Pumpkin seeds for a trimmer look
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IT'S true. Pumpkin seeds are a source of healthy fats and fibre, which will help you maintain a moderate weight.

In many cultures eating pumpkin seeds — whether raw or roasted as a delicious snack — is a normal activity, and it's been catching on more in diet circles as people realise that it contributes to weight loss.

Workout developer Mesha-Gaye Wright says eating pumpkin seeds will help you feel fuller for longer, and it also helps with digestion and in the management of your blood sugar.

"It's not only a good addition to your diet because of the fibre content, but pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium and other nutrients for bone health," she informed. "Added to that, it contains antioxidants, iron, zinc and protein — which are all essential nutrients to a healthy diet."

A high fibre meal can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body's response to insulin. Wright said pumpkin seeds are not only fibre-rich but are also heart-healthy as they're a good source of unsaturated fats. Eating the seeds may reduce your cancer risk as well as strengthen your immune system. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc, and zinc has been shown to improve fertility, the quality of a man's sperm, and helps provide the right environment in the uterus for the healthy growth of a baby.

So how do you make pumpkin seeds appealing to add to your diet?

1. Roast them

Roast them in the oven, season with your favourite herbs and spices, and enjoy them as a crunchy snack.

2. Stir fry

Use them in your vegetable stir-fry, or your fried rice, as one of the ingredients.

3. Salad topper

Slightly roast them and top your raw salads with them, as you would with walnuts or other nuts.

4. In granola

When making your granola yoghurt cups, add the seeds in as another fun ingredient.

5. Blend them

Blend them into your smoothies, shakes or natural juices.

"Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, and while most of us will discard them when preparing our meals they have so many benefits," Wright said. "They also taste good, so you don't have to worry about any unpleasant after taste."

She continued: "The presence of vitamin E and antioxidants means that you're protecting your body from disease, and at the same time, you're lowering your cholesterol and improving your heart health. There are not many other foods that you can say offer all these benefits, and are also affordable and readily available."

BY ALAISHA THOMAS

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