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Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

1. They’re high in the sleep-enhancing amino acid tryptophan that converts to serotonin in your body and helps ensure a good night’s sleep;
2. They’re also high in the heart-healing mineral magnesium, which is also Nature’s natural relaxant;
3. They’re high levels of easily-digestible protein helps stabilize blood sugar when eaten as a snack throughout the day. Stable blood sugar means weight loss if you’re trying to lose.
4. High in Omega 3s, pumpkin seed oil has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)—a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged.
5. Pumpkin seeds are also high in the prostate-protecting mineral zinc, making these seeds the ultimate snack for men’s health.
6. They’re a good source of blood-building and energy-boosting iron.
7. In animal studies, when pumpkin seeds were added to the diet, the anti-inflammatory results were comparable to the effectiveness of the drug indomethacin—without the side-effects.
8. Their phytosterol compounds are believed to lower cholesterol levels. Of nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds have the second highest amount of sterols (next to sunflower seeds and pistachios which tied for first).
9. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber which helps keep you regular.
10. They are alkalizing to the body’s pH. Many snack foods are acid-forming in the body. Acidity has been linked to pain, illness, and even cancer.
To preserve the health benefits of the oils found in pumpkin seeds, eat them raw or roast them on a baking sheet on low heat in the oven (about 170 degrees F or 75 degrees Celsius) for 15-20 minutes. Toss with a sprinkling of sea salt and enjoy. If you haven’t tried them warm, you’re in for a real treat! Add raw pumpkin seeds to salads, dips, or ground in pesto.

Pumpkin seeds were discovered by archaeologists in caves in Mexico that date back to 7,000 B.C.
North American tribes were the very first to observe the particular miracle in pumpkin seeds. Pumpkins and their seeds were an important Native American Indian food used for their dietary and medicinal properties.
Pumpkin seeds are called pepitas in Mexico and they are a trademark of Mexican cuisine.
Pumpkin seeds were very popular in ancient Greece.
The nutrition in pumpkin seeds improves with age; they are among the few foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose. According to tests made at the Massachusetts Experimental Station, squash and pumpkin seeds stored for more than five months show a marked increase in protein content.
Pumpkin seeds are high in calories, about 559 calories per 100 g.
Are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper.
Are a good source of vitamin K.

Contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
Contain L-tryptophan, which helps with good sleep and lowering depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is also very helpful in helping us to have a good night’s sleep.
Are high in zinc, making them a natural protector against osteoporosis. Low intake of zinc is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis. In a study of almost 400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition they found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
Are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.
Are the most alkaline-forming seed.
Are an excellent source of vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates).
Contain good quality protein. 100 g seeds provide 30 g.
According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Reduce inflammation for arthritis without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.
Are good for prostate health! The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.

Pumpkin seeds is best to be eaten raw after drying but it also taken as nut roast or roasted nut loaf
Seed Topping for Rice or Vegetables
Pudding
Smoothie
Green Raspberry Smoothie/Pudding

Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc, and the World Health Organization recommends their consumption as a good way of obtaining this nutrient. If you want to maximize the amount of zinc that you will be getting from your pumpkin seeds, we recommend that you consider purchasing them in unshelled form. Although recent studies have shown there to be little zinc in the shell itself (the shell is also called the seed coat or husk), there is a very thin layer directly beneath the shell called the endosperm envelope, and it is often pressed up very tightly against the shell. Zinc is especially concentrated in this endosperm envelope. Because it can be tricky to separate the endosperm envelope from the shell, eating the entire pumpkin seed—shell and all—will ensure that all of the zinc-containing portions of the seed will be consumed. Whole roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds contain about 10 milligrams of zinc per 3.5 ounces, and shelled roasted pumpkin seeds (which are often referred to pumpkin seed kernels) contain about 7-8 milligrams. So even though the difference is not huge, and even though the seed kernels remain a good source of zinc, you’ll be able to increase your zinc intake if you consume the unshelled version.
While pumpkin seeds are not a highly rich source of vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol (they come in 31st among our WHFoods in terms of their vitamin E richness), recent studies have shown that pumpkin seeds provide us with vitamin E in a wide diversity of forms. From any fixed amount of a vitamin, we are likely to get more health benefits when we are provided with that vitamin in all of its different forms. In the case of pumpkin seeds, vitamin E is found in all of the following forms: alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma-tocomonoenol. These last two forms have only recently been discovered in pumpkin seeds, and their health benefits—including antioxidant benefits—are a topic of current interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms. The bottom line: pumpkin seeds’ vitamin E content may bring us more health benefits that we would ordinarily expect due to the diverse forms of vitamin E found in this food.
Roasting time for pumpkin seeds better be no more than 15-20 minutes when roasting at home. This recommendation supported by a new study that pinpointed 20 minutes as a threshold time for changes in pumpkin seed fats. In this recent study, pumpkin seeds were roasted in a microwave oven for varying lengths of time, and limited changes in the pumpkin seeds fat were determined to occur under 20 minutes. However, when the seeds were roasted for longer than 20 minutes, a number of unwanted changes in fat structure were determined to occur more frequently.

Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, dried,
Nutritional value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy……………….559 Kcal 28%
Carbohydrates…….10.71 g 8%
Protein……………….30.23 g 54%
Total Fat …………….49.05 g 164%
Cholesterol ………… 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber………. 6 g 16%
Vitamins
Folates………………..58 µg 15%
Niacin…………………4.987 mg 31%
Pantothenic acid…..0.750 mg 15%
Pyridoxine ………… 0.143 mg 11%
Riboflavin……………0.153 mg 12%
Thiamin………………0.273 mg 23%
Vitamin A ………….. 16 IU 0.5%
Vitamin C ……………1.9 µg 3%
Vitamin E-γ………….35.10 mg 237%
Electrolytes
Sodium………………. 7 mg 0.5%
Potassium ……………809 mg 17%
Minerals
Calcium ………………46 mg 4.5%
Copper ……………….1.343 mg 149%
Iron …………………..8.82 mg 110%
Magnesium …………592 mg 148%
Manganese………… 4.543 mg 198%
Phosphorus……….. 1233 mg 176%
Selenium…………… 9.4 µg 17%
Zinc …………………..7.81 mg 71%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-β …………….9 µg —
Crypto-xanthin-β…… 1 µg —
Lutein-zeaxanthin …..74 µg —

The World’s Healthiest Foods

World Healthiest Foods

The World's Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan

This is a list of 131 foods that can serve as the basis of your Healthiest Way of Eating.

Of course, there are many other nutritious foods other than those that we have included on our list that we feel are wonderful, health-promoting foods; if there are other whole foods – such as fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, etc – that you like, by all means enjoy them. Just because a food is not on our list doesn’t mean that we don’t think that it can be included in a diet geared towards the Healthiest Way of Eating as long as it is a whole, natural, nutrient-rich food.
To find out why some of your favorite nutritious foods are not included in our list, read The Criteria Used to Select the World’s Healthiest Foods.

(The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or advertising, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world.)

Vegetables Fruits Spices & Herbs
Asparagus Apples Basil
Avocados Apricots Black pepper
Beets Bananas Cayenne pepper
Bell peppers Blueberries Chili pepper, dried
Broccoli Cantaloupe Cilantro/Coriander seeds
Brussels sprouts Cranberries Cinnamon, ground
Cabbage Figs Cloves
Carrots Grapefruit Cumin seeds
Cauliflower Grapes Dill
Celery Kiwifruit Ginger
Collard greens Lemon/Limes Mustard seeds
Cucumbers Oranges Oregano
Eggplant Papaya Parsley
Fennel Pears Peppermint
Garlic Pineapple Rosemary
Green beans Plums Sage
Green peas Prunes Thyme
Kale Raisins Turmeric
Leeks Raspberries
Mushrooms, crimini Strawberries Natural Sweeteners
Mushrooms, shiitake Watermelon Blackstrap molasses
Mustard greens Cane juice
Olives Grains Honey
Onions Barley Maple syrup
Potatoes Brown rice
Romaine lettuce Buckwheat Others
Sea vegetables Corn Green tea
Spinach Millet Soy sauce (tamari)
Squash, summer Oats Water
Squash, winter Quinoa
Sweet potatoes Rye Nuts, Seeds & Oils
Swiss chard Spelt Almonds
Tofu and Tempeh Whole wheat Cashews
Tomatoes Flaxseeds
Turnip greens Seafood Olive oil, extra virgin
Yams Cod Peanuts
Halibut Pumpkin seeds
Beans & Legumes Salmon Sesame seeds
Black beans Sardines Sunflower seeds
Dried peas Scallops Walnuts
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) Shrimp
Kidney beans Tuna Poultry & Lean Meats
Lentils Beef, lean organic
Lima beans Eggs & Low-Fat Dairy Calf’s liver
Miso Cheese, low-fat Chicken
Navy beans Eggs Lamb
Pinto beans Milk, 2%, cow’s Turkey
Soybeans Milk, goat Venison
Tempeh Yogurt
Tofu

