Pumpkin seeds are packed full of nutritional benefits and make a delicious snack either on their own or added to a wide variety of recipes! Sprinkle them on anything including toast, soups, mashed potato, and roasted dinners.The list goes on! For best results use raw, organic pumpkin seeds. The organic ones are generally darker in colour, indicating a higher mineral content. Check our list of astounding benefits of pumpkin seeds.
1. Rich in Zinc and other Beneficial Minerals
1 oz. of pumpkin seeds (28.3 grams) contains over 2mg of zinc – which is important for many things in the body including the immune system, cell growth, sleep, mood, sense of taste and smell, eyes, skin, insulin regulation, and healthy male sexual function.
2. Improvement in HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol in Postmenopausal Women
The natural phytoestrogens in pumpkin seeds are regarded as contributing to increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, which may be of tremendous benefit to menopausal / postmenopausal women. In a 2011 randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, women receiving supplementation of 2g per day of pumpkin seed oil over 12 weeks were found to have a decrease in severity of hot flushes, less headaches, less depression and less joint pains.
3. Antihelminthic (Kill Intestinal Parasites)
Pumpkin seeds have long been thought to be antihelminthic (parasite killing) – active against intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. There has been support from scientific studies.
4. Reduce Inflammation From Arthritis
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. This is reported by Mercola but I have not been able to locate the original scientific papers.
Studies have found that a mixture of pumpkin and flax seeds may be helpful to prevent diabetes and its complications.
6. Beneficial For Prostate Health
Research has indicated that pumpkin seeds, due to their high zinc, are beneficial to prostate health. Studies have indicated that they may be of benefit in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Pumpkin seeds are sometimes combined with Saw Palmetto for prostate support.
7. Promotes Good Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, which is a serotonin precursor. So this nutrient helps your body regulate levels of serotonin and melatonin – essential to a restful and regular sleep cycle. Other rich tryptophan sources include turkey (responsible for the sleepy feeling after turkey dinner!) and grapefruit juice.
8. Rich Omega-3 Source
Pumpkin seeds (like other raw nuts and seeds) are a rich source of omega-3s – healthy fats which are greatly beneficial to the body. It is often suggested to mix these seeds with flax, sunflower and hemp seeds / seed oils to obtain a broad spectrum of the beneficial oils.
9. High Levels Of Magnesium
A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost 50% of the RDA of magnesium – an essential mineral in the human body. Magnesium participates in a wide range of vital functions including the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), DNA and RNA synthesis, and proper heart, bone, blood, tooth and bowel functions.
10. Hair Restoration
This one amazed me: A new (2014) placebo-controlled, double-blind study has found that pumpkin seed oil supplementation at 400mg per day for 24 weeks caused 40% increases in hair count in men with androgenetic alopecia – with no adverse effects reported! The study even includes photographs and the increases in hair thickness are clearly visible. Top results from this study!