MD: If you follow a healthy nutrition plan you probably know that the pumpkin is packed full of valuable nutrients. But what about its seeds?
We often neglect to include seeds in our daily diets. Flax, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are generally just an occasional addition to holiday salads or pies, or we only eat them when they’re offered by a friend. However, many doctors recommend regular consumption of seeds and claim that they can make us healthier! Snapping dusty sunflower seeds is useful in moderation, but in general, there’s a lot more to it.
How can I start adding seeds to my diet?
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning the popularity of pumpkin seeds as a fried, salted, and sometimes peeled snack. However, it’s the raw seeds that retain far more beneficial features.
In everyday dishes you could fill soups, vegetable purees and cereals with crushed raw seeds, or simply improve the taste of ready made vegetables and salads with whole or chopped seeds. You could easily add pumpkin to homemade pastries or substitute nuts for seeds.
What benefit can we get out of this product?
It has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, strengthens the musculoskeletal system, improves performance of the cardiovascular and genitourinary systems, and benefits the nervous and immune systems as well. Pumpkin seeds also enrich our body with zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium and magnesium.
There’s also a substantial amount of vitamins A, C, E and group B, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids and several other nutrients. All these elements saturate this product, which makes its usage indispensable for harmonious development of our body. However, we should mention one other important thing: The positive effect can mainly be gleaned from raw seeds, which should be washed right before cooking or eating.
Regular consumption of seeds can have a really positive effect on our health and lead to the following:
- Improved condition of bone tissue and teeth, faster healing of injuries;
- Improved skin and hair condition;
- Improved appetite, normalized weight;
- Normalized heart rhythm and muscle tone;
- Preventing the formation of kidney stones;
- Accelerated treatment of urinary infections;
- Preventing the development of impotence, working as a form of aphrodisiac;
- Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving action;
- Anti-stress effect;
- Lower level of cholesterol in the blood;
- Stronger general immunity;
- Anthelmintic effect.
Are there any harmful effects?
It’s definitely worth repeating: The more a product is heated, the fewer beneficial elements remain. Seeds can be eaten raw without any real difference in their taste, but frying adds a slightly different flavor.
Pumpkin seeds are a very high-calorie product and so eating an excessive amount can dangerously affect your body weight. It’s sufficient to eat just a handful of seeds each day in order to reap the benefits, which is usually only about 50-60 seeds. If you have any problems with the functioning of your digestive tract, you should be a bit more cautious when adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Remember that seeds should be washed right before you eat them — don’t rely on pre-washed seeds. Do not rush to click them with teeth, it damages the enamel. Purify it manually or using special tools for it.