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PostSubject: Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds   Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:47 am

Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds

Subtly sweet and nutty with a malleable, chewy texture, the roasted seeds from inside your Halloween pumpkin are one of the most nutritious and flavorful seeds around. While pumpkin seeds are available year round, they are the freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Like cantaloupe, cucumber, and squash, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family.

Food Chart
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Pumpkin seeds provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Pumpkin seeds can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Pumpkin seeds, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits
Description
History
How to Select and Store
How to Enjoy
Individual Concerns
Nutritional Profile
References

Health Benefits

Pumpkin Seeds May Promote Prostate Health

Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH, is a condition that commonly affects men 50 years and older in the United States. BPH involves enlargement of the prostate gland. One of the factors that contributes to BPH is overstimulation of the prostate cells by testosterone and its conversion product, DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt this triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT, although the exact mechanism for this effect is still a matter of discussion. Equally open for discussion is the relationship between pumpkin seed oil extracts (which could be purchased in the form of a dietary supplement) and pumpkin seeds themselves. The prostate-helpful components found in the oil extracts are definitely found in the seeds; the only question is whether the amount of seeds eaten for a normal snack would contain enough of these prostate-supportive components. The carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are also being studied for their potential prostate benefits. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids in their diet have less risk for BPH; this is the connection that has led to an interest in pumpkin seed carotenoids.

Zinc is one further nutrient found in pumpkin seeds that might impact prostate function. The fact that pumpkin seeds serve as a good source of zinc may contribute to the role of pumpkin seeds in support of the prostate. However, studies about the relationship between zinc and BPH show mixed results, and more research is needed to determine the circumstances under which zinc might be helpful versus harmful.

Protection for Men's Bones

In addition to maintaining prostate health, another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men. Almost 30% of hip fractures occur in men, and 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture. A study of almost 400 men ranging in age from 45-92 that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits in Arthritis

The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. Importantly, though, pumpkin seeds did not have one extremely unwanted effect of indomethacin: unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.

A Rich Source of Healthful Minerals, Protein and Monounsaturated Fat

In addition to their above-listed unique health benefits, pumpkin seeds also provide a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, and a good source of iron, copper, protein, and as previously mentioned, zinc. Snack on a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds and you will receive 46.1% of the daily value for magnesium, 28.7% of the DV for iron, 52.0% of the DV for manganese, 24.0% of the DV for copper, 16.9% of the DV for protein, and 17.1% of the DV for zinc.

Pumpkin Seed Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such as "butter"-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering "foods." But why settle for an imitation "butter" when Mother Nature's nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols—and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?

In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published the amounts of phytosterols present in nuts and seeds commonly eaten in the United States.

Of the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snack foods, pistachios and sunflower seeds were richest in phytosterols (270-289 mg/100 g), closely followed by pumpkin seeds(265 mg/100 g). (100 grams is equivalent to 3.5 ounces.) Sesame seeds had the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg per 100 grams) of all nuts and seeds, while English walnuts and Brazil nuts had the lowest (113 mg/100grams and 95 mg/100 grams).

Description

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Pumpkin seeds have a malleable, chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. While roasted pumpkins seeds are probably best known for their role as a perennial Halloween treat, these seeds are so delicious, and nutritious, that they can be enjoyed throughout the whole year.

Like cantaloupe, cucumber, and squash, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family. The most common genus and species name for pumpkin is Cucurbita maxima.

History

Pumpkins, and their seeds, were a celebrated food of the Native American Indians who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties. The cultivation of pumpkins spread throughout the world when the European explorers, returning from their journeys, brought back many of the agricultural treasures of the New World. While pumpkin seeds are featured in the recipes of many cultures, they are a special hallmark of traditional Mexican cuisine. Pumpkin seeds have recently become more popular as research suggests that they have unique nutritional and health benefits.

Today, the leading commercial producers of pumpkins include the United States, Mexico, India and China.

How to Select and Store

Pumpkin seeds are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the pumpkin seeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure the seeds' maximal freshness. Whether purchasing pumpkin seeds in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are not shriveled. If it is possible to smell the pumpkin seeds, do so in order to ensure that they are not rancid or musty.

Pumpkin seeds should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While they may stay edible for several months, they seem to lose their peak freshness after about one to two months.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Tips for Preparing Pumpkin Seeds:

While most stores sell pumpkin seeds, it is fun and easy to make your own. To do so, first remove the seeds from the pumpkin's inner cavity and wipe them off with a paper towel if needed to remove excess pulp that may have stuck to them. Spread them out evenly on a paper bag and let them dry out overnight.

Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and light roast them in a 160-170°F (about 75°C) oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a short time at a low temperature you can help to preserve their healthy oils.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.

Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.

Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal.

Add pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe.

Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.

Individual Concerns

Pumpkin seeds are not a commonly allergenic food and are not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.

