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10 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Updated on May 7, 2017
A healthy nutritional snack!
A healthy nutritional snack! | Source

I’ve always loved salted, roasted pumpkin seeds (also called ‘papitas’) –they make a good snack and are loaded with plenty of nutrients. I like to munch on them at my desk but they also make a healthy addition to breakfast cereals, granola bars, smoothies and you can even sneak them into your baked goods!

In this article I will show you how much healthy it is to eat pumpkin seeds (based on science!). Read on to know more...

1. Help You Relax

I have previously talked about the stress-relieving property of nuts & seeds in my article about foods that help you relax and pumpkin seeds are no exception. Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is effective against depression and helps in the relaxation of mind. This amino acid is responsible for the production of serotonin , a hormone that brings sleep and relaxation. Pumpkin seeds also also contain glutamate that is required in the synthesis of GABA, an anti-stress neuro-chemical. So, keep a pack of roasted, toasted pumpkin seeds at hand if you frequently feel stressed, or have any symptoms of depression.

Spiced pumpkins are perfect for someone who loves flavours!
Spiced pumpkins are perfect for someone who loves flavours! | Source

2. Help Strengthen Immune System

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which is known to be a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E prevents tissue cells from the free-radical-mediated oxidant injury. Selenium, another mineral found in pumpkin seeds, is also an anti-oxidant and helps strengthen our immune system. Thus, consumption of a handful of pumpkin seeds daily would help strengthening your immune system and help your body develop resistance against many infectious diseases.

3. Good for Hair & Nails

Vitamin B-complex in pumpkin seeds is key to healthy growth of our hair and nails. Biotin, a part of B-complex vitamin, helps grow healthy hair, while thiamine is essential nutrient that works in conjunction with other parts of B-complex. Thiamine also triggers vitamin C metabolism. So, if you want to have a shiny mane and steel-hard nails, make sure you include pumpkin seeds in your diet any way.

4. Help Prevent Kidney & Gallbladder Stones

Research has shown that pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate stone formation in kidneys. In a study conducted on animals, pumpkin seeds extract showed improved bladder functioning. These may also help dissolve kidney and gallbladder stones if taken regularly. [Better consult your physician/doctor for any kidney/bladder issues].

5. Help Cure Prostate Problems

Prostate gland enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH) is a condition that affects masses worldwide. An important reason for this syndrome is the over-stimulation of prostate cells by testosterones and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) . Pumpkin seeds oil helps resist prostate cell multiplication that leads to prostate gland enlargement. Also, the carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds are said to help prevent prostate gland enlargement in men on the basis of the fact that carotenoids in general reduce the risk of having BPH. So, for the men out there: start snacking on pumpkin seeds!

6. Reduce Cholesterol Levels In Blood

Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols, compounds that have a similar structure to cholesterol but they help reducing bad cholesterol (LDL - Low-density Lipoproteins) in blood. A 100g of pumpkin seeds contain 265mg of phytosterol . Pumpkin seeds are also rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids that also lower LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’. This in turn increases the ‘good cholesterol’ or HDL in the blood. That being said, if you needs to include healthy fats in your diet, pumpkin seeds are a good option.

7. Help Prevent Cancers

The phytosterols in pumpkin seeds also fight and protect against many types of cancers including lung, breast, ovarian, and stomach cancer. These compounds function by preventing cancer cells from production, multiplication and growth in a certain part of the body. That’s something worth paying attention to - prevention is something we all should go for. Start snacking on pumpkin seeds for a healthy life.

8. Help Relieve Arthritis Inflammation

Pumpkin seeds have great anti-inflammatory properties. The effect of pumpkin seeds on arthritis inflammation is comparable with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin which increases the level of damaged fats in the joints as a side effect. But unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds have no such side effects. Studies have shown how much helpful pumpkin seeds are in relieving arthritis inflammation symptoms. So, if any one you know is suffering from arthritis, you can recommend them pumpkin seeds.

