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Thursday 30 August 2018

13 Health Benefits of Pumpkin seeds (Egusi)

egusi melon seeds

The plant comes from West African and  grows throughout the year.  Very popular with native Africans who make soup with the seed.  Egusi seed is similar to watermelon except that they are white unlike watermelon.  Seeds of  Egusi are high in protein , vitamins and minerals.  They are great source of edible oil for native Africans.  Pumpkin seeds may be small but they are great source of valuable nutrients.  Eating a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of Proteins, healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.  Egusi fat is unsaturated ,  which is beneficial to the heart
Image result for pumpkin seeds egusi

The nutrition of pumpkin seeds improves with age. They are among the few foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose.  According to tests made at Massachusetts experimental station, squash and pumpkin seeds stored for  more than five months showed  a marked increase in protein content.

Egusi is made up of 30 to 40% protein and about the same proportion of oil.  The oil is cholesterol.  They contain  lots of antioxidants  and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids potassium, B2 and folate.

1.  Contains Zinc Needed for Fertility

Low zinc levels  are associated with reduced sperm quality  and an increased risk of infertility in men and women.  Consuming pumpkin seeds regularly may therefore increase fertility and particularly improve sperm quality and mobility.  Evidence from one study in mice suggests they may also help protect human sperm from damage caused by chemotherapy and autoimmune diseases.  They are also high in antioxidants  and other nutrients that can contribute to healthy testosterone levels and  improved overall health and fertility.

2.  Natural B Vitamin Source

These seeds are excellent source of  Vitamin B  Complex sources.  They contain thiamin, niacin, folate, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and Pyridoxine. These nutrients are needed for healthy nervous system and blood flow, which ultimately keeps the cardiovascular organ healthy. Regular consumption of the seeds is like taking B vitamin supplement.

3.  Prostate Health

The Oil that is found in these seeds can help fight hyperplasia or prostate enlargement.  It contains antioxidants and phytochemicals that reduce free radical activity and prevent the formation of cancer.

4.  Reduce Menopause symptoms

These seeds  have been proven to  relieve symptoms of menopause .  They regulate hot flushes, headaches, reduce joint pains and reduce the frequency of mood swings.  They have also been proven to improve good cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.

5. Improved Mood

Pumpkin  seeds  can help improve mood by alleviating anxiety and depression.  it contains the compound known as tryptophan that the brain uses to create serotonin which helps you feel happy, at ease and sleep.

6.  Plant Based Omega 3 Fats

Omega 3 fatty acids is a rare nutrient not found in many foods, though it is needed for a healthy body particularly for stronger bones, memory and general well being.  Consuming egusi regularly will supply you with this rare but im portant nutrient needed by the body

7. High in Magnesium

Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural source of magnesium.  Magnesium is needed for more than 600 chemical reactions in the body most importantly, the heart and blood pressure.

8.  Packed with protein

If you are looking for protein from plant source, then consider egusi.  Especially for muscle builders.  Proteins are essential.  Regular intake of this seed will help reduce cases of protein deficiency and diseases associated with it.

9.   Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids which are not readily available in the body like arginine and lysine, have to be obtained from other sources.  Egusi seeds are a great source of these amino acids.  Arginine helps in regulating metabolism and improves the cardiovascular system.  Lysine helps in the formation of collagen  and connective tissues in the body.

10.  Anti Aging

Egusi contains  antioxidants like niacin which  makes skin healthy and young and helps prevent aging.  Consuming egusi seeds or applying the oil will help keep your skin healthy and glowing naturally.

11  Cholesterol

It is hard to believe that a fatty seed like pumpkin seeds will contribute to cholesterol reduction, but studies  have found that they can actually reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good ones.  They also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, stroke and heart attack.

12. Diabetes

Due to the fact that pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, regular inclusion into our diet is recommended for people suffering from diabetes.  They contribute in regulating the body's blood sugar levels and increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin.

13  Prevents bone problem

People who have a zinc deficiency are susceptible to osteoporosis,  Eating just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds can give you about 17% of your daily recommended amount of zinc, which you need to help build strong bones.  This is particularly important for women.

They are easy to incorporate into your meals like using them in your soups, stews,  sprinkling  them into your salads or cereals to improve protein.  Some use it in baking.  Remember also that egusi is a source of palmitic acid like red palm oil.  So preparing your egusi with plenty of red palm oil will definitely increase calorie and may not favour those aiming to clear clogged arteries.  Better to add onions, garlic and peppers to reduce the effect of the this ugly side of melon seed.

Source:  WellNestHealthResearch/fb
Photo:  All Nigerian Recipes


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