Pumpkin vs. Sunflower Seed: Health Impact

Maria James

Pumpkin vs. Sunflower

Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds are directly edible and very famous seeds. These seeds are also commonly known as pepita in many regions, such as Mexico and North America. Pumpkin seeds are available with and without husk. The light brown white husk-covered seeds are extracted from pumpkin, whereas the husk-less seeds are ready to eat. They are cultivated into the soil directly. They appear green or olive in colour.

Additionally, the symmetry of pumpkin seeds makes them easily identifiable. They are oval-shaped and elongated. The ends on both sides are quite pointed, distinguishing them from other cylindrical seeds.

Because of their high nutritional content, these seeds are the perfect snack for every age. Which is why, it is used in almost all the dishes in Mexico. Many other nations like India and Pakistan use pumpkin seeds as dry fruit and consume them to boost health. They also have much medicinal significance and are used in many homeopathic medicines.

Sunflower Seeds

As the name suggests, sunflower seeds originated from sunflowers. They are the fruit of sunflowers that are expected to grow into giant flamboyant flowers. Sunflower seeds have two categories. One is fully edible and has many health benefits, while the other is grown to extract sunflower oil. The latter one is most widely farmed and utilized.

It is easy to distinguish edible sunflower seeds from oil-producing ones. The edible sunflower seeds are covered in a black and white striped shell called a hull. In contrast, oil-producing sunflower seeds are purely black.

Moreover, sunflower seeds are delicious to consume, which is why they can be a perfect snack for everyone. Their taste resembles nuts, and roasting at medium flames adds extra beauty to the flavour.

Nutritional Composition of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are extremely nutritious seeds. They contain all the essential and non-essential elements in balanced amounts. Reasonable consumption of pumpkin seeds improves overall health. The nutritional breakdown of pumpkin seeds is given below;

Macronutrients of Pumpkin Seeds     

  • Carbs: 5 grams·        
  • Fat: 13 grams (6 grams out of 13 grams is
  • Omega-6s)   
  • Protein: 7 grams  
  • Fiber: 1.7 grams

Micronutrients of Pumpkin Seeds

The following percentages are given against recommended daily intake (RDI)  

  • Phosphorus: 33%      
  • Vitamin K: 18%     
  • Zinc: 14%  
  • Magnesium: 37%     
  • Iron: 23%   
  • Copper: 19%
  • Manganese: 42%  
  • Vitamin B2: 0.31mg     
  • Vitamin E: 35.10 mg
  • Vitamin A: 0.5%
  • Vitamin C: 3%     
  • Potassium: 8%·        
  • Antioxidants: Fair amount

Nutritional Composition of Sunflower Seeds

Both types of sunflower seeds are a great reservoir of nutrients and help benefit the body a lot.

Macronutrients of Sunflower Seeds      

  • Proteins: 5.5 grams      
  • Carbohydrates: 6.5 grams     
  • Fiber: 3 grams   
  • Fats: 14 grams

Micronutrients of Sunflower Seeds

The percentages are given against recommended daily intake (RDI)     

  • Folate: 17%   
  • Niacin: 10%        
  • Vitamin B6: 11%         
  • Magnesium: 9%        
  • Vitamin E: 37%         
  • Iron: 6%        
  • Manganese: 30%         
  • Copper: 26%       
  • Pantothenic acid: 20%       
  • Zinc: 10%

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Considering the nutritional breakdown of pumpkin seeds, one can easily understand their significance in improving health. Pumpkin seeds have multiple purposes for good health.

Easy Bowel Movements

Dietary fibres are the perfect compounds to ease bowel movements in the gut and prevent constipation. Therefore, pumpkin seeds do this job effortlessly because of the presence of 1.7 grams of dietary fibre.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Pumpkin seeds are a great choice to fight against cancer. They are helpful for breast and prostate cancers because pumpkin seeds’ antioxidants inhibit tumour cells’ growth.

Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Elevated sugar levels have become a common problem nowadays because of excessive intake of sugars. Magnesium is considered to be the antidote to this condition. Magnesium is not present in many edible compounds, but in pumpkin seeds, due to which wise consumption reduces the risks of diabetes by many folds.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Pumpkin seeds can reduce interior and exterior inflammations of the body because of the presence of antioxidants in higher amounts. They neutralize the effect of free radicals and soothe the organs.

Helps in Sound Sleep

Moreover, if you are suffering from disturbed sleeping patterns and find it difficult to sleep peacefully at night, put a jar full of pumpkin seeds on your bedside table. Tryptophan in the pumpkin seeds treats insomnia by promoting the secretion of sleep hormones. Similarly, copper, selenium and zinc catalyze this process.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

Weight Loss

Sunflower seeds give the feeling of a full stomach that reduces the appetite. This is due to higher amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Better Immunity

Zinc is the immunity booster. Sunflower seeds are good for improving immunity because of their zinc content.

Lower Chances of Anemia

Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Sunflower seeds can prevent this condition by providing the required amount of iron to the body.

Good Heart Health

Moreover, sunflower seeds contain good fats in the highest amount. These fats promote the formation of good cholesterol in the body, boosting heart health.

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