- Written by Suzy Cohen Suzy Cohen
Pumpkins can be white, yellow, or green. They’re not all orange! Did you know Antarctica is the only country that can’t grow a pumpkin?
One average-sized pumpkin can impart about a cup of seeds, about 500 seeds. I like to roast mine and sprinkle them with a little dried lime powder and sea salt. These are also excellent when roasted with olive oil and garlic/onion powder.
These seeds are not only delicious, but also nutrient dense. Here are nine health benefits from eating pumpkin seeds.
Diabetes. Thanks to their high fiber content, pumpkin seeds help regulate blood sugar and improve satiety.
One study showed that animals who received a combination of ground flax and pumpkin-seed powder exhibited better lab values and fewer problems as they pertain to diabetes.
Thanks to their alpha-linolenic acid content, the seeds can help with heart attack risk. Other foods with ALA content include flaxseed, walnuts, chia, and hemp.
Blood pressure. Magnesium is absolutely essential for healthy blood pressure and cardiac rhythm (as is potassium). Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in magnesium.
Immunity and prostate health. Zinc will help with both immunity and prostate health. An ounce of pumpkin seeds contains enough zinc to help you with immune function, prostate health, and even testosterone production.
Sleep. A handful of pumpkin seeds at dinnertime might improve your ability to relax and sleep. The reason is the seeds’ magnesium, which helps create more serotonin, which quickly breaks down to melatonin, a sleep hormone.
Bladder infections. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and other compounds that support bladder and kidney health. There isn’t enough data to say whether it helps UTIs, but I would guess that it probably helps reduce incidence.
Libido. Pumpkin seeds contain leucine and also minerals that help you make testosterone. This is great because it improves energy, endurance, libido, and strength. Testosterone is needed for both men and women’s health.
Bone health. Zinc, magnesium, and selenium deficiencies are harmful to bones. Without these minerals, your risk for osteoporosis goes up. Eating pumpkin seeds can help you if you have osteoporosis.
Vision. Pumpkin seeds are very high in carotenoids and zinc, which protect your vision.
Skin health. Pumpkin seeds contain squalene, which protects your skin from UV light damage and other forms of potentially dangerous radiation.
Like any food, there is the risk for allergy. If you’re sensitive to pumpkin seeds, you might experience stomach pain after eating them, swelling or itching of the throat, or skin rashes, hives, or eczema-like irritations.
You can buy pumpkin seeds at any health-food store or supermarket. Store-bought pumpkin seeds can be stored in a container for about three or four months. Pumpkin-seed oil is great for salads and soups and is usually sold online or at health-food stores.
This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.