#HealthBytes: A few healthy reasons to munch on pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds have been used in medicines for centuries and are an age-old remedy for urinary infections, kidney stones, worm infection etc. The seeds are available in raw and roasted forms and they contain a good amount of magnesium, zinc, protein and unsaturated fatty acids. Read on to know a few of its health benefits and why you should consider having them.
Rich in magnesium, lowers blood pressure and heart risks
Magnesium is a mineral that is solely obtained from the diet and pumpkin seeds are a rich source of the same. Adequate magnesium supply in the diet is crucial as it helps in lowering blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating the blood sugar levels and maintaining good bone density.
Contains tryptophan that aids in good sleep
If you are unable to catch on some sound sleep at night, eating a few pumpkin seeds before going to bed may help you boost your chances. This is because pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to promote sleep. Further, the high levels of magnesium in pumpkin seeds also help in improving the quality of sleep.
Is linked to a reduced risk of various cancers
Studies show that including pumpkin seeds in the diet reduces the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This is because of the presence of lignans in the seeds. In addition, test-tube studies indicate that the seeds help to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells. Pumpkin seeds have also been associated with a reduced risk of stomach, lung and colon cancers.
Rich in antioxidants and reduces the risk of several diseases
The presence of harmful free radicals in the body is linked to several chronic diseases and infections such as cancer, arthritis, heart diseases etc. Pumpkin seeds are rich in carotenoids and Vitamin E - antioxidants that are loaded with health benefits. A laboratory study also proves that pumpkin seed oil helps in reducing the inflammation caused due to arthritis without causing any side-effects.