Known as Pepita in Spanish, especially when roasted are edible green seeds found inside a white hull that you find in the centre of your pumpkin. Squash (cucurbita) is thought to be the earliest domestic western plant, dating back 8-10,000 years preceding maize and beans by about 4,000 years. They were eaten by the Aztecs and are a popular snack in Mediterranean countries.
A good source of protein and B vitamins, rich in the minerals manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper and potassium. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin, which helps lower depression and helps us feel relaxed in the day time and helps us sleep at night. Cucurbitanes are triterpenoids or terpenes, essential oils found in the waxy covering of plants.
Studies suggest the Cucurbita Ficifolia has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Pumpkin seed oil extracts were shown to remarkably reduce bladder and urethra pressure and increase bladder compliance in rabbits.
Pumpkin seeds snacks were shown to reduce the risk of bladder stone disease in Thai adolescents by improving the nutrients and increasing the inhibitors of crystal formation.
Pumpkin seed extract was found to contain lignans and flavones. Lignans are phytoestrogens similar to estrogens and may affect breast cancer risk by mimicking estrogen/anti-estrogenic properties, particularly post menopause.
Shown to induce death of pancreatic cancer cells, though the mechanism is not clearly understood yet.
Cucurbita moschata was shown to inhibit the growth of targeted melanoma cells.
Selected seeds were found to contain globulins (proteins) that have a significant anti-hyperglycaemic activity. An aqueous extract showed antioxidant properties, being useful as a good prevention for oxidative stress and could be helpful with diabetes mellitus, also due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Tests on rats suggest that pumpkin seeds may be helpful to prevent diabetes and its complications.
Cucurbitanes were found to inhibit early stages of malarial parasites at the liver stage, inhibiting its development rather than its ability to invade liver cells.
Studies on rats inhibited the start of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), prostate enlargement due to increased testosterone. This is thought to be from increasing the ratio of the male /female hormones testosterone and estradiol.
Adding Pumpkin Seeds to your Diet
- Sprinkle on salads and steamed vegetables
- Eat as a snack raw or roasted
- Add to smoothies
- Add when baking bread or crackers
We are happy to advise you on your health matters.
Lin Bridgeford DO KFRP MSCC ICAK (UK) MSc
Registered Osteopath & Kinesiologist & Yoga Teacher
Aether Bios Clinic