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Top Science-Based Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Top Science-Based Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Full of Valuable Nutrients

a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains:

  • Fiber: 1.7 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
  • Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 42% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
  • Iron: 23% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 14% of the RDI
  • Copper: 19% of the RDI

High in Antioxidants

  • Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E.

    Antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. That’s why consuming foods rich in antioxidants can help protect against many diseases.

Linked to a Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

  • Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers.
  • Others studies suggest that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play a key role in preventing and treating breast cancer.

Improve Prostate and Bladder Health

  • Pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, causing problems with urination.

Very High in Magnesium

  • Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium — a mineral that is often lacking in the diets of many Western populations.
  • Magnesium is needed for more than 600 chemical reactions in your body. For example, adequate levels of magnesium are important for:
    • Controlling blood pressure.
    • Reducing heart disease risk.
    • Forming and maintaining healthy bones.
    • Regulating blood sugar levels.

May Improve Heart Health

  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids — all of which may help keep your heart healthy.

    Animal studies have also shown that pumpkin seed oil may reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels — two important risk factors for heart disease.

    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%.

    Other studies suggest that pumpkins’ ability to increase nitric oxide generation in your body may be responsible for its positive effects on heart health.

    Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque growth in your arteries.

Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels

  • Animal studies have shown that pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder and pumpkin juice can reduce blood sugar.

    This is especially important for people with diabetes, who may struggle to control their blood sugar levels.

    Several studies have found that supplementing with pumpkin juice or seed powder reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

    The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its positive effect on diabetes.

High in Fiber

  • Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fiber — shelled seeds provide 1.1 grams of fiber in a single 1-oz (28-gram) serving.

    A diet high in fiber can promote good digestive health.

May Improve Sperm Quality

  • Low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in men.

    Since pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, they may improve sperm quality.

May Help Improve Sleep

  • If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed. They’re a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.

    Consuming around 1 gram of tryptophan daily is thought to improve sleep.

Easy to Add to Your Diet

  • Besides eating them on their own, you can add them to smoothies, Greek yogurt and fruit.

    You could incorporate them into meals by sprinkling them into salads, soups or cereals. Some people use pumpkin seeds in baking, as an ingredient for sweet or savory bread and cakes.

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