Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds

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The benefits of eating pumpkin seeds are actually quite vast, because they are so full of essential nutrients.

They are rich in healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may lower the risk of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw or roasted as a snack or be included in different recipes such as smoothies, baked goods, salads, and puddings.

Here are the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds on beige background with fresh pumpkins in the background

1.   They are highly nutritious

With their dense nutritional profile, pumpkin seeds can make a great addition to a healthy diet.

An ounce (28 grams) of dried hulled pumpkin seeds contains:

  • Dietary fiber:8 grams
  • Calories: 163
  • Protein:5 grams
  • Carbohydrates:2 grams
  • Fat:9 grams
  • Manganese: 43 percent of the daily requirement
  • Phosphorus: 33 percent of the daily requirement
  • Iron: 23 percent of the daily requirement
  • Copper: 20 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin K: 18 percent of the daily requirement
  • Zinc: 14 percent of the daily requirement
  • Potassium: 7 percent of the daily requirement

In terms of fatty acids, pumpkin seeds contain a variety, including stearic, capric, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic. See Pim

2.   They are rich in antioxidants

Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids.

Antioxidants play an essential role in reducing inflammation and protecting the cells against oxidative damage.

This will help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions.

A study published in Pharmacological Research found that pumpkin seed oil can reduce inflammation in arthritis.

3.  They may lower the risk of certain cancers

High antioxidant compounds in pumpkin seeds have been shown to kill cancer cells.

According to a review published in Food Research International, pumpkin seeds may effectively prevent several cancers, including breast, lung, stomach, colon, and prostate cancers.

In one study, pumpkin seeds were found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

4.   They promote prostate health

Pumpkin seeds are rich in protective compounds, phytosterols, and zinc, both of which are essential for normal prostate function and in treating the symptoms of benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH).

BPH refers to the enlargement of the prostate glands causing uncomfortable urinary symptoms like urine obstruction and kidney, bladder, and urinary issues.

The risk of BPH increases with old age, but incorporating pumpkin seeds into the diet may help prevent these occurrences.

Several studies have shown an association between pumpkin seed consumption and improved symptoms of BPH.

In one study, pumpkin seed oil was shown to improve BPH symptoms.

At the same time it was able to correct urinary dysfunction and improve symptoms of an overactive bladder in both men and women.

5.  They may improve heart health

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of fatty acids and electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium.

These nutrients are essential for a healthy heart and in the prevention of cardiovascular conditions like coronary heart disease.

To begin with, pumpkin seeds increase the production of nitric acid in the body, which causes your blood vessels to relax and dilate, resulting in a drop in blood pressure.

According to studies, pumpkin seed oil can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, the two major risk factors for heart disease.

One study, in particular, found that pumpkin seed oil supplementation increased HDL cholesterol and reduced both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in postmenopausal women.

6.  They are a good source of magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral playing a role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.

This includes energy production, protein synthesis, creation and repair of DNA, muscle contraction and relaxation, healthy bone formation, and nerve functions.

It may also help fight depression, prevent type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, and prevent migraines.

Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet. In the U.S. alone, almost 79 percent of the population consumes less than the daily recommendations.

Incorporating pumpkin seeds into your diet may be one step towards changing these statistics.

Pumpkin seeds spilling out of burlap sack onto a wooden table

7.  They may lower blood glucose levels

Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed powder can be essential in diabetes, especially for those struggling to stabilize their sugars. This could be due to its high magnesium content.

In one study, high magnesium diets were associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women by 33 and 34 percent, respectively.

Pumpkin seed powder has also been shown to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

8. They may promote better sleep

A lack of sleep may interfere with many body processes, including immune function and mental clarity.

Including pumpkin seeds in your diet or eating some before bedtime may help you sleep better, all thanks to the two sleep-enhancing nutrients, tryptophan and magnesium.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that promotes the production of serotonin, a vital transmitter involved in appetite, mood, pain, and sleep regulation.

In the presence of enzymatic actions, serotonin promotes the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone that tells the body to prepare to sleep.

The high magnesium in pumpkin seeds also promotes better sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that supports deep and restorative sleep.

9.   It may be effective in improving male fertility

Zinc is an essential mineral needed for spermatogenesis, the process of sperm production.

Men with infertility issues often have low zinc levels in their semen.

In contrast, supplementation with zinc has been found to significantly increase sperm morphology, sperm count, and sperm motility in men dealing with infertility.

Pumpkin seeds are also rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and other phytonutrients that can further improve testosterone levels, promote prostate health, and general health.

Final Thoughts

Pumpkin seeds are a great superfood. They are rich in numerous nutrients that can provide massive benefits in different aspects of your life.

They can help lower your risk of cancer, provide antioxidant benefits, improve sleep, promote bladder and prostate health, improve heart health, regulate your glucose levels, and improve fertility in men.

You can enjoy raw or roasted pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack or in different recipes such as smoothies, salads, or baked goods.

You can also add them to oatmeal or chia pudding. Just whichever way you decide to enjoy yours, be assured the benefits will serve you right.

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