What does “pumpkin” remind you of? Halloween …. Right?
“Pumpkin” for most of us is nothing but Halloween jack-o’-lantern. Even though pumpkin gets recognized only for the pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice latte, it at least enjoys some spotlight.
But what about the pumpkin seeds? When the jack-o’-lanterns are carved these seeds, which are bursting and overflowing with health are just thrown away due to our ignorance.…Not anymore…..
I promise after today, you will be forced to eat pumpkin seeds regularly….
Exploring pumpkin seeds
Not only pumpkins but all squashes are native to North and Central America. Pumpkin seeds are popular as a snack in places where pumpkins are grown. But do you know that the pumpkin seeds are popular as a spice in few parts of the world? They are useful spice in the cuisines of West Africa, Spain, Central America, and Mexico.
Pumpkin seeds are added to salads and are powdered to thicken soups and sauces. In one of the Mexico’s famous hot and nutty sauces called moles the seeds are vital ingredient. These sauces are served over chicken and seafood.
You can buy dried and ready to use pumpkin seeds or dry on your own, by baking in oven. They can be stored in in an airtight container in the refrigerator for around two months. You can use pumpkin seeds whole or ground, in both sweet and savory dishes.
Using in kitchen
• For snacking on pumpkin seeds. Scoop the seeds, wash and pat dry them. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a pastry sheet, sprinkle with oil, salt and/or spices of your choice (I use Indian curry mix).
Bake on 300°F in an oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Let them cool and enjoy.
• Toss them over chicken or tuna fish salads or over salad greens.
• Add pumpkin seeds during sautéing vegetables.
• Grind the seeds and add them to vinaigrette or creamy salad dressings.
• Grind the seeds and add them to olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
• Add ground pumpkin seeds in baking cakes, cookies, muffins, breads or your favorite granola.
• Enjoy whole or ground seeds into your oatmeal.
• Replace pumpkin seeds with nuts when making brittle.
• Use grounded seeds as a thickener in sauces or curries.
1. Pumpkin Seeds are good for fighting Depression and Anxiety
Pumpkin seeds are very good source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It helps your body make proteins and serotonin, a brain chemical. Serotonin helps control our mood and sleep.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there is a chemical called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), that our body makes from the dietary tryptophan. It can help us regulate depression, stress and anxiety by having a positive effect on sleep, anxiety, mood, appetite and pain. 5-HTP can be an effective treatment at early stages of depression because it increases the serotonin in the brain, which affects mood.
2. Pumpkin Seeds in Prostate health and Bladder Treatment
4 out of 5 men after age of 50 have benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)—a “swollen” or enlarged prostate.
This condition is caused mainly due to overstimulation of the prostate cells by testosterone and another hormone, dihydrotestosterone. According to researchers when pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seeds oil were consumed by the men with BPH, their conditions improved. They added, that the oil in pumpkin seeds can help prevent the hormones from causing increase of prostate cells. Thus, the researchers concluded in “Nutrition Research and Practice” that Pumpkin seed oil can be clinically safe and effective complementary and alternative medicine for BPH.”
3. Pumpkin seeds are best for overall health:
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with antioxidants and phytosterols which promote heart health and protect from cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
They also contain following trace minerals: -
manganese -manganese is essential for enzymes that build proteins.
phosphorus – phosphorus gives energy, with low levels of phosphorus you may feel tired and fatigued.
copper – copper helps maintain healthy bones, arteries and collagen support.
magnesium – magnesium is good for maintaining blood pressure and managing stress,
zinc – zinc is an immunity booster, it stops the viruses of common cold and protects from falling sick.
Pumpkin seeds have omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and supports heart health.
1. Make a poultice with pumpkin seeds and put it on the skin to get relief from headaches, and arthritis.
2. Enjoy an immune boosting pumpkin seeds smoothie by adding 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, ½ banana, 1 tbsp coconut, 3-4 dates and 1 c almond milk to a blender. Blend and enjoy.
3. Eat pumpkin seeds for snack to get rid of intestinal infections, and to treat bladder and prostrate problems.