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11 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds You Need To Know

11 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds You Need To Know

It’s Halloween season, which means plenty of pumpkin carving. But before discarding the pulp and the seeds you may want to consider keeping the latter. As you’re about to discover, pumpkin seeds have an abundance of amazing benefits that will do wonders for your health.

1. Healthy Heart

Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, which is imperative for adequate physiological body function. This includes the proper pumping of your heart, as well as tooth and bone formation, DNA synthesis and bowel function. Magnesium is also a natural relaxant.

2. Sleep

Being high in the amino acid tryptophan, pumpkin seeds help you to have a restful night’s sleep. This is because the acid converts to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can effect your sleep patterns. As such, they’re literally nature’s sleeping pills! As a result, they can also have an effect on your mood, because who doesn’t feel great after an amazing sleep?

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3. Stress Relief

The seeds are also a great source of another amino acid, glutamate. This is essential to the synthesis of γ-amino butyric acid, which is an anti-stress neurochemical that reduces anxiety and irritability. You have to love being able to get some zen out of your snacks!

4. Menopause Symptoms

As for pumpkin seed oil, it’s also thought to help with symptoms of menopause. That’s because it contains an abundance of phytoestrogens—a plant based xenoestrogen, which functions as estrogen. It is said to help decrease hot flashes, pains, headaches and reduce blood pressure.

5. Stabilizing Blood Sugar

Due to being high in protein, pumpkin seeds help to regulate your blood sugar levels. This has two particularly great potential benefits—weight loss and diabetes prevention. It’s also said to help the latter by decreasing oxidative stress.

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6. Anti-Inflammatory

Pumpkin seed oil has also exhibited anti-inflammatory effects that rival indomethacin—a drug that is used to treat arthritis. In addition, it works without also providing any of the side effects that the drug itself does.

7. High In Omega-3

Pumpkin seeds are one of the most notable plant-based sources of obtaining omega-3. This is a fatty acid that’s essential to metabolism health, as well as brain and cognitive performance.

8. Prostate Health

Pumpkin seeds contain a large quantity of zinc, which is incredibly important to prostate health. In fact, the highest quantity of zinc in a man’s body is in his prostate. It’s also believed that the oil within the seeds helps to treat prostatic hyperplasia, or a large prostate.

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Zinc is also essential for insulin regulation, cell growth and your immune system. In addition, it helps your sense of taste and smell. A few seeds a day is certainly a small price to pay for great health and improved taste!

9. Good For Your Skin

Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin E, which is a lipid-soluble antioxidant. As such, it helps to protect tissue cells from mediated oxidant injury. In layperson’s terms, this means that it helps your skin to remain healthy and looking younger. What’s not to love about that?

10. Energizing

Pumpkin seeds are full of iron, which will give you a fantastic energy boost throughout the day. This is a great alternative to sugary snacks that will only give you energy for a short period of time before resulting in a sugar crash. So, put down the candy bar and pick up some pumpkin seeds. You’ll be thankful once 4pm rolls around and you aren’t slumped half-asleep across your desk!

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11. Lowers Cholesterol

In addition to omega-3, pumpkin seeds are also rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid. This helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and therefore helps to prevent stroke and coronary artery disease.

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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