Pumpkin seeds have been used for centuries dating back to the Oaxaca Highlands to Mexico over 7,500 years ago.
Across many cultures, there is evidence that pumpkin seeds were used to treat urinary tract infections, bladder infections.
Moreover, it helps to treat high blood pressures, control blood sugar levels, kidney stones and treat parasites like worms.
Modern science and research confirm the benefits of pumpkin seeds that have a beneficial nutrient profile.
These are rich sources of nutrients like proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that help to reduce different chronic diseases eleven cancer.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium.
Pumpkin seeds are available in different stores as raw, spouted, or roasted pumpkin seeds, however, they are also called pepitas when sold in green shells.
This is a detailed guide on the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Keep on reading to learn more about them.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, in most cases, do not have a shell when you buy them from the market.
These seeds are green, flat, and oval in shape.
1 ounce or 2 grams of pumpkin seeds contains 151 calories, from fat and protein.
Moreover, an ounce or 28 frames of pumpkin seed serving contains 1.7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein.
They also contain 13 grams of fat, 6 of which are omega 3 acids, 18% vitamin K, 33% of phosphorus, 37% of magnesium, etc.
Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants and even have a certain amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 or riboflavin, and folate.
Thus, to put it all in a nutshell, pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients that are beneficial for your health.
Pumpkin Seeds: Health benefits
Pumpkin seeds might be small, however, they are rich in beneficial nutrients.
Eating a small amount can provide a quality of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc, that are good for you,
These different nutrients, help improve heart health, prostate health, and protects your body against certain types of cancer.
Interestingly, you can easily make these seeds a part of your daily routine.
The following are the health benefits of Pumpkin Seeds with scientific evidence.
Helps to Improve Heart Health
Pumpkin seeds contain a good source of antioxidants, zinc, magnesium, and fatty acids which help to keep your heart healthy according to a study.
Different animal studies suggest that pumpkin seed oil can also help to reduce blood pressure and high cholesterol levels that increase your chances of developing heart diseases.
According to a study of 35 postmenopausal women, these seeds help to reduce diastolic blood pressure by 7% and increases good or HDL cholesterol levels by 16%.
Another study concludes that pumpkin seeds have the ability to increase nitric oxide generation in your body that has positive effects on the health of your heart.
Moreover, nitric oxide helps to expand blood vessels improves blood flow, and reduces the risk of plaque growth in your arteries.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Different animal studies suggest the pumpkin, its seeds and powder can help to reduce blood sugar levels as in Type 1 diabetes.
Moreover, studies have found that if you supplement with pumpkin juice or seed powder it helps to reduce blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
The high concentration of magnesium in pumpkin seeds is thus responsible for positive effects on diabetes.
According to an observational study, 127,000 people report a 33% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in men and 34% in women.
However, more research needs to confirm this.
Helps to Improve Sleep
In case you find it hard to sleep, you can try eating pumpkin seeds before bed.
This is because, they are a natural source of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps to promote better sleep.
Thus, eating 1 gram of tryptophan daily can help to improve sleep.
However, you will have to consume 7 ounces of pumpkin seeds to get this amount of tryptophan.
The zinc in these seeds helps to convert tryptophan into serotonin which then changes into melatonin.
It is a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium and a sufficient amount of it can help you to sleep better.
Easy to Add to your Diet
In case you want to reap the benefits of nutrients available in pumpkin seeds. you can easily add them to your diet.
They are a popular snack that you can eat raw or roasted from.
Moreover, you can also add them to smoothies, greek yogurt, and fruits.
You can also add them to your meals as dressings in salads, soups, or cereals.
Some people even use them in baking, as an ingredient for sweet or savory bread and cakes.
However, they contain phytic acid like other seeds.
This acid reduces the bioavailability of certain nutrients you consume.
Thus, if you want to use them regularly, you can soak or sport them to reduce the acidic content or can roast them as well.
Rich in Antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E.
Antioxidants help to reduce inflammation in your cells and protects them from harmful free radicals.
Thus, consuming food rich in antioxidants helps to reduce the development of many diseases.
These antioxidants also have the availability to protect your body against many diseases.
Many researchers are of the view, that the high content of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds is partly responsible for positive effects on your health.
Reduces Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
People who take pumpkin seeds in their daily diet have lower chances of developing certain types of cancer.
These types include stomach, lung, breast, prostate cancer, and colon cancers.
According to an observational study, eating these seeds helps to reduce the chances of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Other studies suggest that the lignans in these seeds might play a role in preventing and even treating breast cancer.
Helps to Improve Prostate and Bladder Health
Taking pumpkin seeds may help relieve the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH.
This is a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges and causes problems in urination.
Different studies found that eating these seeds can help reduce different symptoms of BPH.
Moreover, in a 1-year study, men with BHP showed reduced signs and symptoms of it and also had an improvement in quality of life.
Furthermore, research suggests that taking pumpkin seeds or their products like supplements can help to treat the symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Another study with people with overactive bladder suggests that 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract help with urinary function.
High Magnesium Content
If you are looking for one of the best sources of magnesium, then you can have pumpkin seeds.
Moreover, this is one of the essential nutrients that are often not present in the diet of many people.
According to a study, around 79% of the people in the US have a low intake of magnesium.
You need magnesium to perform more than 600 chemical reactions in your body.
For instance, a sufficient amount of magnesium is important for controlling blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk.
Moreover, it helps in the formation and maintaining of bone health and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Rich in Fiber
Pumpkin seeds have a number of beneficial nutrients and one of them is dietary fibers.
These seeds along with their shells provide almost 1.1 grams of fiber in an ounce or 28 grams per serving.
Thus, if you take a diet rich in fiber, it helps to promote digestive health.
Additionally, a diet in high fiber helps to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Helps to improve Sperm Quality
Low zinc levels in the body are associated with low sperm quality and an increase in infertility in men, according to a study.
As pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of zinc, they can thus, improve sperm quality.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants that can help promote human sperm from damage due to chemotherapy and autoimmune diseases.
They also help in contributing to healthy testosterone levels and helps to improve overall health.
With all these benefits, these seeds can help increase fertility levels and reproductive function, especially in men.
Potential Side Effects of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
In some cases, eating pumpkin seeds can have harmful effects on your body.
Eating in excess can lead to intestinal gas and diarrhea.
Moreover, these seeds are high in fiber, and you can get 5 grams from a 1-ounce serving which means that some of their carbs are not fully digestible.
These undigestible carbs when reaching your intestines break down with the help of bacteria.
Gas is a by-product of this process, therefore, it is not suitable for people who do not take a diet rich in fibers.
Moreover, eating fiber in excess can lead to loose, watery stools.
In some cases, constipation is also possible because of the fiber content in it.
Thus, seek medical advice before using them in such cases.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in different nutrients and contain powerful antioxidants as well.
Eating these seeds can help improve nutrient deficiencies and can also help protect against different health problems. Indeed, they can help improve heart health, blood sugar levels, fertility, and quality of life.
Moreover, they can help prevent and even treat certain types of cancer. Interestingly, you can easily add them to your diet, thus allowing you to reap its benefits.