Pumpkin seeds are the flat, oval-shaped seeds of the pumpkin or squash. They contain numerous nutritive properties that can help defend against chronic and serious illnesses. Present in them are magnesium, zinc, protein, beneficial fats (omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA), and antioxidants ( including carotenoids and vitamin E). Our body can enjoy all these important nutrients if we eat pumpkins seeds regularly.
How Pumpkin Seeds Affect Our Blood Sugar Levels
In a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. and Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey, they have found that pumpkin seeds have a component that has the potential in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Gary Adams, the co-author of the study, says that:
“There are many different types of insulins available to treat diabetes, but there are still physiological consequences for such use. Alternatives are, therefore, required and this includes herbal preparations as well as dietary plants in the form of Cucurbitaceae (pumpkin).”
For the study, the researchers extracted the pulp and seeds of the pumpkins to investigate if what are bioactive ingredients in it that possess hypoglycemic properties. Based on the data gathered, certain ingredients in the seeds have the potential blood sugar-lowering effects. These include the following:
According to a study in the International Journal of Endocrinology, this carbohydrate has the ability to improve glycemic control, or blood sugar regulation thus making it beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes
A study in Current Medicinal Chemistry discovered that this plant compound can help improve insulin secretion, glucose metabolism, and B-cell regeneration.
This is also known as niacin, a B vitamin that improves HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.
At the end of the study which was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the team concluded that pumpkin seed has potential hypoglycemic properties.
Moreover, in a separate study involving over 127,000 people, experts have found that diets rich in magnesium (such as eating pumpkin seeds) were associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men and a 34% lower risk in women.
Other Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Eating even a small amount of pumpkin seeds regularly can provide our body with various health benefits including the following:
- Lowered risk for certain cancers (stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers)
- Improved prostate and bladder health
- Help promote good digestion
- May improve sperm quality
- May Help Improve Sleep
- Reduce heart disease risk
- Forming and maintaining healthy bones
How to Include Pumpkin Seeds Into Our Diet
- Enhance the seeds’ neutral taste by roasting and adding onions, tomatoes, salt, and pepper to them.
- Make a sauce with pumpkin seeds
- Add roasted seeds in desserts
- Sprinkle them on salad and soups to add nuttiness and up their nutritional value.
- Add them into a smoothie