Pumpkin seeds, despite their small size, can be considered as a food rich in beneficial properties and as a healthy snack that can replace the classic packaged snacks.

Pumpkin seeds are beneficial for the heart, they help us to guarantee a good night's sleep and a good general health. They can be eaten raw or toasted in the oven at a temperature not too high for 15-20 minutes. They are also excellent hot and they can be seasoned with a pinch of whole sea salt. They can be bought already toasted, preferably choosing them organic, in the shops of natural products.

Here are their 10 main beneficial properties.

1) Good rest

Pumpkin seeds have a high content of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin, which helps to ensure not only to live our days with a good humor, but also to help us enjoy a good night's sleep, so to recover all the energy needed to face the commitments of the next day.

2) Heart and relaxation

Among the nutritive components present in pumpkin seeds there is magnesium, an element that contributes to give our body a feeling of relaxation. Magnesium is in fact considered as a naturally calming and relaxing substance, as well as being considered beneficial for proper cardiac activity.

3) Balance

Pumpkin seeds have a good content of highly digestible proteins that help to maintain regular blood sugar levels when they are consumed during the day as a snack. Maintaining stable levels of sugars can be crucial when trying to lose weight. This is why pumpkin seeds are often recommended for those who follow a weight loss diet.

4) Omega3

Pumpkin seeds contain omega3 essential fatty acids, a thing that makes them a precious vegetable source of these elements. Their presence remains in a food extracted from them cold: pumpkin seed oil. It could be helpful in treating patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy, as suggested by a scientific study published in 2009.

5) Zinc

The zinc content of the pumpkin seeds makes them a suitable food to be consumed by the male population, as this mineral is considered capable of performing a protective action for the prostate. Intake of food containing zinc is also recommended for pregnant women and those who wish to monitor cholesterol levels.

6) Iron

Pumpkin seeds, along with legumes such as lentils, beans and chickpeas, can be considered as a vegetable source of iron. Assuming them as a snack will help to counteract the drops in energy throughout the day. Roasted pumpkin seeds can substitute the classic snacks bought at the supermarket in a healthy way.

7) Anti-inflammatory properties

Pumpkin seeds are considered as a real natural anti-inflammatory, with almost medicinal power. Their intake can therefore contribute to attenuate the inflammatory states of our body. In some cases they can help fight irritation and swelling without the typical side effects of medicines.

8) Phytosterols

Pumpkins seeds are in third place in the ranking of seeds and dried fruit with a higher content of phytosterols. They are in fact overtaken by seeds of sunflowers and pistachios, but they remain a source not to be underestimated. This characteristic makes them able to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

9) Intestinal wellbeing

Pumpkin seeds contain a part of those vegetable fibers to be inserted into our diet so that our intestines can function on a regular basis. Their intake is therefore particularly suitable for those who present problems from this point of view and who wish to rediscover their balance.

10) pH regulation

Pumpkin seeds help to alkalize the body's pH. The excessive acidity caused by the intake of certain foods (such as meat, sugars and sweets, 00 flour and derivatives) has been linked to the onset of painful and inflammatory states. Other alkalizing foods are vegetables, with particular reference to those that can be eaten raw.