Pumpkin seeds are a tasty food that are not only delicious, but are also a great source of dietary fiber, unsaturated fat and protein. Despite these great nutritional components, pumpkin seeds are relatively high in calories, and should be eaten only in moderation. Try adding pumpkin seeds to your pasta or salad for a surprising crunch that will keep you coming back for more.
One of the most important factors related to pumpkin seeds from a nutritional aspect is their high fiber content. Fiber has been found to be important for good health for a number of reasons. One of the ways in which fiber is getting more and more recognition is in its ability to prevent the development of colon cancer. This is primarily due to the fact that foods which are high in fiber, such as pumpkin seeds, are relatively porous. Because of this, the feces containing the high fiber foods are able to absorb many toxins that may be residing in the colon, and aid in their excretion. This prevents them from staying in the colon and contributing to the development of colon cancer.
Unsaturated Fat Content
Another important factor related to pumpkin seeds from a nutritional aspect is the high amount of unsaturated fat found within them. While dietary fat often gets a bad rap, unsaturated fat has actually been found to reverse some of the damage caused by saturated and trans fat. Unsaturated fats are also found in sesame and sunflower seeds, along with the oils that come from these plants.
Since pumpkin seeds are relatively high in unsaturated fat, they are also pretty high in calories. A high intake of calories has been linked to the development of weight gain and obesity, and therefore pumpkin seeds and other similar foods that are rich in calories should be eaten only in moderation. In addition, when choosing prepackaged pumpkin seeds, be sure to look for varieties that boast the seeds in their most natural form, or free from any added sodium, preservatives or other flavorings. While adding these ingredients to pumpkin seeds may make them taste great, it also significantly increases the number of calories that you're eating. A high intake of dietary salt can lead to water retention and subsequent weight gain.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary protein. This makes them a great option for people who are vegan or vegetarian, and are interested in increasing their protein content. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten plain, added to pasta dishes or salads, or even ground up and used to make pumpkin seed butter. Experiment with a number of recipes to find the one that you like best.