigue suppression, maintaining body temperature and resistance, and improving immune function. There is a direct correlation between actively consuming pumpkin seeds and reducing fatigue and building muscle.

Stimulate and activate metabolism: By increasing blood flow, pumpkin seeds have the effect of speeding up metabolism. Pumpkin seeds' abundant supply of high-quality protein can increase blood vessel suppleness and elasticity. Pumpkin seeds include a significant amount of high-quality protein that can increase blood circulation by elasticity and suppleness of blood vessels. Enhancement of blood flow in peripheral blood arteries facilitates the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all body cells. About 60 trillion cells make up the human body, and because each cell reincarnates daily, humans can preserve their health. On the other hand, cell activity decreases and it becomes more challenging for the cells to repair appropriately and fast when oxygen and nutrients cannot reach every cell because of inadequate blood circulation. Increased blood flow from pumpkin seeds enables oxygen and nutrients to reach all of the body's cells which boosts metabolism and energises them.

Reduce Cholesterol Level: It is possible to say that eating pumpkin seeds lowers blood cholesterol levels since they contain linoleic acid, which controls blood cholesterol. However, since linoleic acid raises cholesterol, you should be cautious not to take too much of it.

Prevent ageing: Pumpkin seeds can repel active oxygen [*2], which causes ageing and many diseases. This function is played by nutrients that have antioxidant properties [*3] such as vitamins, β-carotene, and selenium, which are abundantly contained in pumpkin seeds. Excessive levels of active oxygen cause cell damage that speeds up ageing causes wrinkles and age spots and causes atopic dermatitis. Furthermore, blood vessel health may be harmed by active oxygen's reaction with blood cholesterol, which raises bad (LDL) cholesterol and damages blood vessel walls. This narrowing of the blood vessels increases the risk of several lifestyle-related disorders, including arteriosclerosis. Consuming pumpkin seeds, which are rich in antioxidants, is thought to help prevent disease and ageing by eliminating active oxygen from the body.

Diet Effective: Pumpkin seeds are not a food that is significantly lower in calories than other foods. However, there is a claim that it lowers blood sugar levels. In addition, because pumpkin seeds are rough, eating them takes longer and increases the likelihood of feeling full. As a result, consuming pumpkin seeds will undoubtedly cause you to eat less overall, which will suppress your appetite and help you lose weight. It has high nutritional value, so it is a food for people who want to lose weight healthily.

Improve Depression: Tryptophan is a compound found in high concentrations in pumpkin seeds. Being an essential amino acid, tryptophan must come from food because the body is unable to create it on its own. Once it is transported to the brain, tryptophan is used to make the hormone serotonin, which is linked to happiness. Serotonin is an ingredient that is believed to increase sleep quality and have antidepressant properties, as well as having the same mood-enhancing effects as antidepressants.

Relieve Constipation: There is a substantial quantity of dietary fibre in pumpkin seeds. As a result, consuming pumpkin seeds is thought to help relieve constipation and enhance digestive function. Many people use pumpkin seeds in their food and beverages just to enhance their digestive system and improve various digestion functions.

Rich in Essential Magnesium: It's said that the diets of modern people are deficient in magnesium. But since pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, just 28g may provide 18% of the daily requirement, they are regarded as a good snack to make up for the deficit. It's currently being You must deliberately consume more food if you want to avoid difficulties in different sections of your body caused by a drop in magnesium intake.

Support Heart Health: Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids abound in pumpkin seeds. As a result, it is said to have the ability to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels put the heart under more strain, which frequently results in heart disease. You can lower your risk even if you don't presently have any cardiac issues.

How To Make And Use Pumpkin Seeds

If you have a pumpkin, you can create pumpkin seeds at home. Don't throw away the seeds left over after using pumpkin flesh. To start, rinse the pumpkin seeds in a bowl of water using the same technique you use for rice. It's okay if you can't completely remove the fibres and slime from the pumpkin pulp. Later remove moisture with kitchen paper, and place the seeds on a tray or colander. Dry it in the sun for a few days to a week by placing it somewhere that is not humid and not exposed to direct sunshine. Try not to place seeds too close together to avoid mould growth. All you have to do is fry it in a frying pan over low heat. It burns easily, so please be careful while frying.

If you have a microwave or oven, you can use a microwave. Just put them on a heat-resistant plate with their shells still on. Set the setting to 500W for two minutes. If using an oven, line a heat-resistant tray with aluminium foil, spread out the dried pumpkin seeds with their shells, and bake at 200 degrees for around ten minutes. If you hear crackling coming from the pumpkin seeds, that's okay. Just remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once roasted using any of the above methods and cooled, you can eat them with the shell on or just the inside. 

How to peel pumpkin seeds: If you leave the pumpkin seeds in their shells, you can enjoy the crispy texture of the shells. However, it could be tough and challenging to eat depending on the variety of pumpkin. The soft, sweet fruit can be enjoyed if the shell is peeled off and only the inside is eaten. The pumpkin seeds should be completely dry before peeling if you wish to peel the shell. As previously indicated, let the cleaned pumpkin seeds air dry for a few days. This is because if the shell is not entirely dried, it will be challenging to peel.

To peel it, simply make a small incision on the pointy part of the seed with kitchen scissors, then use your fingertips to pull it off, just like you would if you were breaking the shell. Use nail clippers if using kitchen shears is tough for you.

How to store pumpkin seeds: Store raw pumpkin seeds in a cool, dark place, avoiding direct sunlight and places with high temperatures and humidity. As long as the temperature does not rise too high, it is OK to store it at room temperature. After opening, seal it tightly and store it in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent oxidation.

