Cinderella and her ‘pumpkin’ carriage are unforgettable, for they are such an integral part of the child’s world of fairy tales! Well, here are some fun facts about these fruits, which possess hues ranging from deep yellow to orange. Also, we will see Pumpkin seeds benefits in detail.
Trivia of Pumpkin Seeds
- When a French explorer noticed these large fruits way back in 1584, he decided that they were large melons (goss melons).
- The fruits acquired a new name, “pumpkins” only during the 17th
- The Irish have been carving them for centuries, in order to drive away evil spirits.
- The credit for growing the largest pumpkin in the world goes to an individual residing in Minnesota, USA (2010). The fruit possessed a diameter of five feet, and weighed an astounding 1,800 pounds!
- If you were fond of pumpkin pies, you would definitely have wished to consume a piece from the 2,020-pound pumpkin pie (largest in the world) that some enterprising individuals had prepared!
Whenever you get this urge to ‘snack’ on something small, your mind conjures up visions of chips, chocolate bars, pastries, etc! Rarely, will you think of chewing on nuts, seeds, etc, for they represent ‘junk food’ to you! However, if you were to know and comprehend pumpkin seeds benefits, you would never opt for anything else in future.
Pumpkin Seeds Benefits For Health
Free radicals and anti-oxidants are serious issues of concern in the modern, polluted world. Free radicals tend to enter the human bloodstream and cause all kinds of diseases or health conditions. The enhanced presence of vitamin E and carotenoids (anti-oxidants) in pumpkin seeds are marvellous for reducing inflammation and protecting against the advent of illness.
Then again, this fruit is one of the richest sources of magnesium.
- Eating this fruit regularly should suffice to normalise magnesium deficiency in the body.
- When there is sufficient amount of magnesium within the body, you will find yourself at reduced risk for coronary disease, as well as high blood pressure.
- In case, you are diabetic, you will be able to control your blood-sugar levels in a more efficacious manner.
- Your bones will remain healthy.
The other pumpkin seeds benefits include keeping men stress-free about possible issues with the prostate glands, improving liver health, helping women go through the post-menopausal stage without too much of discomfort, and enhancing immunity.
- Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc. Zinc ensures the good health of the prostate glands in men. It treats the enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) well.
- Along with the anti-oxidants, the healthy omega-3 fats (plant-based) and dietary fibre present in the fruit are splendid for keeping both your liver and heart in good working condition. The effect is even more glorious if you combine these seeds with flax seeds.
- Many women suffer from post-menopausal issues. The phytoestrogens-containing oil, which enters the body via the pumpkin seeds, is responsible for reducing hot flashes, joint pains, hypertension, headaches, and other menopausal symptoms. It also increases good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol in the body.
- Zinc not only enhances prostate health in men but also increases immunity in both sexes.
There is another magical ingredient in pumpkin seeds! We call it Tryptophan. It is a specific protein building block or amino acid. This ingredient is excellent for curing your sleep-related problems.
If you do not believe us, just consume a few pumpkin seeds, along with a small portion of any fruit, just a few hours prior to your bedtime. What happens? Your body converts tryptophan in the seeds, into serotonin. In turn, this converts into melatonin or the sleep hormone. Presto, you vanish into dreamland without much trouble!
Maintaining Your Weight
If there is one thing calculated to raise the blood pressure, regardless of gender, it is the thought of gaining excessive weight! No one wants to display an unattractive body image! Therefore, if you are concerned about weighty issues too, you might make pumpkin seeds your best friends!
- Do not be fooled by the smallness of these seeds, for they are highly dense in nature! They are quite heavy and fulfilling.
- Consume just a small handful, and you will not feel hungry at all for a long time to come!
- When you do not feel hungry at all, you are bound to eat lesser and lesser, thereby ridding your body of all those excess, ugly calories.
- The seeds are great for stabilising blood-glucose levels too, preventing you from having too many unwanted cravings.
- You will discover that these seeds, with their low glycemic index, are quite easy to digest.
- Rich in fibre, pumpkin seeds ensure that your alimentary canal functions well all the time. You will be happy to know that the digestive process does not bring on bloating, constipation or gas formation!
- People are bound to wonder at your energy levels, without realising that the seeds have provided you with high amounts of iron!
If you take serious note of these pumpkin seeds benefits for weight loss, you need never worry about obesity or obesity-related issues.
