A small amount of pumpkin seeds can provide you with significant amounts of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc. Because of this, pumpkin seeds have a long history of nutritional use dating back to the Oaxaca Highlands of Mexico over 7,500 years ago. Across many cultures, they’ve been used as a folk remedy to treat:
- Bladder & urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- High blood pressure & blood sugar
- Parasites like worms
- Protection against certain cancers
You can easily incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet.
You can eat raw pumpkin seeds. However, some people find the roasted ones tasty and easier to digest. You can dry roast them at a low temperature under 170°F (76°C) without adding salt or any oil, retaining the nutritional value.
Some people eat pumpkin seeds with shells. Pumpkin seeds in their green shells are also known as pepitas. They are safe to eat and offer more fiber than green, shelled pumpkin seeds. However, it’s best to eat them without the shell for easy digestion.
Also, people with digestive issues better avoid whole seeds (including shells) because their high fiber content may cause symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Note: Pumpkin seeds are a powerful source of several nutrients, providing high levels of important vitamins and minerals in a small serving. But they also are high in calories, so watch your portions to help maintain a healthy weight.
Read on to check all the benefits of pumpkin seeds, and learn some delicious, healthy pumpkin seed recipes you and your family can enjoy!
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of plant protein and many other nutrients – including antioxidants to help protect you from certain diseases.
For vegetarians looking for outside of the meat, pumpkin seeds are a delight – they offer a very high-quality protein, including all the essential amino acids – comparable to soy protein.
They can play a significant role in keeping you on track with a healthy diet. Let’s see pumpkin seeds major health benefits:
Reduced Risk Of Cancer
It has been shown that diets rich in pumpkin seeds help reduce the risk of developing breast, lung, stomach, prostate, and colon cancers.
This is due to the lignans, a plant compound contained in pumpkin seeds.
Improve Prostate and Bladder Health
Many studies show pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, leading to problems with urination. (Source 1).
In a one-year study in which over 1,400 men with BPH participated, pumpkin seed consumption decreased symptoms and improved quality of life (Source 2).
Some other research studies found that taking pumpkin seeds or their products as supplements may help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.
In one study in which 45 men and women with overactive bladders participated, it was shown that 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract daily improved urinary function (Source 3).
Healthy Heart Function (Reduced risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and high blood sugar)
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium, zinc, oxidants, and fatty acids — all of which are believed to help keep your heart healthy (Source 4).
Some research studies suggest that the antioxidants in pumpkin seeds enhance nitric acid levels in your body. This helps expand blood vessels, improve blood flow, and reduce plaque development in your arteries.
A 12-week study in 35 postmenopausal women found that pumpkin seed oil supplements reduced diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a reading) by 7% and increased “good” HDL cholesterol levels by 16% (Source 5).
Animal studies have also found that pumpkin seed oil may lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol level – the two critical risk factors for heart disease (Source 6, Source 7).
Related: Heart Health Facts that can help you prevent heart diseases and might save your life
Help Improve Sleep
Snacking on pumpkin seeds daily before bed is thought to get a better night’s rest. An amino acid found in pumpkin seeds called tryptophan helps you fall and stay asleep. Zinc, copper, and selenium contained in pumpkin seeds also help improve sleep duration and quality. Finally, some other studies suggest that magnesium may help in reducing stress and anxiety, contributors to insomnia. (Source 8).
Nutritional fact sheet of pumpkin seeds
A 30g serving contains approximately:
- 170 kcal / 704K
- 7.3g of Protein
- 13.7g of Fat
- 2.1g of Fiber
- 81mg of Magnesium
- 246mg of Potassium
- 1.98mg of Zinc
- 3.0mg of Iron
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”