Nature continues to surprise us, with the continuous benefits of its flora. On this occasion, it is the turn of the pumpkin pipe to be placed at the forefront of the seeds with more therapeutic properties, beneficial for the human being.
Here we present the following article, where we give you a detailed description of the benefits of this food, so that you are encouraged to include it in your food options.
What are pumpkin seeds?
The seeds, pipes or pumpkin seeds, are the grains contained within the fruit of the pumpkin or also known as auyama. Pumpkin seeds come from the plant of the same name, scientifically identified as cucurbita pepo or cucurbita moschata among other varieties, mainly from Mexico.
Note: It is the only seed that is alkaline, useful for neutralizing processed foods and acids that are harmful to our body.
Health benefits of pumpkin seeds
The various health benefits of pumpkin seeds come from their nutritional and chemical properties. Here we mention the most important ones:
1. They prevent cardiovascular diseases
Pumpkin seeds ( cucurbita pepo ) have the presence of beneficial vitamins such as E, in the form of tocopherols, with antioxidant capacity, which protects the heart and arteries from the damage caused by bad cholesterol (LDL). In addition to its high content of omega 6 fatty acid, it helps to mitigate circulatory and heart pathologies.
To highlight: A literary review article on “Omega 6 fatty acids to prevent and treat heart and circulatory diseases” , indicates that increased intake of omega 6 reduces heart disease . (1)
2. They reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels
We have already commented on the high content of antioxidants contained in pumpkin seeds, which is involved in the elimination of free radicals, in addition to the benefits of omega 6 essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid , elements that are involved in controlling bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
Important: A study on “Effect of pumpkin seed Cucurbita entrada l. maximum on the lipid profile and glucose in male Wistar rats” , concludes that this seed can be a good ally in the control of hypercholesterolemia due to its composition rich in fiber and phytosterols, in addition to the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids. (two)
Regarding blood sugar, the pumpkin seed contains compounds called trigoneline and chiro-inositol, substances that are involved in the control of blood glucose. This is the conclusion of a study on “The hypoglycemic effect of pumpkin seeds, trigonelline (TRG), nicotinic acid (NA) and D-chiroinositol (DCI) in the control of glycemic levels in diabetes mellitus” . (3)
3. They slow cell aging
The antioxidant action of compounds such as tocopherol slows cell aging, preventing the appearance of degenerative diseases in the body.
An article entitled “Free radicals and antioxidant defenses” describes the action of tocopherols (vitamin E) on free radicals. (4)
4. They prevent osteoporosis
Pumpkin seeds contain an excellent source of minerals , so that the body performs various functions. One of these functions is to maintain the strength of the bone system and for this, these nuggets contain calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, important minerals in the prevention of osteoporosis.
5. They reduce inflammation
Thanks to its high content of antioxidants such as carotenoids (luteolin and beta-carotene) and the vitamin E present in tocopherol, pumpkin seeds help protect the body ‘s cells from the effect of free radicals, helping to reduce inflammation.
Note: They are widely used by natural medicine in the treatment of irritable bladder, childhood enuresis and rheumatoid arthritis.
6. They help fight anemia
The iron content in pumpkin seeds helps to reduce states of anemia , since iron is a mineral used by the body to make hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body through through the blood
Important: It also helps the manufacture of myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to the muscles
7. They protect the health of the prostate
In cases of benign enlargement of the prostate, pumpkin seeds with the help of their antioxidant components (luteolin and beta-carotene and vitamin E), prevent inflammation of this organ, a product of the action of free radicals.
8. They eliminate intestinal parasites
The active ingredient in pumpkin seeds, cucurbitin, is claimed to have anthelmintic activity . This is produced by a paralyzing effect on the smooth muscle of the tapeworm (intestinal parasite).
To highlight: An article on “Preclinical studies of cucurbita maxima (squash seed) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas” , shows the vermifuge action of this seed. (5)
9. They promote weight loss
Pumpkin seeds have great satiating power thanks to the amount of fiber they provide, avoiding anxiety about eating . Pumpkin seeds are seeds rich in polyunsaturated fats such as linoleic or linolenic acid, low-calorie fats.
Similarly, they also contain a significant amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which increase good cholesterol levels. Likewise, the body has the contribution of antioxidants and phytosterols from the pumpkin pipe, which act to control bad cholesterol or LDL.
10. They reduce stress and fatigue
These seeds have a high amount of magnesium , an important mineral in brain synapses, and tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that helps produce melatonin and serotonin.
Note: Magnesium and tryptophan are substances that act at the brain level, helping to combat excess stress, fatigue and stimulate memory.
11. They increase muscle mass
Among the beneficial properties of the pumpkin pipe, is that it has a high content of vegetable proteins, essential molecules for building muscles. These differ from protein of animal origin because it does not contain cholesterol, reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
It should be noted that pumpkin seeds provide 19 gr. of proteins , from a portion of 100gr., that is, 34% of the total daily intake in humans.
12. Reduce the risk of cancer
Traditional medicine has indicated the consumption of pumpkin seeds, in the prevention of prostate cancer , suggesting that the antioxidant properties of this seed make it a protective food against malignant cells.
Pumpkin seeds properties
Pumpkin seeds have an interesting composition , both chemical and nutritional, which makes them a true therapeutic option. We mention below its most important properties:
Pumpkin seeds are high in an antioxidant called tocopherol, which acts like vitamin E. They also contain vitamins A, B3, and K.
These seeds contain a large amount of minerals that are very important for health, which are: copper, zinc , iron, manganese, magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Pumpkin seeds, including the shell, contain approximately 18 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seeds, an excellent source in the daily diet.
According to a study on “Physical and chemical characteristics of the pumpkin seed for mechanization and processing” , the pumpkin seed contains 48.92% oil , of which 29% is oleic acid and 51.9% linoleic acid; fatty acids that are recognized for their benefits to human health. (6)
How to consume pumpkin seeds?
There are many ways in which you can consume this wonderful food, so that you can use it therapeutically or simply as a snack. We present the most common:
dried pumpkin seeds
This is an ideal form of snack . Just place the previously cleaned seeds in a container with water to boil with salt, for approximately 10 minutes. Then drain them and spread them out on a cloth or absorbent paper to dry.
After drying you must place them in a container, spraying them with olive oil or butter and then put them in the oven for 10 or 20 minutes, or until they are toasted. After time, remove them from the oven and add salt to taste.
Pulverized pumpkin seeds
Another way to consume pumpkin seeds is by obtaining flour. For this, the previous steps are followed and then taken out of the oven, they are passed through a mill to pulverize them together with the peel.
Tip: This flour can be mixed with other cereals and even with other flours to make cookies.
- Pumpkin seeds have an interesting chemical and nutritional composition.
- They are high in omega 6 fatty acids.
- They help in reducing bad cholesterol in the blood.
- They contain important antioxidants that delay cell aging.
- They contribute to weight loss , increase muscle mass and reduce stress and fatigue.
- They can be consumed as snacks or included in other preparations as flour.