by Susan Schachter, MSRDN October 26, 2023 2 min read
Perhaps it’s because they know they’ve been home to something so nourishing. As it turns out, pumpkin seeds aren’t just a tasty treat. These small seeds have a secret power. They contain several nutrients that can help to keep your blood pressure in check. Given their size, they’re miniature powerhouses!
Picture this: It’s after dinner and you’re watching TV. You decide you’re still in the mood for a little something. You want it to be healthy. You take a serving of pumpkin seeds. Why? Because it tastes good and it’s good for your heart. Let’s take a look at some of its nutrients and why this is a smart move.
The mineral magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxer. Our blood vessels are smooth muscle. Constricted blood vessels can lead to high blood pressure and so the smooth muscle relaxation of magnesium makes it a good friend to have on our side! It’s also a natural calcium channel blocker (a med often prescribed for hypertension). It also helps to constructively bind potassium as well as helping to increase nitric oxide (a vasodilator) production!
Pumpkin seeds have a good dose of potassium. Potassium is kind of the yin to sodium’s yang. We all know that high sodium intake is something that can contribute to high blood pressure. Potassium lessens the effects of sodium and it helps to ease tension in our blood vessel walls. Pumpkin seeds are a good food source of potassium. Unless your doctor tells you to take a supplement, you should always get your potassium from a food source as opposed to a supplement source because taking a potassium supplement can be dangerous.
Fiber is important for so many reasons. It’s helpful in lowering blood glucose, cholesterol, helping with normalization of bowel movements, AND lowering blood pressure. Every one of these benefits of fiber contributes to heart health!
So, making the decision to snack on pumpkin seeds is an excellent one! Next time you’re in the mood for a snack, grab some pumpkin seeds. Add them to salads, sprinkle them on yogurt, or munch on them straight from the bag. Your tastebuds and your heart will thank you for this delicious journey!
Here's to your health!
Comments will be approved before showing up.