Nuts and seeds are health-giving bombshells. They are not just sources of protein, fibre and healthy fats, but also vitamins, minerals and a host of phytonutrients which have some extraordinarily specific health benefits. Provided the soils where nuts/seeds grow are not depleted, or overworked, they will also give you minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, phosphorous….all of which play vital roles in every single system in your body.
So many benefits to be found in such small packages.
Today’s blog is looking at just ONE mineral in ONE type of seed – so imagine how many health-giving goodies you will eat in a handful.
When I think of pumpkin seeds I think ‘zinc’ because even though this mineral is found in many nuts and seeds, it is particularly high in pumpkin seeds. It’s a great anti oxidant mineral, and one which is often low in our body. Nuts and seeds are an ideal healthy way of increasing these levels.
Zinc is involved in a huge number of enzymatic reactions in the body. A bit like magnesium, this mineral seems to be required everywhere, all the time. And because we can’t store it, we need to eat it on a daily basis.
Zinc’s largest claim to fame is probably its role in immune health: increasing production of white blood cells, helping fight infection and wound healing plus increasing killer cells which we need to fight disease….or the common cold (zinc supplementation will help reduce your cold’s severity and duration).
Skin health would be another biggie to think about. Zinc is THE skin mineral, regulating sebaceous gland secretions, compensating for dry – or oily – skin conditions, hence it would be beneficial for both acne and something like dermatitis.
Do you know zinc is vital for your ability to taste and smell? If you’ve lost either of these, don’t fear the worst. Testing zinc levels would be an important first step, as it’s required to produce an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase, critical for the efficient functioning of your senses of taste and smell.
Another zinc benefit, crucial to male health, is the role it plays in sperm motility. Anyone planning a family will ideally be taking at least three months to get their health in order, and good zinc levels, particularly for the future dad, are vital.
All this is just a taster of zinc’s benefits, a mere page of information about one single mineral in one type of seed.
I’ve not touched upon pumpkin seed’s high magnesium, or tryptophan, or the wonderfully exotic cucurbitacin, let alone all the other seeds and nuts in these jars!