How To Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed on their own as a delicious snack or appetiser, but they can also be used to make a variety of dishes and sweets. Here are some suggested recipes for you. All of the pumpkin seeds used in this recipe are roasted and shelled.

  • Pumpkin Seed Pound Cake: Pound cake decorations look great when made with pumpkin seeds. After filling the mould with the pound cake batter, top with pumpkin seeds. It only has to be baked in the oven. In addition to tasting great simply, pound cake batter pairs well with cream cheese and mashed pumpkin or caramel and chocolate flavours. It is also advised to include dried fruit.
  • Pumpkin Seeds Salad: Peel the pumpkin, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and boil it until it becomes mushy. Mix in the cream cheese, honey, and black pepper at room temperature. Once it becomes sticky, transfer to a platter and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. You can also add pumpkin seeds right at the start of your salad. In addition to cream cheese and honey, you can also make it delicious with mayonnaise and vinegar.
  • Pumpkin Seeds Paste: To prepare a paste, put the finely ground pumpkin seeds in a food processor with olive oil. To finish the pumpkin seed paste, add the required amount of grated garlic and salt, then stir. Spread it on bread, stir-fry it with pasta, or drizzle it over salads in place of dressing are just a few of the ways you may use it.

Likewise, you can add pumpkin seeds to anything as a topping. Use in your regular juice, smoothie or any dish.

Pumpkin Seeds Dosage

As per FSSAI, the RDA value is 5-10 g or a small handful or 2 tablespoons. Well, the amount of pumpkin seeds that is advised can change based on several variables, including age, overall dietary intake, and personal health objectives. Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses, rich in essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats. Hence, this serving has an excellent nutritional balance without being very calorically dense. An easy approach to get their benefits is to eat them as a snack or add them to meals and salads. A dosage adjustment might be required for some health objectives, such as treating a magnesium deficit or promoting prostate health. However, because pumpkin seeds are high in calories, it's important to limit your intake. A balanced diet that includes pumpkin seeds is a good source of nutrients that promote general health and wellbeing. Moderation is essential, just like with any dietary supplement, and customised guidance from a medical professional guarantees the best possible integration into a person's diet.

Pumpkin Seeds Precaution 

Although pumpkin seeds are nutritious, still you need to know their precaution points to avoid side effects-

  • Weight gain: Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of fat, and they are also heavy in calories. Despite having little sugar, 590 calories per 100g means that consuming too much of it can result in obesity. We advise limiting it to approximately 30g (177 cal) each day. 
  • Burden on the intestines and stomach: For every 100g, pumpkin seeds provide 7.3g of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre has numerous advantageous properties, including the ability to regulate your stomach and increase the volume of faeces, yet it is not broken down by digestive enzymes. However, if ingested in excess, pumpkin seeds which contain a high proportion of insoluble dietary fibre can result in bloating, stomach pain, and heartburn.
  • Allergic reaction: If you are allergic to the pumpkin, there is a higher possibility of being allergic to pumpkin seeds. Before starting to use it, it is necessary to consult with a healthcare professional or check for an allergic reaction with it.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Pumpkin Seeds

What are the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants, promoting heart health, immune function, and potentially reducing inflammation. They're also a good source of protein and healthy fats.

Is it OK to eat pumpkin seeds everyday?

Yes, moderate daily consumption is generally safe and offers ongoing health benefits.

Can I eat pumpkin seeds raw?

Yes, raw pumpkin seeds are a nutritious and convenient snack, packed with essential nutrients.

Are pumpkin seeds good for hair loss?

Yes, the zinc and other nutrients in pumpkin seeds support hair health, potentially reducing hair loss.

How to eat pumpkin for hair growth?

Incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet or use pumpkin seed oil to benefit from their nutrients for hair growth.

What is the expiry date of pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds have a shelf life of 4 to 10 months, depending on the product. It is best to store it at room temperature in a cool, dark place, avoiding direct sunlight and places with high temperatures and humidity. Please use it up as soon as possible after opening.

Are you allergic to pumpkin seeds?

Some people develop allergies after eating pumpkin seeds. Eating pumpkin seeds can cause oral allergy syndrome, which causes swelling and itching around the mouth and throat, and in rare cases, anaphylactic shock, which causes rashes all over the body and difficulty breathing.

If you have a nut allergy, please consult your doctor before eating.

Is it safe to eat pumpkin seeds during pregnancy?

Pumpkin seeds are also recommended for pregnant women, as they contain nutrients that are often lacking during pregnancy, such as zinc and dietary fibre. However, as mentioned above, it is high in calories, so be careful not to eat too much.

How to consume pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds can be consumed roasted, raw, or added to various dishes. Enjoy them as a snack, sprinkle them on salads, yogurt, or incorporate them into smoothies for a nutritious boost.

How much pumpkin seeds to eat daily?

A recommended daily intake is about one ounce (a small handful or 2 tablespoons) to enjoy their nutritional benefits without excessive calories.

How to use pumpkin seeds?

Use pumpkin seeds in salads, granola, or as a topping for yogurt. They can also be blended into smoothies or ground into a paste for various culinary applications.

Are pumpkin seeds good for diabetics?

Yes, pumpkin seeds are a diabetes-friendly snack. They have a low glycemic index and are rich in fibre and healthy fats, promoting stable blood sugar levels.

How much protein is in pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein. About 1 ounce (28 grams) provides approximately 5-7 grams of protein, contributing to your daily protein intake.

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