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Last Updated: Nov 15th, 2012 - 21:51:10 

Holiday Cooking

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
By Dr. Martha Howard of Wellness of Chicago
Nov 15, 2012, 05:08 PST

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

  • Helps raise good cholesterol, HDL, and lower bad cholesterol, LDL, because they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid.

  • Nature’s “happy pills” – contain lots of tryptophan, good for relaxation and sleep, and also glutamate, a precursor of GABA, one of the neurotransmitters that calms the brain.

  • Pumpkin Seeds by Brian Jackson, CT CC by 2.0

  • Full of magnesium and zinc – Magnesium is hard to come by in the American diet, and a majority of us are deficient in it. Zinc is also a common deficiency. It is important to have enough zinc because it is one of the most important elements in preventing osteoporosis.

  • Contains fiber – which increases the satisfied “full feeling” that keeps you from getting hungry and binge eating.

  • Natural anti-inflammatory – effectively reduces inflammation helping with arthritis.

  • Used in traditional cultures – prevents and treats parasites.

  • Helps prevent kidney stones – prevents calcium oxalate formation.

What about pumpkin itself? It has beta carotene and potassium. Beta carotene, the same B vitamin that is in carrots, is a player in preventing everything from cancer to wrinkles! A cup of pumpkin contains more potassium than a banana - it’s going to have to be a good sized piece of pie to get a cup!

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