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Pumpkin seeds

Description

What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? These moreish little seeds make an ideal between-meal snack, as they are rich in protein, low in calories and dense in nutrients.

High cholesterol

Pumpkin seeds are very rich in a compound called beta sitosterol, which is added to those cholesterol-lowering drinks we see advertised so often. It works by blocking the absorption of cholesterol through the gut, and has had vast amounts of clinical research conducted on it.

Fungal conditions

Pumpkin seeds also contain a substance called curcubitin, which has shown some rather interesting antifungal activity. It is believed to be particularly useful for digestive parasites such as candida. Although I’m sceptical about the huge attention paid to candida in the natural health world, it does occur in some situations, and this compound may well be a valid option.

Acne

Pumpkin seeds are very high in zinc, which helps to regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands. This can help to even out oily acne prone skin. Zinc has the other added benefit of supporting immunity. Zinc is used by our white blood cells to code genes that actually control the way in which they interact with pathogens. This can help us fight an infection faster. As acne is an active infection, anything we can do to increase our body’s capacity to fight it faster will help reduce the severity of the lesion.

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