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If you love snacking, why not try something delicious and nutritious which has benefits for hair growth, weight loss and your overall health! We give you 10 reasons for switching over to pumpkin seeds.
We all have guilty pleasures and those yummy unhealthy snacks are one of them. Try replacing bad habits with good ones and enjoy nibbling something equally delicious that can actually improve your health and wellbeing. We are talking about pumpkin seeds! Whether you prefer them roasted and salted or raw and mixed with other healthy ingredients, they have a long list of benefits. You can easily add them to a meal. Just mix them with your cereals for breakfast, add them to a salad, crumble them in hummus, add them to a stew or sprinkle them into your bread mixture.
Did you know that pumpkin seeds are jam-packed with nutrients? They may be small, but they contain fibre, carbs, protein, fat, vitamin K, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, antioxidants, fatty acids, potassium vitamin B2 and folate. Eat a small amount of them and you will get a good quantity of magnesium, zinc, healthy fats and other elements your body needs. Only 100 grams equal 560 calories and provide about 50% of your daily protein intake. This is why it is believed that they can improve your heart and prostate health as well as the quality of sleep but also boost your hair growth, lower the level of bad cholesterol in your blood and even prevent some types of cancers. Here are the key benefits of these potent green seeds.
1. Good for Your Heart
Rich in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids, pumpkin seeds can help you have a healthier heart. While fatty acids can lower bad cholesterol, magnesium regulates blood pressure. And because they can reduce high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol, they eliminate two key risk factors for a heart disease. It is also believed that pumpkin seeds can increase the amount of nitric oxide in your body which can expand blood vessels, improve blood flow and reduce the risk of clogging in your arteries. Using pumpkin seed oil or pumpkin seed oil supplements provides maximum benefits for the heart.
2. Improve Sleep Quality
If you can’t fall asleep, it might be a good idea to nibble pumpkin seeds before bedtime because they are commonly known as a natural sleeping pill. They are a great source of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps promote sleep. Combined with zinc which can also be found in these seeds, tryptophan can convert into serotonin which is a hormone that can regulate your sleeping routine. Additionally, they also contain magnesium which is also associated with sound sleep.
3. Promote Hair Growth
Consuming pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil can help you improve the quality of your hair and boost growth. Eating just a handful of them every day can actually help you fight against hair loss because they contain cucurbitin which is an amino acid that is believed to be beneficial for hair growth. The oil inside the pumpkin seeds is likely to have a profound effect on testosterone and androgen levels in the body. And you probably already know that the lack of testosterone an androgen is a primary cause of non productive scalp and hair loss in men.
4. Improve Prostate Health
You have probably heard that pumpkin seeds are great for the prostate. The secret is the high percentage of zinc that promotes fertility in men and prevents prostate problems. They may help reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia which is a condition that causes problems with urination in men. Additionally, they can also help relieve symptoms of an overactive bladder. And because low zinc levels are believed to increase the risk of infertility in men, eating pumpkin seeds may improve sperm quality.
5. Prevent Different Types of Cancer
Since pumpkin seeds contain DHEA (di-hydro epi-androstenedione), they are also known for reducing probabilities of prostate cancer. Men who are already diagnosed with prostate cancer should also take pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed extract because this may slow down the growth of cancer cells in the prostate. They can also significantly lower chances for getting stomach, lung, breast and colon cancers. Some studies even show that lignans contained in pumpkin seeds can help prevent and treat breast cancer.
6. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Pumpkin seeds can be a good remedy for inflammatory processes in the joints. They may reduce inflammation and significantly reduce arthritis pain if you are consuming them regularly. This is due to their high amount of iron and healthy fatty acids which should be included in any anti-inflammatory diet.
7. Boost Your Immune System
We all need a good immune system to prevent or help us fight illnesses such as common cold, flu or any diseases caused by viruses. Eating more pumpkin seeds can help you ensure a strong immune system because this superfood contains a great number of antioxidants as well as phytochemicals.
8. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Due to its high magnesium content, pumpkin seeds can help reduce blood sugar levels and prevent or battle diabetes. If you are struggling to maintain your blood sugar levels, including pumpkin seeds or supplements to your diet is a great idea, but you should also consider including them in your weekly meal plan if you want to prevent diabetes.
9. Help You Lose Weight
You only need a handful of these small but incredibly potent seeds to feel full for hours. Have them as a snack in between meals and you won’t be hungry at work because they take longer to digest due to the high amount of fibre as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Despite being so dense and heavy, pumpkin seeds are so easy to digest and they don’t cause gas or bloating. And because they will make you feel full, you will consume much less food than after eating an unhealthy snack that contains only empty calories.
10. Improve Bone Health
Because pumpkin seeds are rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and copper. They are great alkalizers which means they can help build and maintain healthy bones. Additionally, they also have an abundance of antioxidants which gives them the power to prevent and combat osteoporosis, while healthy fats help reduce inflammation and boost bone strength.
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