Pumpkin seeds are the flat, oval seeds found inside pumpkins. Also called pepitas, these seeds can be even more nutritious than the flesh of the pumpkin. There are plenty of ways to add pumpkin seeds to one's diet. Many individuals enjoy snacking on roasted, salty pumpkin seeds. They can also be used as a crunchy salad topping, blended into pesto, baked into bread, pureed in a smoothie, or mixed into granola. Pumpkin seeds do more than just taste delicious: they are also incredibly healthy!
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
The human body uses the bloodstream to transport glucose to cells that use it for energy. However, if the body cannot properly regulate glucose, the excess sugar can build up in the blood. This causes many immediate issues, such as fatigue, nausea, and tingling, and having high blood sugar levels regularly for a long time can cause serious nerve damage and impair healing. Fortunately, pumpkin seeds can be a helpful way of controlling blood sugar.
Consuming any part of the pumpkin can lower blood sugar almost instantly. Research has even found it can have a significant effect on individuals dealing with type 2 diabetes. The reason pumpkin seeds help lower blood sugar is due to magnesium. The seeds have unusually high levels of magnesium, which the body needs to properly regulate and metabolize sugar. In fact, magnesium is so good at regulating blood sugar that a study found it lowered the risk of diabetes by thirty-three percent.
High In Fiber Content
Pumpkin seeds are incredibly high in fiber, so just a handful can provide almost half of the fiber individuals need each day. This substance is essentially an indigestible material that passes through the gastrointestinal system without being absorbed. Though it does not have any nutritional content, fiber is still an essential part of maintaining health. As it travels through the gut, fiber pushes along waste products and helps keep the bowels moving. This makes it much easier to have bowel movements, and it can also cut back on gas, bloating, and belching after a meal.
Another reason fiber is helpful is it takes a while to move through the stomach and upper intestine. This means individuals stay feeling full for longer instead of having their meal rapidly empty out of their stomach, so it can be beneficial for weight loss.