Squash seeds are one of the most nutritionally rich vegetable by-products out there, having a high content of unsaturated fat, protein, folate, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B1, fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium. These seeds were originally a staple food for countries like China, United States, India, and Mexico and it is only recently that the whole world is awakening to the health benefits of these seeds.
Often times, people throw away the seeds they find in vegetables and fruits, completely unaware of the high nutritional value of what they are discarding. Modern scientific research has pointed out how squash seeds, when eaten daily in some form, can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer as they boost up the immune function while also regulating cholesterol and blood pressure.
Nutritional Value of Squash seeds
Squash seeds, when used as a snack food, have the potential to make your stomach feel full by virtue of the plethora of essential nutrients within it. This quality ensures that people always pick up a handful of these seeds when hungry instead of resorting to fatty foods that only harm our health in the long run.
It has been found by the United States Department of Agricultural Research Service that a cup of roasted squash seeds has approximately a 300-calorie count, with 4% of it being calcium, 34-gram being carbohydrates, 12-gram being fat, protein, and fiber each, with just a hint of vitamin A.
Health Benefits of Squash Seeds
Squash seeds are delicious treats filled with many health benefits. They promote prostate health, help in weight loss, treat diabetes and arthritis, relieve stress, protect the intestines, and also act as an aphrodisiac. Now, let us discuss the health benefits in detail.
Prostate cancer is one of the highest causes of death in adult men, and squash seeds help in preventing the chances of this life-threatening condition from occurring by reducing the rate of cell multiplication. In case, someone has developed an enlarged prostate gland due to benign prostatic hypertrophy, the oil in these seeds would aid in alleviating problems related to urination.
A research study in the Archives of Internal Medicine pointed out how squash seeds act as a key ingredient when anyone wants to lose weight due to its high carbohydrate content. This means that squash seeds supply your body with energy, protein, and fiber that give the feeling of being full for long periods of time. This is one of the reasons why dieticians recommend squash seeds as a power snack.
The seeds from squash, slowly, but surely, regulate the insulin and glucose levels in the human body to treat diabetes, as per a paper published in the Harvard School of Public Health. The oxidative stress gets reduced to keep the blood sugar level in control and decrease the amount of oxidative stress in an average human body.
The omega 3 fatty acid in these seeds has been medically recognized to help in treating mental disorders such as mania, bipolar syndrome, anxiety, and depression. The glutamate and L-tryptophan in squash seeds promote the production of y-amino butyric acid that reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels and decreases mood swing episodes in women. Squash seeds also improve mood in general and promote deep sleep.
Boost Bone Health
The deficiency of calcium in the body lies at the root of poor bone health, leading to conditions such as bone fractures, osteoporosis, gout, and arthritis. The high zinc content in squash seeds has an anti-inflammatory action which improves the bone density, reducing swelling, pain, and stiffness, thus providing a natural alternative to medicines.
Prevent Digestive Issues
The dietary fiber in squash seeds goes a long way into ensuring that your stomach is always protected from problems like diarrhea, cramping, gastritis, bloating, and cramping. It has been said that Native Americans often used these seeds to get rid of roundworms and tapeworms. And even to this day, doctors prescribe the seeds as a method of curing stomach worms.
Act as an Aphrodisiac
Not only do squash seeds guarantee prostate health but also secure the healthy secretion of testosterone, the male sex hormone. The phosphorous in the seeds promotes sexual arousal, while the myosin and amino acids provide the energy for muscular contractions.
Unlike other nutritious foods which end up tasting bland, squash seeds have been championed by the fussiest of eaters as being a tasty ingredient, as their nutty flavor (when spiced, salted, or roasted) brings any dish to life. Another plus point of incorporating squash seeds into daily diet is that they don’t need much care to be preserved and can be stored at room temperature for long durations of time.