Till date you have eaten pumpkin and thrown away its seeds. But the fact is you are unknowingly throwing away a store house of nutrients which does not count on calories but silently yet quite efficiently adds on to the nutrient reserve of your body. So why waste them when you get them free with every pumpkin you buy!!
One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.
They are Plant based protein bombs. According to USDA database 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds stacks up nutrition wise:
11.87 gms protein
12.42 gms fat
11.8 gms dietary fibre
See all that protein!! Although plant based protein differs from animal based, yet pumpkin seeds are great way to boost your protein intake specially in vegans. The fibre is a great bonus. While the fat content seems high, it is predominantly â€œ the healthy fatsâ€.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral), which is important for immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good "HDL" cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.
Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the "sleep hormone." Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night's sleep.
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects
They pump up your potassium: The body likes potassium for jobs such as helping muscles contract, regulating fluids, balancing minerals and maintaining blood pressure; it may also help reduce the risk of recurrent kidney stones and bone loss as the body ages
HOW TO STORE
Pumpkin seeds should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While they may stay edible for several months, they seem to lose their peak freshness after about one to two months.
HOW TO COOK
First remove the seeds from the pumpkin's inner cavity and wipe them off with a paper towel if needed to remove excess pulp that may have stuck to them. Spread them out evenly on a paper bag and let them dry out overnight.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet and light roast them in a 160-170Â°F (about 75Â°C) oven for 15-20 minutes. This 20-minute roasting limit is important. In a recent study, 20 minutes emerged as a threshold hold time for changes in pumpkin seed fats. When roasted for longer than 20 minutes, a number of unwanted changes in fat structure of pumpkin seeds have been observed by food researchers. Roasting for no longer than 20 minutes will help you avoid these unwanted changes.
Interestingly, studies have shown that roasting temperatures of 194Â°F (90Â°C) or higher are often required to bring out the full nut-like aromas and flavors in pumpkin seeds. While we do not question this finding, we believe that the unsaturated fats in pumpkin seeds will be better preserved by roasting at this lower temperatureâ€”160-170Â°F (about 75Â°C)â€”and that you will still be delighted by the aromas and flavors of the roasted seeds.
Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautÃ©ed vegetables.
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.
Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal.
Add pumpkin seeds to low calorie burger filling
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on raita and curd
Getting surprised?? Thinking of what a nutrient store you have been deprived of till now?? Stop thinking and start adding pumpkin seeds to your daily diet schedule henceforth. Savour the aroma and take the first step to a healthy world through my e-clinic http://360degreenutricare.zest.md
~ Dt. Deepalekha Banerjee