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9. Improve Digestion

Pumpkin seeds have anti-fungal, anti-parasitic properties which enable them to keep a check on our digestive system to fight any foreign bodies. Traditionally, the pumpkin seeds have been used to cure inflammation or infection of intestines and digestive tract caused by parasites and other germs. Studies have shown that adding pumpkin seeds to the bread helps it digest better and its nutrients absorb fully into the blood stream. So snacking on pumpkin seeds can keep your digestive system healthy.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds | Source

10. Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Due to their high zinc content, pumpkin seeds can prevent osteoporosis in premenstrual women and older men because osteoporosis is linked with low zinc intake. Around 1oz. of pumpkin seeds contains 2mg of zinc. Daily recommended amount of zinc for men over 19 years is 11mg while for the women of same age it is recommended that you take 9mg of zinc daily. This translates to 5.5oz of pumpkin seeds for an average man, and 4.5oz for an average woman to be taken daily to prevent any diseases related to low zinc intake.

So, don’t underestimate these small seeds, for pumpkin seeds are full of healthy benefits and make a healthy snack to go for.

Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purpose and all information is based on medical articles/research papers available on the internet. The information is not substitute for medical prescription. Please check with your doctor/physician before trying anything.

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Who knew that there would be so many different health benefits from pumpkin seeds! Voting this up, useful and interesting + putting a link in my latest hub back to this one. It is titled Delicious Pumpkin Walnut Bread ~ Not Just for the Holidays! Thanks for writing this informative hub.

    • hoov45 profile image

      Terry Hoover 

      5 years ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

      I just love my pumpkin seeds for a snack.

    • profile image

      stevensonregina3@gmail.com 

      5 years ago

      KUDOS

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      6 years ago from the Web

      Thanks Jan Natural and wwolfs! I'm happy that you've found the article informative.

      Best!

    • profile image

      wwolfs 

      6 years ago

      Nice hub. I have always liked pumpkin seeds for a snack. I had no idea that there were so many health benefits to eating them. Really informative and useful information.

      Voted up and useful!

    • profile image

      Jan Natural Healing & Wellness 

      6 years ago

      Pumpkin seed oil is working wonders for me (Praise God)

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @PiaC Sure, do it now :)

      @candy Just start snacking on them and then let me know if they are effective or not :)

      Thanks you both ladies for stopping by!

    • profile image

      candy 

      7 years ago

      how many do you need to eat per day to get the anti-inflammatory effect mentioned here?? thanks!

    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 

      7 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I had no idea that pumpkin seeds were so good for you! I'll have to make these a part of my diet.

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @Carletta, I need to check out about that too, thanks for sharing your experience :)

    • profile image

      Carletta 

      7 years ago

      Pumpkin seeds that significantly improved my skin. I used to have acne very bad and after beginning to eat pumpkins seeds my face has been cleared breakouts and scars. Love them!

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @Melissa, yes they are delicious raw! But roasting doesn't do that harm whatsoever as long as they are in the shell :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      7 years ago

      Spider Girl, I've learned recently that cooking takes most of the nutrients out of pumpkin seeds, so the recommendation is that we eat them raw. I purchased some raw organic pumpkin seeds and gave them a try - they are DELICIOUS that way!!!!

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @SUSIE, agree! :)

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 

      7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      And they taste good as well.

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      I'm glad Fluffy77 that the hub proved to be useful to you! Thanks for stopping by and voting up!

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 

      7 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      Voted you up here, I have always just loved cooking my pumpkin seeds every fall. Now you have given it an extra added bonus too, thanks I didn't know all of this.

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @CreativeON, thanks for stopping by! Hope it helps!

    • profile image

      CreativeON 

      7 years ago

      very useful information thanks for sharing this

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      @mulberry1 yes you should start it now! Thanks for stopping by!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      7 years ago

      I had no idea they helped lower cholesterol or prevent osteoporosis...may have to start snacking on Pumpkin Seeds!

    • Spider Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Spider Girl 

      7 years ago from the Web

      Yes, that's why I love nuts and seeds as snack! Nothing can beat them for sure.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Pumpkin seeds pack a lot of nutrition into such a small package, that's for certain.

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