Pumpkin is a common vegetable that is grown almost in all parts of the world. The vegetable is eaten in various ways and cooked differently according to specific cuisines. However, not only is the vegetable a rich source of Vitamin A, B and other nutrients, the seeds are packed with nutritious elements that are conducive to good health and keeps away diseases at bay.
Fact 1 Description Of The Plant
The pumpkin plant belongs to the creeper category and climbs upwards with the help of any support that it gets nearby. Most people who have pumpkin plants at home also, place a strong support like a bamboo or any other stick that helps the plant to grow around it. Pumpkin plants that are cultivated for commercial use are grown in large areas where support is provided for their growth by making small size, square, cage-like constructions referred to as â€œmachanâ€ in certain places. The pumpkins grow on top of these constructions while the leaves create the bed. In most areas, pumpkins are allowed to grow into full size so that the seeds inside reach their maturity.
Fact 2 Description Of The Pumpkin Seeds
Each pumpkin contains about 500 seeds that are creamy-white in color and have a husky texture. They lie in the hollow cavity of the fruit and lie interspersed in a network. The seeds are almost flat and oval in shape with a pointed conical tip. The kernel is sweet in taste, the texture is smooth like butter but the flavor is quite like nuts. The color of the kernel is however olive green.
Fact 3 Uses Of The Seeds Of Pumpkin
The seeds of the pumpkin are consumed in various ways from a very long time. The freshly roasted seeds are extremely tasty. Apart from that, these seeds offer great health benefits as they are fortified with some of the essential nutrients like Vitamins, Minerals, Amino-acids, Omega3 Fatty Oils, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorous, anti-oxidants and such others. Hence, nowadays pumpkin seeds are stored carefully and hygienically to be used in foods to enhance health. Some of the most enticing facts about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds are:
- Pumpkin seeds improves sleep quality as they have tryptophan which is a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
- They have protein contents that can be easily digested which in turn help to maintain blood sugar levels. If taken as a snack, pumpkin seeds aid in weight loss as well by maintaining stability in sugar levels.
- Mineral contents in the seeds is a natural relaxant and helps to take care of heart health.
- The oil extracted from the pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega 3 that is effective in reducing enlarged prostate glands. The minerals like zinc available from the seeds work effectively to protect prostate gland.
- The roasted seeds is one of the richest sources of iron that builds blood cells and boosts energy.
- These seeds are great in lowering cholesterol levels as they are rich in phytosterol compounds. They help to reduce nervous irritability and anxiety and stress also.
- The rich fiber content of the seeds help to keep your bowels in good order.
- The kernels of the seeds have a rich content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids like Oleic acid that helps in increasing good HDL Cholesterol in blood.
- The oil helps to maintain a stable lipid profile as well.
- Vitamin E present in the seeds resists against free radicals and takes care of skin.
Considering the innumerable benefits of pumpkin seeds, they are now cultivated separately as oil-seed crop and use the oil for regular use and also for medicinal purposes like treating kidney diseases related to diabetes or prostate and ovarian cancers. These seeds are best when consumed raw or roasted lightly with a pinch of sea salt.