Gardening

Pumpkin seeds: 10 good reasons to take advantage of the properties of pumpkin seeds

It is said that they are very beneficial for the prostate, during pregnancy, that they are rich in vegetable protein and many other nutrients beneficial to health. As you will see in detail in this article, pumpkin seeds or seeds are a very healthy food with great properties that we must try to include in our regular diet.

Pumpkin seeds are included within the group of nuts , which includes walnuts , pistachios , hazelnuts , cashews , pine nuts , sunflower seeds , etc.

We are going to learn more about them: what they are, their nutritional value, the properties they have and how they are consumed.

What are pumpkin seeds or seeds?

Pumpkin seeds or seeds are obtained, naturally, from inside pumpkins, also known as squash or zucchini in some countries and depending on the varieties. But the seeds have specific properties and are increasingly used to make oil and flour , and even directly toasted, as snacks.

The genus Cucurbita seems to originate in America, where traces of more than 10,000 years old have been found. Of its 20 to 30 species, the most used are Cucurbita maxima , C. moschata , C. pepo , C. argyrosperma and C. ficifolia , of which both the pulp and the seeds are consumed.

As the cultivation of the species expanded throughout different parts of the world, there were crosses that gave rise to a large number of varieties of pumpkins , on which it depends that the fruit is of different color (green, yellow, orange, white ), the color of the pulp (white or orange) and the shape (round, oval, elongated, etc.).

However, the initial domestication of the species was mainly by pumpkin seeds, which are rich in oils and proteins , and by the peel, used as a bowl, rather than by the fruit.

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Nutritional value of pumpkin seeds

In the case of the seeds of Cucurbita maxima -the well-known round pumpkin or pumpkin-, the nutritional composition per 100 g is:

  • 389 Kcal of energy
  • 46.7 g fat
  • 25.7 g protein
  • 24.4 g of carbohydrates
  • Depending on the variety, each pumpkin has, on average, 150 to 700 seeds. These seeds show lipid levels ( fats ) above 30% with omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids , important reducers of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerides.
  • Its protein value highlights its content in essential amino acids (our body is not capable of creating them and we must incorporate them through food) such as cystine, alanine, tryptophan and glycine, among others that are also present in these seeds, and favor repair. tissue and serotonin activation. In addition, they have an unusual amioacidic compound known as cucurbitin, which is attributed anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic properties .
  • Along with minerals like zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and copper, they have fat-soluble vitamins A and E, as well as water-soluble vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
  • They also contain other very interesting compounds such as phytosterols and phytostanols , substances that hinder the absorption of cholesterol in the intestinal lumen, increase its transport and subsequent elimination from the body.

pumpkin seeds properties

10 Properties of pipes or pumpkin seeds

1.- Although the components of the different varieties may present variations, in general they are attributed beneficial effects for health due to the contribution of micro and macro nutrients, in addition to being attributed beneficial functional properties to prevent stones in the bladder and kidneys , diabetes , prostate diseases, intestinal parasites and hypertension .

2.- Pumpkin seeds reduce inflammation in the joints caused by arthritis .

3.- It is a food that gives us tryptophan, a very important amino acid that regulates sleep and helps us to rest optimally at night. In addition, this nutrient is important for feeling well-being and is included in medications for anxiety and to improve mood . Other foods also contain this essential amino acid, such as oats , cocoa , sesame , sunflower seeds and almonds .

4.- And in the case of the treatment of BPH ( Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia ), although the oil is used more, it has been proven that it strengthens the bladder, works as a diuretic and can reduce the enlargement of the prostate, thus contributing to reduce inflammation and relieve pain .

5.- Cucurbita pepo L. is also available in pharmaceutical presentations in the form of an extract, used in treatments for irritable bladder and voiding discomfort (when urinating) associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

6.- Pumpkin seeds act as a natural phytoestrogen that is of great benefit for women who are going through menopause and postmenopause because it helps to relieve symptoms.

7.- The cin content of pumpkin seeds is beneficial to take care of our skin from within and prevent or improve cases of acne, it participates in the functioning of the immune system and takes care of our eyesight.

8.- The antioxidant action of these seeds (due to nutrients such as vitamins A and E, and minerals such as zinc and selenium) is very important to combat free radical damage to DNA and delay aging.

9.- A traditional use of pumpkin seed oil is to take it on an empty stomach to expel intestinal worms .

10.- Because of their healthy fat content, pumpkin seeds are considered a beneficial food to take care of the heart and help prevent cardiovascular diseases (which are among the leading causes of mortality worldwide).

How to consume pumpkin seeds

While the seeds are consumed whole, roasted, roasted or ground, the oil extracted from them, due to its high content of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, is used in cooking, for example for salads , and as a constituent of other foods. as bread, sauces and dressings such as mustard or even in sweet dishes .

The seeds consumed as snak (toasted or roasted) alone, can also be included in the daily diet as enrichment of some preparations such as sauces, salads, spreads, vegetarian burgers, among others. Take a look in the cooking recipes section of the blog.

Sources:

  • “Potentialities of the pumpkin seed as food for monogastrics”, Yordan Martinez, Manuel Valdivié, Ángel Lao, Laercis Leyva. Institute of Animal Science and Guantánamo University Center, University of Granma. ACPA Technical Notes, 2007.
  • “Pumpkin seed”, Rosa Elena Dueñas. Laboratory of herbal remedies, manufacture of fluid and dry extracts.
  • Pumpkins, Food and Drug Protection Division, Noth Carolina Department of Agriculture and Cosnumer Services.
  • “Preliminary study for the development of a collection of mutants in zucchini ( Cucurbita pepo ), Isabel Ma. Andrés Ruis. Higher Polytechnic School, University of Almería. 2012.
  • “Agronomic characteristics and nutritional quality of Curcubita squash fruits and seeds “, Rodriguez R, Robert, Valdez R, Magda and Ortiz G, Sanin. Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National University of Colombia. 2018.
  • “Development and evaluation of a spreadable paste for the use of pumpkin seeds ( Cucurbita maxima )”, Pamela Alejandra gonzález Remedi. Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Chile. 2010.
  • “Soy burgers enriched with pumpkin seeds”, María Emilia Ferrara. Bachelor of Nutrition, Faculty of Medical Sciences, FASTA University
  • “Development of the production line of a food supplement rich in fiber from pumpkin”, Romero López, Maria Mónica. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Production Sciences, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral. Ecuador, 2012.

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