Are you the type to discard the pumpkin seed after eating the vegetable? It’s because you don’t know how much benefit you’re wasting! According to the nutritionist at Oba Hortifruti, Renata Guirau, this grain is rich in magnesium, zinc, good fats and fiber.
All of this contributes to better bone, heart and bowel health . Not to mention the strengthening effect of the immune system, protecting the body against various diseases.
Furthermore, pumpkin seed is a versatile food, as it can be used for oil extraction or it can be consumed roasted and in the form of flour . This last version being the most suitable for those who want to lose weight.
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Pumpkin Seed Benefits
Like the vegetable itself, its seeds are also rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds. “Not all seeds can be consumed. Edible seeds are generally good sources of minerals, fiber and good fats, to add to our diet”, explains the nutritionist.
Strengthens bones and muscles
In 100 g of this food there is 592 mg of magnesium (Mg), which is why Renata Guirau claims that it is an excellent source of this nutrient. The mineral “works on bone health, blood electrolyte balance, cramp prevention and sleep quality.”
To give you an idea, between 60% to 65% of all magnesium content in the body is present in bones. What’s more, it works in tandem with calcium, properly fixing it in the body. Therefore, it is important for healthy bone structure growth.
Regarding the benefits for the muscles, it is worth mentioning the relaxing effect that Mg has. While calcium stimulates contraction, magnesium works as a relaxant .
When the body is deficient in this nutrient, doctors diagnose hypomagnesemia. The main neuromuscular symptoms are cramps, muscle weakness, fatigue, spasms, etc.
While the vegetable is a source of beta-carotene, its seeds are rich in zinc . In both cases, the nutrition specialist explains that they have an antioxidant effect.
Grains “are also a good source of monounsaturated fats (good fats) that favor immunity”, highlights Renata.
Controls cholesterol levels
In addition, regular consumption of good fats has a favorable effect on triglyceride levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. Consequently, it helps to prevent heart-related diseases such as atherosclerosis , characterized as the accumulation of fat in the arteries.
Improves bowel and loses weight
Both the squash and the grains present inside the vegetable have fiber. According to the nutritionist at Oba Hortifruti, these compounds help with satiety ( lose weight ), in the digestibility of meals and in the proper functioning of the intestine.
In fact, fibrous foods are important to the intestinal tract from the moment they are placed in the mouth. That’s because they require more chewing than other foods, so the brain understands that the body is full, even though it consumes less.
And those who think that fibers are digestible are wrong, as they pass through the stomach and intestines only to help with digestion and the elimination of feces.
Good for eyesight
“A Mexican study from 2019 showed that the consumption of pumpkin seeds can reduce inflammation in some corneal diseases”, cites Renata Guirau.
According to the same research, the seeds are able to prevent the neovascularization of the cornea. In other words, they prevent the formation of abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
Fights the symptoms of menopause
Also in 2019, a scientific article proved that supplementation with pumpkin seeds improves the signs caused by estrogen deficiency .
Among the most classic symptoms of hypoestrogenism are vaginal dryness, burning in the region, irritation, feeling of pressure and itching in the vagina.
But this food not only has benefits for the menopause period, as the oil is also suitable for women who have an overactive bladder.
“[…] an improvement was observed with just one week of supplementing the diet with pumpkin seeds, where there was an improvement in daytime and nighttime urinary control”, explains the professional.
Improves men’s sexual performance
Both men and women need to have a diet with good daily doses of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, zinc, fiber and good fats.
“A possible advantage in relation to consumption by men would be the help in the supply of zinc, which is positively related to a better production of sperm, ” says the nutritionist.
In addition, Renata Guirau explains that frequent consumption of pumpkin and its seeds can improve the quality of life and urinary control of patients who have undergone treatment for benign prostate tumors.
We asked the nutritionist to indicate how to prepare this roasted food in the form of flour. Follow up!
The first step is to remove the seeds and wash them well. Then soak them in salted water for approximately 1 hour. Remove the water, dry them well with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Finish by seasoning the beans as desired, place in a greased mold and bake until crunchy. In this way, they have a nutty flavor. They can be consumed as appetizers or mixed with pasta, sauces, pates, cheeses and salads.
Pumpkin seed meal
To make the flour, just toast the seeds as in the previous tip and beat them in a blender or food processor, until they turn into powder.
“It can be used to prepare recipes, such as cakes, pies, pancakes and even added to foods, such as yogurt and fruit salads”, teaches Renata.
Is tea beneficial?
The pumpkin seed tea recipe is very popular, but according to the nutritionist it is not a commonly used form. “It would have no benefit in relation to eating the roasted seed or in the form of flour.”
Like other types of vegetable oils, pumpkin seed oil has large amounts of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
That is to say, it is beneficial in reducing LDL and triglyceride content while increasing HDL levels. Therefore, it is a great option to prevent cardiovascular problems .
Is there harm or contraindication?
People with slower digestion may experience discomfort from the delay in finalizing digestion due to fiber. Therefore, starting to consume little by little is the best alternative and, of course, always balancing it with water intake.
In addition, the nutrition specialist recommends consumption in moderation , since, being a source of fat (albeit good), pumpkin seed contains a high caloric value.
“It is worth remembering that small portions 20 g to 30 g already make a big difference in the supply of nutrients from these seeds”, he concludes.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.