Pumpkins seeds have great nutritional and medicinal value. From keeping you calm, to putting you to sleep and boosting your immune system, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t gorge down on these delicious nutty seeds. And what a great time to start, right? Whether you’re munching on them as a quick snack or sprinkling them into your salads, pumpkin seeds health benefits are plenty. From boosting brain power to making you sleepy here are pumpkin seeds health benefits you need to know now…
Supports a healthy heart (keeps your blood pumping!)
One serving of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of your recommended daily dosage of magnesium, which contributes to the pumping of your heart and relaxation of your blood vessels. This helps control your blood pressure, which can even help to improve your mood by helping you reach a relaxed state.
In clinical trials, magnesium has been shown to control blood pressure and prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. That’s pretty incredible. Yet an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
80 percent of us don’t get enough magnesium, even though it’s vital to having a healthy heart! Luckily, it’s easy to add these tasty seeds to your diet, just munch a handful of pumpkin seeds during the day and you’re all set!
Maintains a strong immune system (cold & flu season is approaching!)
A rich source of zinc and iron, eating pumpkin seeds can replenish your body’s level of these important minerals. Getting your daily intake of zinc is helpful in preventing a deficiency, which suppresses your immune function and can be associated with chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy, and other chronic illnesses.
Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to your muscles and brain, affecting your mental and physical performance. If you don’t get enough iron in your diet, the decreased oxygen in your body can also weaken your immune system.
Having a strong immune system is what helps us fight off common colds, keeping you healthy and active. Fall is here and Winter is approaching, so now is the time to make sure you’re keeping your immune system strong!
Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats
Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by your body into the far more essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA — by an enzyme in which the vast majority of us have impaired by high insulin levels. So, while pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I believe it is essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as krill oil, as well.
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.
Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.
Heart and Liver Health
Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.
What’s the Best Way to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. If you choose to purchase seeds from a bulk bin, make sure they smell fresh – not musty, spoiled or stale, which could indicate rancidity or the presence of fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds are preferred, as they will not be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.