Pumpkin Seeds: their Properties, uses, and Health Benefits

Seeds are one of the most highly esteemed foods for the future diet.  They are rich in nutrients, oils, and high quality fiber.  Among these nutritious foods, are pumpkin seeds, a well-known appetizer.  They stand out with their numerous properties, of which, let us mention the following:Pumpkin Seeds: their Properties, uses, and Health Benefits

  • Rich in carbohydrates and amino acids.
  • Contain oils and fats that are beneficial for health, indispensable for good heart and nervous system functioning.
  • Rich in vitamins B, C, D, E, and K.
  • High mineral content with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and niacin.
  • Very rich in Zinc, a mineral that helps strengthen sight and reinforces the body’s immune system, increasing its defenses and preventing contagion and infectious diseases.
  • Improves urethra and bladder function.
  • They can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
  • Their nutrients and fatty acids help nourish the skin and cardiovascular system.
  • Help prevent the hardening of arteries, and regulate cholesterol levels.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain a large amount of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps treat and eliminate depression, among other things.
  • Pumpkin seed milk (or beverage, see recipe at end of article) is very nutritious and has medicinal uses.  It is good for treating intestinal parasites (including tapeworm).  It is also a good remedy for men with prostate problems, because they disinfect and remove inflammation in the prostate and urinary tract in general.  This helps prevent cancer in this area.  Also, their large oil (linoleic and linolenic) and mineral contribution, like phosphorus and iron, make them a nutritious food for the entire body.

A bit about pumpkin seed oil

This oil is made by toasting and pressing the local variety of pumpkin seeds.  It is a dense and bicolored oil (dark green when looking through it and brown or dark red when looking straight at it).  It smells like dried fruit, and is used for cooking, especially for making cakes and dressings.  It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.  After linseed oil, it has the highest cholesterol content of all vegetable oils and fats.

This oil is beneficial for treating bladder and prostate illnesses, or for intestinal tract infections and worms.

If you are going to buy pumpkin seed oil it is important that you check that it is not combined or mixed with sunflower oil.  This is a trick that producers frequently use to reduce the high cost of making pure pumpkin oil, as the extraction process is complex and costly.

Pumpkin seeds in the kitchen

These seeds can be added to several dishes, from soups, stews, and salads, to delicious desserts.  Combined with olive oil, honey, and plain yogurt, it makes a delicious dressing.  Some people frequently eat toasted and salted pumpkin seeds.  Even though this is a very rich way to eat them, you should prefer them natural, because they lose a lot of their essential nutrients when they are toasted and seasoned.

VEGETABLE DRINK WITH PUMPKIN SEEDS

Recipe ingredients:

  • 1 c. tender, raw, and peeled pumpkin seeds, previously soaked in fresh water for 4 or 5 hours.
  • Molasses, powdered brown sugar or brown sugar, to taste (try to sweeten as little as possible.  You can omit the sweets and drink without sweetening)
  • 6 c. fresh water
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or vanilla, powdered

Recipe directions:

1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend.

2. Strain.  If mixture is very thick, add a bit more water.  If it is very liquid, add a few more seeds.

3. If you don’t want any lumps in your milk, strain with a cloth.  However, eating a few of the blended seeds is very healthy.

NOTE: You can save the leftover milk in a well-covered bowel in the fridge, and drink in the following two days.  You can mix this milk with some type of fruit in the morning, it goes very well with papaya, mango, and apple.  This would be a very nutritious and energetic smoothie.

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