All of you would have heard about zinc at some point in your life. You may find it in a multivitamin, it’s a trace mineral. Your body needs very small quantities of zinc but when you understand what a deficiency of this little mineral can do to your body. You then start to correlate reasons as to why your immunity is low, why you have inflammation in your body, why you may have cardiovascular diseases, why you struggle to lose weight, why that belly fat just doesn’t get off your body or why you have a hormonal imbalance. Why do we need zinc so much? Even a small deficiency of zinc in your body will create the following issues for you:
Did you know that a deficiency of zinc can actually drive an increase in appetite and increase cravings in your body. I always tell people you shouldn’t have to fight cravings because to fight cravings you need to use willpower and willpower has a shelf life. You can use willpower for one day, two days, maybe a week, maybe a month but you will finally crash and then you will binge and then you get into that vicious cycle of eating and being depressed because you don’t get those results. You just need to correct a zinc deficiency and you could possibly take care of those cravings and that big appetite that you suddenly have.
In case of hair loss while we continue to move from doctor to doctor or dermatologist to dermatologist or nutritionist to nutritionist and we try to get food plans and shampoos and creams that help us to prevent the loss of hair, the deficiency of zinc, a 1% deficiency of zinc will make your hair fall. Correct the deficiency you may sort that hair problem that you currently have.
One in two people today suffer from gut issues. Be it acidity, bloating, flatulence, the inability to digest gluten and lactose, IBS, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s diseases, Hashimoto’s, thyroid and all the auto immune diseases start in the gut including low immunity. You need zinc to improve the health of your gut walls and your colon and the deficiency of zinc may create a lot of gut issues that you have. It’s multifactorial. If you correct that deficiency you can improve your gut health.
Look at the amount of infertility clinics sprouting up all over the country today. In fact if you don’t get pregnant in three to four months the next thing you’re suggested to do is visit an infertility clinic. But no one’s looking at prolactin levels which are caused because of high stress and if you have high prolactin you cannot conceive. So you got to reduce your stress levels because your body doesn’t want to produce a life if you’re stressed because stress impacts so many things that can impact the growth of your baby. Infertility again is linked with a deficiency of zinc. So before we even jump onto that bandwagon of infertility clinics let’s get our basics right and check our stress levels check if we’re sleeping right, check if we have the right foods and check if we don’t have deficiencies of zinc.
Chronic fatigue throughout the day? Again a deficiency of magnesium and a deficiency of zinc can make you feel tired throughout the day. I always tell people who run marathons the cramps that you get in your calf and the stiffness that you get is due to a deficiency of magnesium. Eat a banana, eat a couple of pumpkin seeds before your race during, after, during your training and you load up on zinc and you load up on magnesium and that chronic fatigue tends to disappear.
Deficiency of zinc will upset your hormonal balance and today we have pcod, thyroid, ovarian issues, weight gain. All of these issues are hormonal. Your inability to lose weight or the reason that you are probably putting on weight if you’re exercising well and eating well is because you have a hormonal imbalance. When you talk diabetes, pcod or any hormonal issue or any endocrine issue you look at first making sure whether you have enough of zinc or you eating enough of foods that have the right amount of zinc. For fat loss, especially for guys belly fat and in women zinc is required to make the hormone testosterone. This hormone provides energy to us and helps us build lean mass and lean muscle and when we have lean muscle we have a higher metabolic rate, when we have a higher metabolic rate we burn fat more efficiently. You cannot punish your body to burn fat. You give your body what it needs to create the right hormones and the right quantities to burn fat.
Today you have frequent colds and coughs when the weather changes in the monsoons in India and you have children falling sick and adults with virals and colds and coughs. Again zinc is directly connected with your immunity because zinc has the ability to boost up your immunity and if you have a deficiency of zinc you’re not allowing your immunity to do what it does best which is heal you. Heal your body, fight out these germs and pathogens and all of this stuff that you have going on inside your system.
Cancer & Cardiovascular
It’s got a direct correlation with cancer because zinc and pumpkin seeds are very powerful antioxidants. The nature and the job of an antioxidant is to remove free radicals from your body. Free radicals basically change the DNA structure of your cells. It can create cell mutations and cause disease or inflammation. Most heart disease like I always say is not just caused by cholesterol; we are blinded to think it’s caused by cholesterol; it is caused by inflammation. Most strokes or cardiac arrests are caused by inflammation in your arteries and a deficiency of magnesium and a deficiency of zinc can create inflammation. When you increase the amount of zinc you correct a deficiency or you have things like pumpkin seeds that contain magnesium and contain zinc you are automatically on an anti-inflammatory eating plan. And anti-inflammatory is the way to go for all those people suffering from joint pain, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and all of those things and are constantly popping painkillers which are constantly destroying your gut health and making your condition worse and worse. Something as simple as a deficiency of zinc being corrected in your body can change all of this.
In case of diabetes zinc is important when it comes to regulating the way insulin is produced and the way insulin is utilized by the cells in your body. So diabetes is just not about reducing your sugar intake, it’s about getting out there, losing belly fat, walking, getting activity, getting the right amount of sleep.
While we talk about sleep, pumpkin seeds contain zinc and tryptophan, a very important amino acids with which further converts itself into serotonin which further converts itself into melatonin and you all know how attached I am to this very important hormone called melatonin which is the sleep hormone. If you have the right amount of melatonin, not only do you sleep better but you have a deeper quality sleep and while melatonin is being produced that also repairs your immunity, melatonin you should know is also called an anti-cancer hormone which is why it is so important for a patient who is sick, a patient who has cancer or anyone for general well-being to have melatonin produced in the right ways in your body. Melatonin gets produced as lightness decreases but when we constantly look at our iPads at night and our iPhones we disrupt the production of melatonin and that’s why you may sleep but we still have sickness, hormonal issues and toxic bodies because sleep and rest is your best medicine. So you’ve got to fix your sleep through meditation, pranayama, eating the right food, exercising, the right diet and correcting deficiencies like zinc and magnesium in your body.
Besides these pumpkin seeds are rich in iron which makes it a pregnancy friendly food. It’s rich in magnesium. It’s excellent for your energy and it is also a very high alkaline seed which means it can neutralize acidity in the body and it can keep your body alkaline.
How to add pumpkin seeds in your diet?
The best form is raw. But I always suggest that you soak it because nuts and seeds have anti nutrients which will actually prevent and block the absorption of nutrients into your cells in your body. So soak your pumpkin seeds. You see that they even sprout. This is the beauty of nature. Birds feed on these little seeds and they have the energy to fly. These little seeds are powerhouses of nutrients. You need a little bit of it to give you great protein. Pumpkin seeds have essential amino acids which is quality protein that your body needs. So don’t go for quantity protein only go for quality protein. For example a cup of pumpkin seeds will give you 19 grams of pure protein with zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Everything your body and immunity needs.
Get pumpkin seeds in your diet. This is a good lifestyle change that you can make. Add pumpkin seeds to your lifestyle.