Top photo credit: Brian Jackson
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Halloween is just around the corner and so are the hoards of pumpkins that will invade our cities and towns. This year, instead of carving your pumpkin and throwing out the seeds, keep them and eat them raw or roast them. Pumpkin seeds are ridiculously good for you and here are 8 of their biggest assets:
They improve your eyesight
Pumpkin seeds contain zeaxanthin, vitamins A and E, zinc and beta-carotene. Zeaxanthin has been proven to help human eyesight and people with zinc deficiencies can get infections infections throughout the body and zinc is responsible for moving vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to create an eye protectant known as melanin.
Photo credit: Ricardo Cuppini
They are good for your immune system
Zinc is a necessity for maintaing a healthy immune system. The daily recommended intake of zinc for an adult woman is 8 mg (from the National Institutes of Health) and a cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 6.6 mg of zinc.
Because they make you happy!
Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which is known for naturally improving an individual's mood and some studies suggest it might actually be effective against depression. Others say that eating some pumpkin seeds before bed may even encourage better sleep.
Photo credit: Deborah Freeman
Cancer curing capabilities
The beta-carotene present in pumpkins seeds stimulates the immune system and provides power to fight cancer. Beta-carotene also produces enzymes which help remove onset cancer substances, all the while preventing DNA damage. Pumpkin seeds are also known for their ability to aid those suffering from prostate cancer as well as help with the prevention of prostate cancer due to their containing of the elements, phytosterols.
A cup of pumpkin seeds boasts over half of the daily amount of magnesium recommended for an adult female. Magnesium is so important to the well-being of the human body because it is essential for protein, bone and DNA production. It's also aids muscle and nerve function, as well as it deals with blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Photo credit: Phillip Jeffrey
Diabetes prevention and management
Pumpkins seeds are pumped full of trigonelline and nicotinic acid, which are both known for controlling blood sugar levels. Another compound, D-chiro-inositol, prevents the diabetes onset as well. Raw pumpkins seeds provide even greater benefits too!
Full of antioxidants
These wonder seeds are full of many different varieties of phenolic acids and several forms of vitamin E. There are also antioxidant phytonutrients, including lignans, that are found in pumpkin seeds. Not only are the antioxidants plentiful but they are also very unique in that they are antioxidants not present in very many foods.
Boost your potassium levels
A cup of pumpkin seeds contains higher levels of potassium than a banana! Who knew? Potassium is so important to our bodies because it helps maintain blood pressure, helps regulate fluids, helps with muscle contractions and balancing minerals. Potassium is important for the kidneys as well.