This time of year, people can’t wait for pumpkin everything to become available. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cakes, cookies, and pies, pumpkin soup, pumpkin oreos, pumpkin candles. The list goes on and on. The best part of this pumpkin craze is that pumpkin is actually a very healthy food (minus the sugar in all those products). But did you know that the healthiest part of pumpkins are the seeds? See what they can do for you!
1. PUMPKIN SEEDS CAN BOOST YOUR MOOD
Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is credited with helping you feel calm and relaxed and is sometimes called nature’s sleeping pill. The production of serotonin is one of the major players when it comes to our mood. Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of vitamin B, which helps reduce anxiety and irritability. A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds may help keep a smile on your face.
2. PUMPKIN SEEDS CAN HELP KEEP YOU HEALTHY
Pumpkin seeds also contain good amounts of essential minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Almost like taking a multi-vitamin. A great source of the anti-oxidant vitamin E, pumpkin seeds can help protect skin and mucous membranes from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Keeping healthy amounts of essential vitamins and minerals in your body will help keep you healthy and able to fight off infections if they come your way.
3. PUMPKIN SEEDS CAN HELP YOUR HEART
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, both of which are good for heart health. The seeds can help reduce LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins, but contain NO cholesterol.
The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin seeds each support heart health. Consuming adequate potassium is almost as important as decreasing sodium intake for treatment of hypertension (high-blood pressure). Eating pumpkin seeds is good for the heart!
So go ahead, get your pumpkin fix. Just remember, for maximum benefit of any food, eat it as naturally as possible.