Fantastic reasons to eat pumpkin seeds
Not all pumpkins are orange. They can also be white, yellow or green. They also grow just about everywhere. (Antarctica is the only country where they can’t grow!)
One average-sized pumpkin contains about a cup of seeds (about 500 of them). I like to roast mine and sprinkle them with a little dried lime powder and sea salt. These are also excellent when roasted with olive oil and garlic/onion powder.
[Editor’s note: you can eat the entire seed, with shell, especially if toasted and chewed thoroughly. Some choose to crack open the shell and eat only the seed inside.]
Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious but also nutrient-dense. Here are some health benefits from eating pumpkin seeds.
Thanks to their high fiber content, pumpkin seeds help regulate blood sugar and improve satiety. One study showed that animals who received a combination of ground flax and pumpkin seed powder exhibited better lab values and fewer problems as they pertain to diabetes.
Thanks to their alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, the seeds can help with heart attack risk. Other foods with ALA content include flaxseed, walnuts, chia and hemp.
Blood pressure regulation
Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in magnesium. Both magnesium and potassium are essential for healthy blood pressure and cardiac rhythm.
Immune system boost
Zinc will help with both immunity and prostate health. An ounce of pumpkin seeds contains enough zinc to help you with immune function, prostate health and even testosterone production.
A handful of pumpkin seeds at dinnertime might improve your ability to relax and sleep. The reason is because of their magnesium, which helps create more serotonin, a hormone that quickly breaks down to melatonin, a sleep hormone.
May reduce bladder infections
Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and other compounds that support bladder and kidney health. There isn’t enough data to say whether it helps UTIs but I would guess that it probably helps reduce incidence.
Pumpkin seeds contain leucine, and also minerals that help our bodies make testosterone. This is great because it improves energy, endurance, libido and strength. Testosterone is needed for both men and women’s health.
Zinc, magnesium and selenium deficiencies are harmful to bones. Without these minerals, your risk for osteoporosis goes up. Eating pumpkin seeds can help you if you have osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds are very high in carotenoids and zinc, which protect your vision.
Pumpkin seeds also contain squalene, which protects your skin from UV light damage and other forms of potentially dangerous radiation.
Like any food, there is the risk for allergy. If you’re sensitive to pumpkin seeds, you might experience stomach pain after eating them, swelling or itching of the throat, or skin rashes, hives or eczema-like irritations.
You can buy pumpkin seeds at any health food store or supermarket. Store-bought pumpkin seeds can be stored in a container for about three or four months.
Pumpkin seed oil is great for salads and soups. It is usually sold online or at health food stores.
This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit SuzyCohen.com.