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It’s 2022 and it’s no secret that we’ve let a wave of all things healthy in our lives and a subsequent result has been the entry of superfoods, with a one way ticket, obvs. Speaking of superfoods – it’s impossible to ignore the wide world of ‘seeds’ that have emerged as the hottest foods in recent times. From soups to salads, sandwiches to smoothies (an unintentional alliteration attempt) – chia seeds, flax seeds and the likes of these are added to every meal by health enthusiasts. Case in point: pumpkin seeds – derived from the inner part of a pumpkin or butternut squash and are supposedly very nutrient-rich. We know saying this isn’t enough; so, here’s why you should be including it in your diet – in some form at least.
Contains A Truckload Of Nutrients
Okay, we know this doesn’t come as a surprise to you but hear us out; these seeds have more to offer than you think. “Pumpkin seeds have several health benefits. They are packed with valuable nutrients and antioxidants that provide us with magnesium, zinc, fibre, substantial quality of healthy fats, and reduce inflammation,” says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder, Food Darzee. “It also helps in reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes,” he adds. Well, who doesn’t wanna make accessing nutrients easy? And these seeds surely help.
Improves Sleep Quality
No, we don’t mean bingeing on these equals a baby’s sleep in seconds, but including these in your daily diet can definitely help. “If you are having trouble sleeping, consider consuming pumpkin seeds before going to bed. They are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. Our body needs 200 grams of pumpkin seeds to get the required amount of tryptophan. Further, the zinc present in these seeds converts tryptophan to serotonin, which is again changed to melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle,” explains Dr Bhargava.
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Boosts Skin & Hair Health
“Pumpkin seeds could be beneficial for skin as well as hair. It contains a compound called cucurbitacin, an amino acid that leads to hair growth. Additionally, it also has other nutrients that help in maintaining strong and shiny hair. Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and carotenoids, Pumpkin seed also stimulates collagen to maintain elasticity in your skin,” says Dr Bhargava. So, brownie points for the beauty benefits too.
Aids In Weight Management
“There are supporting pieces of evidence that suggest that consuming pumpkin seeds may result in healthy weight loss and maintenance,” shares Dr Bhargava. But, explaining the don’ts, he suggests, “However, it is important to be mindful of the quantity as they are energy-dense. One should choose raw, unsalted seeds to minimise the intake of added fat, calories, and sodium.” While pumpkin seeds are high in calories, they’re also protein-rich. So, fix upon your quantities mindfully.
What’s The Best Way To Include It In Your Diet?
“Pumpkin seeds make up for a great snack that compliments your healthy lifestyle. The best time to eat these tasty seeds is either in the morning or as a snack in between your meals. Include crunchy and delicious pumpkin seeds in your everyday salad, one can also eat the roasted seeds as a snack or one of the healthiest ways is also to include them in your baking recipe, the flavour and crunch will elevate the taste of your meal,” suggests Dr Bhargava.
Also read: 5 Morning Drinks For Clear Skin