Squash, pumpkins, zucchini, butternut, pumpkins, pumpkins (in various shapes, colors, sizes) are all appreciated in cooking for the sweet or salty flavor of their flesh.
However, the seeds of squash, true mines of benefits, are even more for their properties and nutritional values.
A generic term which may apply to various cultivated varieties of the genus "cucurbita", the word "squash"Or more rarely" cougourde ", designates the edible fruitsmature plants of the large family of cucurbits.
Pumpkin seed: for the record
The word "squash" first appeared in 1256. It comes from Latin « cŭcŭrbĭta ' designating the "gourd"Or calabash: fruit native to Africa eaten fresh as a vegetable, or used dry to make objects.
On the other hand, native to America, the squash itself would have been cultivated on Mexican lands more than 8000 years ago, and the native american (mainly the Algonquin and Menomini) were already enjoying their seeds For their diuretic actions on the treatment of urinary disorders (infections, inflammation of the kidneys).
History says that settlers them, consumed the seeds of squash when powdered like dewormers, and made the most of their digestive properties. Other peoples used it to treat gastrointestinal complaints. It was not until the 19th century that the term "squash" became established in France to designate today's pumpkins and pumpkins.
Benefits of pumpkin seeds
Herbaceous annual plant and creeping, squash is characterized by flowers yellow, green leaves very broad (lobed and surrounded by branching tendrils) and a large fruit connected by a sometimes angular peduncle.
From Lady Godiva oil squash, glitches of squash are green color and completely covered with a very thin envelope.
Rich in protein, vitamins (A, C, B1, B2, B9 and E), dietary fiber, mineral salts (iron, zinc, potassium, copper, calcium, magnesium), oleic acid and relatively caloric, squash seeds are a real source of nutrients. Mainly made up of flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, cucurbitacins, lignans, alpha and beta carotenes, medicinal properties pumpkin seeds are manifold.
Through their actions anti inflammatory and diuretics, pumpkin seeds are recommended in traditional medicine to treat urinary tract infections or incontinence. Their laxative action promotes the rise of milk in the young mother, and its richness in magnesium helps relieve cramps, act against premenstrual syndrome, stress and anxiety. In case of fatigue or anemia, consume these seeds, which are rich in iron is essential.
Recognized for their properties anti oxidants, sedatives, intestinal antiparasitics and even aphrodisiacs, squash seeds are recommended to fight against diabetes, asthenia, dyspepsia, parasitic diseases caused by intestinal worms (beef taenia). They also protect the blood vessels, the vision but also prevent hair loss, cardiovascular disease, dental caries and bad cholesterol.
Note that theoil extracted from pumpkin seeds - rich in sterols - is also indicated to relieve benign hypertrophy of the prostate in men over 50 years old.
Using squash seeds
On medical advice, to calm inflammation of the prostate, 1 tablespoon of shelled pumpkin seeds per day - without side effects - is recommended.
Just like cucumber and tomato, everything is eaten in squash, including the seeds! There are many recipes based on pumpkin seeds and the list is far from exhaustive: ground or chopped, roasted in a pan or "plain", these nutritious seeds are easily mixed with dried fruits or vegetables, go perfectly with soups. , mueslis, salads, and blend well into bread dough.
They can be stored for several months in a dry place, protected from light.
- Also to discover: the delicious squash jam