Pumpkin seeds have surprising health benefits, including detoxifying the body, boosting immunity, removing kidney stones, improving sleep and heart health, strengthening metabolism, providing sufficient nutrients, lifting mood, preventing cancer, improving the skeletal system, defending the body from parasites and alleviating inflammation.
They precede its reputation as a “nutritional powerhouse”. It’s an overall superfood due to its abundance of vitamins and minerals. For such a tiny food source, Pumpkin seeds contain a considerable amount of protein, fiber and healthy fats. Given their concentrated goodness, Pumpkin seeds are truly a beneficial addition to any diet. It promotes the highest nutritional value when eaten in raw form. Pumpkin seeds may also be soaked and sprouted to reduce any unpleasant chewy texture that may exist.
Pumpkin seeds can be consumed in its dehydrated, seasoned and roasted states, which makes a delicious snack. Their substantial shelf life requires no refrigeration. This portability make them easy to add into an existing diet. High in zinc, they are an essential food source for pregnant women. Many women may suffer from zinc deficiency during pregnancy. Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan to elevate one’s mood and assist in the healing of depression. Eaten as part of a balanced, whole foods diet, Pumpkin seeds and seed oil provides many benefits to your overall health.
Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds
While Pumpkin seeds are very healthy, they are also high in calories. They have 151 calories per ounce, or 28 grams. Although they contain lots of calories, where a large percentage of the calories are from protein and healthy fats. Though the seeds itself are small, but consist of many nutrients including, magnesium, copper, protein and zinc. In addition, they possess many antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which contributes to the reduction of free radicals in the body.
1. Blood Pressure Reduction
With high levels of magnesium, measuring 18% of the recommended daily allowance per ounce, Pumpkin seeds are outstanding in the assistance it provides to reduce elevated blood pressure. Magnesium is essential for a healthy heart and circulation function, providing healthy blood flow of the body. Magnesium may also prevent sudden cardiac arrests, heart attacks and strokes. Regular consumption of them contribute to maintaining healthy levels of magnesium in the body; therefore, aiding in the reduction of high blood pressure. Pumpkin seed oil is also abundant in phytoestrogens, which are favorable in reducing hypertension.
2. Bad Cholesterol Reduction
With no cholesterol at all, Pumpkin seeds reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the body. They contain phytosterol, also known as plant sterols. This compound is similar to cholesterol found in the body. Phytosterols compete for absorption in the digestive tract, as it is not easily absorbed by the body as bad cholesterols, resulting in a significantly reduced level of bad cholesterol. As such, Pumpkin seeds help in lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.
3. Anxiety and Insomnia Management
Not only are they favorable for the health of your body, they support the health of the mind. Pumpkin seeds are great dietary supplements for individuals suffering from insomnia. With high levels of tryptophan, the body converts amino acids into serotonin, then to melatonin. Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone”, as it assists in bringing good sleep. The production of serotonin also comforts those who suffer from anxiety, alleviating some of its symptoms.
Pumpkin seeds contain both carotenoids and Vitamin E, which are the two best anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances for your body. It reduces inflammation and protects the body from free radicals. The ingestion of Pumpkin seeds can reduce the risk of developing many unpleasant diseases. While Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants, which is mainly found in whole foods, what is truly remarkable is the various antioxidants they contain. This extraordinary diversity makes Pumpkin seeds important in antioxidant support. The seeds make an excellent health boost to any diet.
5. Prostate Health
With a high zinc content, pumpkin seeds have been shown to be incredibly important for men’s health, particularly prostate health. A single ounce of Pumpkin seeds contains 2.9 grams of Zinc, almost 20% of the recommended daily allowance. Its oil and its extract may help in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate. Most middle-aged and older males are susceptible to this non-cancerous health issue. The highest levels of Zinc in a male body are present in the prostate, just as Zinc is found in high levels contained within Pumpkin seeds. This assists in maintaining that necessary level of Zinc.
6. Parasite Expulsion
Pumpkin seeds are mostly eaten to improve the overall health of our bodies. They can be used to aid in the removal of invasive parasites from the body. Traditionally, they make an excellent anthelmintic. It is an antiparasitic drug, which expels intestinal parasites without causing damage to the host’s body. When ingested as an anthelmintic, Pumpkin seeds assist in stunning or paralyzing the parasites; thus, it allows the parasites to pass from the body without causing injury to the body.
7. Inflammation and Arthritis Prevention
Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of anti-inflammatory properties. The oil obtained from Pumpkin seeds, particularly has significant anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It is possible that the use of its oil treats symptoms of arthritis, making it less painful for those with this health concern. It comes without producing the unpleasant side effects, unlike conventional drug therapies that can have unpleasant side effects.
8. Metabolic Process Boost
Many foods are formidable when it comes to the ability of speeding up the body’s metabolism and promoting weight loss, which hasn’t quite gained proven popularity. When it comes to Pumpkin seeds, this superfood contains both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, of which both are essential in keeping metabolism smoothly functioning. Fatigue can considerably slow down the metabolic rate of the body. Fortunately, they are also rich in iron, which is considered a benefit in preventing fatigue. So while they might not exactly boost the metabolism, Pumpkin seeds help it to run efficiently.
9. Kidney Stones Prevention
High in magnesium and phosphorus, they prevent the formation of the most common type of kidney stones. Kidney stones occur when calcium collaborates with oxalate. A diet with healthy levels of magnesium and phosphorus can work to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Those nutrients also help in inhibiting the formation of bladder stones. Pumpkin seeds are a good food choice for those suffering from kidney disease. The nutrients that the seeds have can help aid in the detoxification of the kidneys.
10. Skeletal System Boost
As an essential component of overall health, high levels of Zinc found in Pumpkin seeds also help to ensure excellent bone health. The appropriate levels of Zinc in the body contributes to reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis. As an alkali-rich food, they are beneficial, especially when eating acidic foods. Alkali is a major factor when it comes to building and maintaining bone health. A balanced diet containing Pumpkin seeds promote healthy bones.
11. Protein Rich Food
Often overlooked, Pumpkin seeds are a surprisingly good source of additional protein in the diet. A 28 gram, or 1 ounce, serving of Pumpkin seeds provides an impressive 7 grams of protein; thus, it is an excellent alternative to consuming red meat. This is a great source of protein for vegans. Pumpkin seed protein powder is edible for those seeking to benefit from the protein content.
We should be cautious when consuming Pumpkin seeds, Pumpkin seed oil and Pumpkin seed protein powder. Excessive consumption can affect the body. As a diuretic, or water pill, it increases the frequency of urination. Oddly enough, it also has the possibility of causing ejaculation problems in some males. Pumpkin seeds and seed oil have been shown to interact with Lithium and can decrease the body’s ability to adequately remove it from the system, which can lead to some chronic side effects.