Kids start to make the long faces as they get to know that the menu involves one of the pumpkin recipes, and they start to miss their favorite dishes. To be honest, even elders do the same and avoid eating it, switching for other available options. But do you know how healthy the pumpkin recipes are and in how many ways a pumpkin can be cooked or served? This incredibly vitamins and antioxidants rich fruit can be served as drinks to deserts and in sweet to sour tastes. You can take it in form of puree, soup or juice too. So keep trying the new recipes to get a perfect dish for you, but don’t say ‘no’ to pumpkins!
It is a plant variety of squash (especially winter squash), which is commercially used for both recreation and foodstuff.
Selection of Right Seeds
Sometimes, pumpkin seeds that are available in bulk bins or packaged containers lose freshness, and fungal mycotoxins spoil them. They start to give stale and musty smell. Make sure you select the fresh seeds that are not rancid, shriveled or damaged by insects or moisture.
Prefer the unshelled or organic pumpkin seeds as they are not infected by pesticides or chemicals.
Storage of Pumpkin Seeds
Fill them in airtight box and store in refrigerator. Check them on regular intervals after one to two months as they start to lose their peak freshness after this period.
For regular intake, you can soak them to sprout or dehydrate in oven as some seeds or nuts may have antioxidants like phytic acid.
Consumption of Seeds
Raw vs. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
There is no comparison of consuming raw pumpkin seeds for best effects because all the healthy fats remain prevented this way. If you go for roasted seeds, intersperse some salt and roast the seeds on 75 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 to 20 minutes.
3.5 ounces of unshelled pumpkin seeds (10 milligrams of zinc)
3.5 ounces of roasted pumpkin seeds (7.5 milligrams of zinc
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Juice
Men or women, pumpkin has health benefits for both. It is important and beneficial not only for people with normal health conditions, but also for those who are suffering from Insomnia, Inflammation, Hair loss, and Heart Diseases.
1. Effective for Digestive System
Pumpkin juice performs some laxative actions and treats both loose motions and constipation. It gives relief in acidity.
2. Helpful for Insomnia Sufferers
The patients of insomnia are suggested to take a glass of pumpkin juice with honey.
3. Reduces Body Temperature
If taken a glass of pumpkin juice with honey, it works as a cooling agent and lowers the temperature of body.
4. Heals in Inflammation, Burns and Abscess
The juice of pumpkin keeps the skin beautiful and healthy. Being a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, beta-carotene and zinc, it works wonder as the cooling and healing agents. It is also effective in the insect biting cases as well.
5. Ingredient of Beauty Products for Skin
The nutritional values of pumpkin juice are used in hydrating and anti-wrinkle creams. Beauticians use it while facial with yogurt, lemon juice, vitamin E oil, and honey.
6. Useful in Hair-loss Treatment
Pumpkin juice is a great source of Vitamin A and potassium, which are essential contents for our scalps and hairs. It moisturizes dry hair, treats damaged hair and promotes their growth.
7. Lessen the Level of Cholesterol
Pumpkin juice incorporates pectin that is effective for reducing the cholesterol.
The seeds of pumpkin are full of phytosterol that minimize the cholesterol level.
8. Favorable for Kidney and Liver
Amount: For 10 days, half a glass of juice thrice in a day
Pumpkin juice owns some active biological substances that reactivate the functioning of liver. It is very effective for people having kidney stone and beneficial for viral hepatitis sufferers as well. It helps curing the gall bladder problems.
Pumpkin seeds own abundant antioxidants, healthy fats and fibers, which are beneficial for keeping the heart and liver healthy. They work wonders when taken with flax seeds.
9. Minimize the Possibility of Heart Diseases and Stroke
Its juice works as a cleanser for arterial deposits and its antioxidants properties prevent arteriosclerosis.
Pumpkin seeds have incredibly rich contents of magnesium. They show anti-inflammatory properties. Only one-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds can fulfill half of the demand of magnesium in one’s body.
This amount is consumed in formation of energy molecules, maintaining the pulse rate, bowel functioning, and relaxing the blood vessels. It lowers the possibility of sudden heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Most of the Americans (about 80%) are magnesium deficient and this deficiency can be cured by regular intake of pumpkin seeds.
10. Effective for Immune System
One of the important mineral for our body is zinc that is abundantly found in pumpkin seeds as one ounce of seeds incorporates more than 2 mg of zinc. It not only helps in cells’ division and development, but also contributes to proper functioning of our senses of vision, taste and smell.
Zinc depletion is the common problem these days. The reason is increasing use of drugs, mineral-deficient soil, plant and grain based diet. The consumption of pumpkin seeds can reduce the deficiency of zinc, keeping the associated diseases (acne, cold, chronic fatigue and flu) at bay.
Zinc depletion can be a major cause of low birth weight, poor performance and learning problems of child.
11. Helpful in Diabetes
The nutrients present in pumpkin seeds lower the oxidative stress, improving insulin regulation.
12. Lowers the Risk of High Blood Pressure
Pumpkin seeds contain the basic amino acid (L-arginine) that generates nitric oxide. It opens up the blood vessels, relaxing and depleting blood pressure.
13. Beneficial for Prostate Health and Postmenopausal Symptoms
Both pumpkin seeds and oil contain ample zinc, so are effective for enlarged prostate.
They also are rich in natural phytoestrogens. This property lowers the postmenopausal symptoms like headache, imbalanced blood pressure, joint pain, and hot flashes.
14. Relaxing Agent for Healthy Sleep
The seeds of pumpkin contain tryptophan that helps formatting the sleep hormone.
If the seeds are taken with fruits or the source of carbohydrates, they show better results. The regular consumption also decreases the depression.
15. Prevent from Cancer
As oxidative stress causes the development of cancer cells, various studies have suggested pumpkin’s antioxidant properties useful for prevention of cancer.
16. Beneficial for Urinary System
Both pumpkin juice and pumpkin seeds are helpful in proper functioning of urinary system.
17. Useful in Keeping the Eyes Healthy
Pumpkin is loaded with Vitamin A, K and C. This heart protector is maintains good vision, keeping the immune system strong.
18. Boost the Functioning of Muscles
Pumpkin is an excellent source of magnesium, iron and potassium. There are various options for iron, but pumpkin is a wise decision as it is free of fat. Pumpkin’s magnesium content helps muscles in functioning better.
19. Relieve from Anxiety
Pumpkin owns an anti-stress neurochemical called glutamate that helps formation of GABA.
20. Cure Ulcer
Both pumpkin juice and seeds are effective for curing ulcer.
Do not forget to check you are not allergic to pumpkin or not. In severe conditions, take advice of your doctor before consuming pumpkin in any form.
Stay happy and healthy!