A Head Full of Hair
Were you aware of pumpkin seeds benefits for hair?
If your answer is in the negative, you will be glad to know that you may get back the lost health of your hair by befriending them. They contain useful L-Lysine (protein), iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Include a handful of sprouted, raw or roasted seeds in your daily diet, without fail.
- Would you like to opt for a hair and scalp massage instead? If yes, obtain the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds, and go in for overnight massages. You should wash off the oil the next day.
- The oil massages should continue regularly until you witness the desired results.
- You will be glad to see that your hair is shedding less than usual.
- In case, dandruff has been a source of constant anxiety, you will be able to obtain relief now. The copper and magnesium, along with all the other ingredients, will cleanse your hair thoroughly.
- Inflammation is a major culprit of hair loss. Pumpkin seeds contain vitamin K and Vitamin A, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which are the enemies of inflammation.
Over time, you should be able to view strong, thick and shiny hair on your head!
Despite the details outlined above, many of you might still have some questions that you would like to ask. Here are the answers to routinely asked questions.
1. How many varieties of pumpkin do we find across the globe?
There are over 45 varieties of pumpkin in the world. Their colours include all shades of green, red and yellow.
2. Which nations thrive on pumpkins?
China is the largest producer of pumpkins, followed by India. Russia, Ukraine and the USA also love to grow pumpkins on a large scale!
3. How many seeds may you find in a single pumpkin fruit?
You should be able to access approximately 500 seeds in a medium-sized pumpkin. These seeds take anywhere between 90 and 120 days to develop the fruit.
4. How can you obtain pumpkin seeds?
- It is natural that the seeds cling to ‘sticky’ flesh within the fruit. Therefore, just use an ice-cream scoop or a serving spoon, to remove the seeds.
- Next, place the entire ‘messy’ lot in a colander. When the colander goes into a bowl of water, the seeds will float to the surface of the water.
- Use clean hands to separate the remaining bits of pumpkin flesh.
- Place all the seeds on clean paper towels, for drying. You may use ‘patting’ movements too.
5. What is the healthiest way to consume these seeds?
The best way to achieve maximum benefits is to consume them ‘raw’. Towards this end, they must not be stale, musty or spoilt, for you will invite contamination into your body. Additionally, you must ensure that they are organically grown, and not contaminated through the use of pesticides, insecticides or herbicides.
6. Will the raw seeds be palatable?
The presence of anti-nutrients (such as phytic acid) will prevent the other nutrients from awarding you maximum benefits. Therefore, it would be best to sprout the pumpkin seeds or soak them. Yet, your taste buds may not relish them!
- Preheat your microwave oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place all the seeds in a glass pie plate.
- Arrange them in a single layer, prior to placing in the microwave oven.
- Switch on the oven and let it run for a couple of minutes.
- Stir the seeds, and microwave again.
- Keep stirring after each minute, until you obtain dry and crispy seeds.
7. How will you roast pumpkin seeds?
At the outset, get ready a cup of pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper and butter (two teaspoons).
- Preheat the microwave oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Arrange the pumpkin seeds in an ungreased baking pan (15 x 10 x 1 inch).
- Pour in the melted butter and toss the pan.
- Stir everything together, after sprinkling with pepper and salt in accordance with taste.
- Begin the baking process at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Continue for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring only once.
You should be able to obtain crunchy/crispy seeds in a light golden-brown colour. Allow them to cool for ten minutes or so, prior to consuming them.
You might consider boiling the seeds in salt water and drying them, prior to roasting them. This is for ensuring extra crispiness.
8. Are there other ways of seasoning pumpkin seeds?
You may go for any of these methods, for a cup of raw pumpkin seeds.
- Combine half-a-teaspoon each of fresh lime zest and Cajun seasoning with two tablespoons of Olive oil, for a spicy concoction.
- Use two tablespoons of melted butter, along with half-a-teaspoon of Italian seasoning and one-fourth teaspoon of grated Parmesan, for an Italian flavour.
- The combination of two tablespoons of melted butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and half-a-teaspoon of cinnamon, should suffice to award a sweet taste to the seeds.
- If you wish a savoury snack, add a teaspoon of seasoned salt and two tablespoons of melted butter, while roasting. Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to the roasted pumpkin seeds.
If you cannot tolerate raw/roasted pumpkin seeds, just make them an ingredient of deserts, sprinkle them on your salads, or stir them into soups.
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