The Criteria for the World’s Healthiest Foods:

Among the thousands of different foods our world provides, the majority contains at least several of the nutrients our bodies need but to be included as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods they had to meet the criteria listed below.
The criteria we used will also help you understand why some of your favorite (and also nutritious) foods may not be included on our list. For example, Readers have asked why pomegranate, a very nutritious food, is not included on our website. While pomegranates taste great and are rich in vitamins and flavonoid phytonutrients, they are still rather expensive which makes them not as widely available to many people.

1. The World’s Healthiest Foods are the Most Nutrient Dense
The World’s Healthiest Foods have been selected because they are among the richest sources of many of the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. We used a concept called nutrient density to determine which foods have the highest nutritional value.
Nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains in comparison to the number of calories. A food is more nutrient dense when the level of nutrients is high in relationship to the number of calories the food contains. By eating the World’s Healthiest Foods, you’ll get all the essential nutrients that you need for excellent health, including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more for the least number of calories. Read more about Our Food and Recipe Rating System.

2. The World’s Healthiest Foods are Whole Foods
The World’s Healthiest Foods are also whole foods complete with all their rich natural endowment of nutrients. They have not been highly processed nor do they contain synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients. And whenever possible, The Healthier Way of Eating recommends purchasing “Organically Grown” foods, since they not only promote your health, but also the health of our planet.

3. The World’s Healthiest Foods are Familiar Foods
The World’s Healthiest Foods are common “everyday” foods. These include the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices that are familiar to most people.

4. The World’s Healthiest Foods are Readily Available
Although there are many foods that are exceptionally nutritious, many of them are not readily available in different areas of the country. The World’s Healthiest Foods are foods that the majority people can easily find at their local market.

5. The World’s Healthiest Foods are Affordable
We have selected foods that are not only familiar and available, but also affordable, especially if you purchase them locally and in season. This is also the time when they are the freshest and of the best quality.

6. The World’s Healthiest Foods Taste Good
The World’s Healthiest Foods are also some of the world’s best tasting foods. We have created recipes using the World’s Healthiest Foods that do not overpower, but enhance, the unique flavor of each food. Each recipe provides a flavor adventure so you can discover new ways to experience and enjoy the great natural tastes of these foods.

The source: The World’s Healthiest Foods

About The George Mateljan Foundation:
The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods was established by George Mateljan to discover, develop and share scientifically proven information about the benefits of healthy eating, and to provide the personalized support individuals need to make eating The World’s Healthiest Foods enjoyable, easy, quick and affordable.
Our Independent Perspective
The Foundation is not-for-profit so we can offer an independent perspective that is not influenced by commercial interests. Our only purpose is to help you discover the many joys and benefits of healthy eating. We believe that the Foundation’s independent perspective can help provide clear and easy-to-understand knowledge on how people of all ages and backgrounds can achieve and maintain their optimum physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.]

For more details, links and very useful information about each food and nutrient please visit the original page at : The World’s Healthiest Foods, or get the 880-page book from the same website.

NutritionData.com and caloriecount.com supplement more information to the information in this article. I suggest visiting them.
“The World’s Healthiest Foods” book is packed with great information.
Also,there is another but smaller book (400 pages) titled “The 200 SuperFoods That Will Save Your Life” out there and both of these two books are good to read and to keep at home, schools, libraries and health care units.