TOP
Tuesday,August 21,2018 05:11 AM

Magical value in eating pumpkin seeds

By Victoria Nampala

Added 22nd May 2018 04:20 PM

Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of minerals such as zinc, phosphorous and manganese which are very crucial to our normal body functioning.

Pumpkins 703x422

Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of minerals such as zinc, phosphorous and manganese which are very crucial to our normal body functioning.

PIC: A pumpkin sliced into two. Pumpkin seeds are considered a super food due to their wide range of nutritional value to the human body.
 
HEALTH 
 
KAMPALA - Many people, when preparing pumpkins for a meal, they tend to cut out the seeds and throw them away.
 
In so- doing, they tend to forget the valuable nutrients they are puting to waste. This explains the high prices tagged on the seeds sold in supermarkets country wide. 
 
People that truly understand the magical value attached to eating pumpkin seeds get to part with some good money to get them off the shelves.
 
Loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, minerals and numerous vitamins, pumpkin seeds are considered a super food due to their wide range of nutritional value to the human body.
 
The price tag for pumpkin seeds varies in different places.
 
For example, at Mega Supermarket in Kampala, the smaller sizes range from Sh 1500-20000 depending on the measurement needed while the  moderate sized pumpkin is sold at Sh 2500 at Kalerwe market, Sh 3000 at Owino and Nakawa market respectively.
 
Noellah Kasiita, a trader at Nakawa market says the prices are not stable as the plant is very scarce in the country. 
 
“Pumpkins are very scarce. Sometimes they are also not that sweet which forces customers to stop buying them and they eventually rot. This also forces us to increase the price to get back the stock money without any profit in the end”, she says.
 
According to Peterson Kikomeko, a nutritionist from Kyambogo University; Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of minerals such as zinc, phosphorous and manganese which are very crucial to our normal body functioning.
 
He explains that zinc, which is found in cells throughout the body, plays an important role in preserving our immune system.
 
Other important nutrients found in the seeds include; magnesium (47%), tryptophan-the amino acids that create proteins (53.1%), copper (21.5%), protein (19.5%) and iron (15.7%). Nutritionists explain that crunchy pumpkin seeds contain about 559 calories per 100g.
 
 Pumpkin seeds and Men’s reproductive health
 
 Kikomeko says, pumpkin seeds have been touted as a necessity in men’s reproductive health. “Since pumpkin seeds have a high concentration of zinc, we prescribe them for men who have low sexual libido and sperm count,” he says.   
 
Soothing effect
 
Soloboya Kabasa, a nutritionist from Kabasa Memorial Hospital in Mbale says the seeds are good for insomniacs.
 
“Pumpkin seeds have high quantities of L-tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid,” says Kabasa.
 
“The L-tryptophan is converted into serotonin and melatonin, which are responsible for sleep and also for relaxing the mind and cheerfulness,” he adds.
 
Immunity and brain development
 
“Zinc is also important for cell-mediated immunity,” Kikomeko. Cell-mediated immunity boosts production of CD4 cells, which are white blood cell that fight infection and lymphocytes that play a large role in defending the body against diseases.
 
He adds that the zinc is also vital for brain development, thus good for children.
 
Hair loss
 
The delta-7-sterine nutrients found in pumpkin seeds also prevent hair loss in both men and women.
 
“Balding in men is associated with excessive levels of dihydrotestosterone in their system, which thedelta-7-sterine afight against,” says Kabasa. 
 
Fights diabetes
 
Kikomeko says zinc is core for people who have diabetes. “The zinc in the seeds helps insulin to work effectively.
 
Selection and storage
 
It is important to find the right seeds and to know how to store them. Kabasa says good storage is key to ensuring quality of the seeds.
 
“It keeps them in good shape.”Food scientists recommend proper and extra care when looking out for perfect seeds. 
 
These include, looking for compact, light yellow colored seeds which feel heavy and feature a good metallic sound. One is advised to avoid the thin, small-sized, seeds as they yield poor quality. They should be free from cracks, mold, and free of rotten smell. 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles