A chronic condition, diabetes can lead to many other life-threatening diseases; which is why it is extremely important to manage the same with strict diet control and regular physical activity. Characterised by abnormally high level of sugar or glucose which builds up in the blood, while type 1 diabetes is caused by lack of insulin production by the pancreas, in type 2 diabetes, the rise in sugar levels occur even though the body is producing insulin.
To help maintain an ideal sugar level, it is necessary that a diabetes patient incorporates foods which have low glycemic index, and seeds such as pumpkin can prove beneficial.
Why are pumpkin seeds good?
They may look small in size but are known to be packed with valuable nutrients such as healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. They contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E which help reduce inflammation and protect the body’s cells from harmful free radicals.
In a 2013-study published in journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition noted in their preliminary findings that pumpkin seeds, and the macromolecules, therein, such as Trigonelline (TRG), Nicotinic acid (NA), and dchiro-inositol (DCI), possess hypoglycemic properties and could assist in maintaining glycemic control.
A 2010-study published in PubMed suggested that flax and pumpkin seeds mixture supplemented in diet of diabetic rats may be helpful to prevent diabetes and its complications.
As it is rich in vitamin C and helps in stimulating the production of insulin, the seeds are considered extremely beneficial for diabetics.
The development of diabetes can sometimes be due to improper metabolism of carbohydrates, lipid and protein. Antioxidants like vitamin C help reduce oxidative stress which improves the metabolism of these complex substances.
Another condition that is caused by diabetes is endothelial dysfunction where the level of nitric oxide in the body reduces. Since pumpkin seeds contain folic acid, it stimulates endothelial functioning.
As a nutrient-dense food source, pumpkin seeds are full of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds, so can be had as a munching snack. But it is their roasted version which is mostly recommended for diabetics. However, it is good to seek advice from your doctor first and then have a moderate amount of pumpkin seeds.