A pumpkin is actually belong to a type of squash and It is a member of Cucurbita family as well as squash and cucumbers. The name of pumpkin fruit is derived from the word “pepon” which in the Greek language means large melon. Pumpkin is a popular fruit and crop nowadays and it spread around the world they even cultivated in cold ares such as Alaska.nowadays Illinois is the area in America is produce the largest number of pumpkin nowadays. We also familiar with a tradition to carve a pumpkin and make it as lantern that we called as Jack O Lantern and it is a symbol during halloween and in celebration to commemorates their ancient holiday. Pumpkins are originated in Central America.
The pumpkin also contains seeds and all part of the pumpkin fruit is edible and save to be consumed even the seeds. The Seeds of pumpkin itself have been found in Mexico since long ago at about 7000 years to 5500 BC. At that era, native American tribe including Indian tribe consume pumpkin as staple food and they use the pumpkin seed also as food and medicine.
Pumpkin seeds also known as pepita are flat that covered by dark green coat and have yellowish white husk. They have chewable texture and nutty flavor just like nuts. The taste of pumpkin seed is sweet and little bit crisp. Make it a perfect snack for your day or a great topping for your meal. Pumpkin seeds provide large range of nutrients.including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron and copper.
Pumpkin seeds are also excellent source of protein, Vitamins A, Vitamin C and as well as Vitamin E. Not only contains Vitamin, mineral and protein, pumpkin seeds are also rich in good fat, in one quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds contains 15 grams of Fat. At same serving sixe it contains 46% Dv of magnesium, 52% manganese, 24% copper, 16% of protein, and 17% of zinc. It is also high in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed
Due to it wide range of nutrients, pumpkin seed provides many health benefits to the body. The benefits of pumpkin seed that have been observed by some researches are described in the list below
1. Alleviate stress
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed is very amazing for alleviate stress. Who realize that having pumpkin seed can get rid of your stress and alleviate your depression. Pumpkin seed contains high amount of magnesium that has calming effect to the nerve and it also help in the neurotransmitter signalling within the brain and resulting in better feeling.
2. Protect the prostate gland in male
Due to the active component, pumpkin seed have been proved can significantly protect the prostate gland from developing prostate cancer and BPH disease or known as Benign prostatic hypertrophy. The pumpkin seed active substance can inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cell and promoting the cell-killing mechanism or called as apoptosis. Pumpkin seed also contains zinc which play important role in maintaining healthy prostate function.
3. Protect the kidney
The phytochemical component of pumpkin seed also can prevent the accumulation of harmful substance within the kidney which can trigger the development of gallstone or kidney stone. It also can purify the blood before entering the kidney by means it help the kidney in filtering the blood to produce urine and eliminate the metabolic waste from the body.
4. Improve function of bladder
Studies proved that pumpkin seed extract can improve the bladder function in restoring the urine and protect it from any infection of disorder due to its high content of phytochemicals and nutrients.
5. Improve vision
Not only vegetable, some types of nuts including pumpkin seed also rich in Vitamin A that makes it as a great snack that can improve eyesight and vision.
6. Maintain strong bones
Pumpkin seeds contain some level of calcium which beneficial in maintaining bone mass and it also contains zinc that can help in prevention of losing bones mass or known as osteoporosis. Study that published in American Journal of medicine mentioned that people who consume zinc regularly tend to have lower risk of developing osteoporosis in elder age.
7. Reduce cholesterol level
Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterol and fatty acid especially omega 6 and omega 3 that have been proven can significantly decrease the level of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) that known as bad fat. The fatty acid content of pumpkin seed also have ability to increase the level of good fat or HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) within the body.
8. Prevent atherosclerosis
The fatty acid in pumpkin seeds can block the way of cholesterol to enter the blood lining or arteries wall which means it prevent the arteries thickening or atherosclerosis that can cause higher blood pressure and higher risk of heart disease.
9. Reduce the risk of heart disease
By reduce the cholesterol level inside the body and prevent atherosclerosis, pumpkin seed can help the body to provide better heart function and maintain it in steady condition.
10. Reduce inflammation in Arthritis
Pumpkin seed posses healing properties that have been proved can reduce inflammation within the body and has same effect with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as indomethacin. This anti inflammatory properties can reduce the inflammatory symptoms. This substance also beneficial in protecting the joints lining from the arthritis symptoms and reduce the pain if its happen occasionally.
11. Prevent cancer
Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterol which acts as antioxidant that can prevent the body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Studies have proven the active components of pumpkin seed can protect the cells and it inhibit the development of almost all types of cancer within the body.
12. Promotes good mood
If you want to increase your mood just take a handful of pumpkin seed and eat it as snack or mix it with your favorite dish. Pumpkin seed contains amino acids including trypthopan that can promotes the production of serotonine, a hormone that can induce the good feeling and promotes good mood inside the body.
13. Fasten healing wound
Pumpkin seed contains some protein that known as body building block and it is useful in body tissue reparation. The cells that broken in the body will be replaced by new cells that promoted by the presence of protein and amino acids. This is why pumpkin seed can be helpful in healing wound.
14. Maintain healthy and young skin
Comes in small size doesn’t make the pumpkin seed has less benefits to your skin. The pumpkin seeds contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E also other phytochemical that act as antioxidant and it can prevent the skin from damage and the sign of aging such as wrinkle and sagging skin.
15. Induce good sleep
High level of magnesium makes pumpkin seed as super food that can be used in treat any sleep deprivation including insomnia. The magnesium content of pumpkin seed will trigger the nerve to reach it calm state and promotes better sleep quality at night.
16. Treat tapeworms and parasites infection
Native American has been used the pumpkin seed as their folk medicine to treat tapeworm and other disease that caused by parasites. Later, study reported that pumpkin seed is effective in reducing the growth of parasites and its infection inside the human body as well as in animal.
17. Maintain healthy brain
Just like other parts of the body, brain needs nutrients the most. Pumpkin seed contain some fatty acids including omega 3 and omega 6 that can protect the brain cells from damage and improving the brain performance.
Side Effect and Tips to Consume
There are no case reported after consumption of pumpkin seeds and it is save to be consumed by anyone including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Due to its content of protein, it may cause several allergic reaction but it is so rare. To get the benefits of pumpkin seed check these tips and make sure you get the good quality pumpkin seeds.
- Pumpkin seeds are usually available in store just watch the label and know the expire date of the product. Make sure it doesn’t exceed a year of storage in the store
- Even you can get it easily at store or if you hardly to find it in market you can make your own roasted pumpkin seed by cleaning the seed from any pulp then dry it overnight on a tray which has been covered by paper. In the next day just place and spread the seeds on tray. Baked it inside oven in 75 degrees celcius temperature within 15-20 minutes
- Remember to use low temperature and longer time of baking instead of using high temperature and fast baking time. The slow process of roasting the pumpkin seed will keep the essential oil and the nutrients inside.
- Store the roasted pumpkin seed in an airtight container and you can store it for several month. For your information, the pumpkin seed is best to consume just for two moths after it get roasted
You can directly consume the pumpkin seed or sprinkle it to your dish such as salad, muffin, ice cream and other food that you loves to enjoy
Never underestimate something that comes in small size and even it shoul go to the trash bin. The seeds of pumpkin provides you many health benefits so don’t throw it out when you want to consume the pumpkin flesh, just collect the seeds, roasted it and enjoy the seeds to get the benefits.