Nutritional Profile

Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. They are also a good source of other minerals including zinc, iron and copper. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and vitamin K.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Pumpkin seeds.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Pumpkin seeds is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart
In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Pumpkin seeds, raw
0.25 cup
34.50 grams
186.65 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%) Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
manganese 1.04 mg 52.0 5.0 very good
magnesium 184.58 mg 46.1 4.5 very good
phosphorus 405.03 mg 40.5 3.9 very good
tryptophan 0.11 g 34.4 3.3 good
iron 5.16 mg 28.7 2.8 good
copper 0.48 mg 24.0 2.3 good
vitamin K 17.73 mcg 22.2 2.1 good
zinc 2.57 mg 17.1 1.7 good
protein 8.47 g 16.9 1.6 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Pumpkin seeds

References

Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California 1983.
Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.
Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York 1996.
Hyun T, Barrett-Connor E, Milne D. Zinc intakes and plasma concentrations in men with osteoporosis: the Rancho Bernardo Study. Am J Clin Nutr, Sept. 2004:80(3):715-721. 2004. PMID:15321813.
Jayaprakasam B, Seeram NP, Nair MG. Anticancer and antiinflammatory activities of cucurbitacins from Cucurbita andreana. Cancer Lett 2003 Jan 10;189(1):11-6 2003.
Phillips KM, Ruggio DM, Ashraf-Khorassani M. Phytosterol composition of nuts and seeds commonly consumed in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 30;53(24):9436-45. 2005. PMID:16302759.
Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.
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PostSubject: Re: Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds   Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:03 pm

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Nutrition Carbohydrates Food List

Nutrition Quotes
Cumin seeds Cumin seeds
Cloves Cloves - health
Cinnamon, ground Cinnamon, ground
Cilantro/Coriander seeds Cilantro/Coriander seeds
Chili pepper, dried Chili pepper, dried
Cayenne pepper Cayenne pepper
Black pepper Black pepper
Basil Basil - health
Whole wheat Whole wheat
Spelt Spelt
Rye Rye - health care
Quinoa Quinoa
Oats Oats - health care
Millet Millet
Corn Corn - health care
Buckwheat Buckwheat
Brown rice Brown rice
Barley Barley
Walnuts Walnuts
Sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds Sesame seeds
Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds
Peanuts Peanuts
Olive oil, extra virgin Olive oil, extra virgin
Flaxseeds FlaxseedsCashews Cashews
Almonds Almonds
Venison Venison
Lamb Lamb - health care
Chicken Chicken
Calf's liver Calf's liver
Beef, lean organic Beef, lean organic
Tofu Tofu - health care
Tempeh Tempeh
Soybeans Soybeans
Pinto beans Pinto beans
Navy beans Navy beans
Miso Miso - health
Lima beans Lima beans
Lentils Lentils
Kidney beans Kidney beans
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Dried peas Dried peas
Black beans Black beans
Yogurt Yogurt
Milk, goat Milk, goat
Milk, 2%, cow's Milk, 2%, cow's
Eggs Eggs - health care
Cheese, low-fat Cheese, low-fat


Cheese, low-fat Cheese, low-fat
Watermelon Watermelon
Strawberries Strawberries
Raspberries Raspberries
Raisins Raisins
Prunes Prunes
Plums Plums
Pineapple Pineapple
Pears Pears
Papaya Papaya
Oranges Oranges
Lemon/Limes Lemon/Limes
Kiwifruit Kiwifruit
Grapes Grapes
Grapefruit Grapefruit
Figs Figs - health
Cranberries Cranberries
Cantaloupe Cantaloupe
Blueberries Blueberries
Bananas Bananas
Apricots Apricots
Tuna Tuna - health
Shrimp Shrimp
Scallops Scallops
Sardines health
Salmon Salmon
Halibut Halibut
Cod Cod health
Yams Yams Yams Yams
Turnip greens
Tomatoes Tomatoes
Swiss chard Swiss chard
Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes
Squash, winter Squash, winter
Squash, summer Squash, summer
Spinach Spinach
Sea vegetables Sea vegetables
Romaine lettuce Romaine lettuce
Potatoes Potatoes
Onions Onions
Olives Olives
Mustard greens Mustard greens
Mushrooms, shiitake Mushrooms, shiitake
Mushrooms, crimini Mushrooms, crimini
Leeks Leeks
Kale Kale Kale
Green peas Green peas
Green beans Green beans
Garlic Garlic
Fennel Fennel

Eggplant Eggplant
Cucumbers Cucumbers
Collard greens Collard greens
Celery Celery
Cauliflower Cauliflower
Carrots Carrots
Cabbage Cabbage
Brussels sprouts
Broccoli Broccoli
Bell peppers Bell peppers
Beets Beets
Avocados Avocados
Asparagus Asparagus
Apples Apples
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