History in Brief
Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional power wrapped in a very small package, with a wide variety of nutrients from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein, and zinc.
They contain a wide variety of beneficial plant compounds, known as phytosterols and antioxidants free radical scavengers, which provides an additional boost to your health.
Pumpkin seeds can benefit your heart system, liver, and immune system, fighting diabetes and cancer, they also offer unique advantages for men’s prostate health and also relieves menopausal symptoms in women.
By Dr. Mercola
If you have a craving for a chewable snack that is better than a phenomenal health food, look for nothing but pumpkin seeds.
With a wide variety of nutrients from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein, and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional potencies wrapped in a very small package. They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and antioxidants1 free radical scavengers, which gives your health an additional boost.
Best of all, since pumpkin seeds are very portable and do not require refrigeration, they are an excellent snack that you can take with you to where you want it to go, or you can also eat them as a quick snack at any time at home.
9 Popular Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
1. Magnesium that Benefits Cardiac Health
A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost half the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vital physiological functions, such as the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body). ), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of the heart, the proper formation of teeth and bones, the relaxation of blood vessels and the proper function of the intestine.
Magnesium has been shown to benefit blood pressure and helps prevent sudden cardiac death, heart attack and stroke, but it is estimated that 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
2. Zinc for Immune Support
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, growth and cell division, sleep, mood, taste and smell senses, sight and skin health, regulation of the insulin and male sexual function.
Many people are deficient in zinc because soils have depleted these minerals, also because of the effects of medications, vegetable-based diets, and other high-grain diets. This deficiency is associated with an increase in colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, low birth weight babies, acne, learning problems, and poor school performance in children, among others.
3. Omega-3 Fats of Vegetable Origin
Nuts and raw seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)) from plant sources. We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by the body into omega-3 EPA and DHA fats more beneficial – by an enzyme which the vast majority of us have deteriorated due to high insulin levels. While pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I think it would also be prudent to obtain a good amount of omega-3 fats of animal origin, such as krill oil.
4. Prostate Health
For a long time, pumpkin seeds have been prized as an important natural food for human health. Part of this is due to its high zinc content, which is important for the health of the prostate (found in very high concentrations in the body), and also because the extracts and oils of pumpkin seeds can play a role in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests both pumpkin seeds2 and pumpkin seed oil used in combination with saw palmetto (Saw Palmetto) may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.
5. Effects Against Diabetes
Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can help improve insulin regulation and help prevent complications of diabetes by reducing oxidative stress.
6. Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural phytoestrogen and studies suggest that it could lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol as well as decreased blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pain and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women .
7. Heart and Liver Health
Pumpkin seeds rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for liver and heart health, especially when combined with flax seeds
8. Tryptophan for a Restful Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (building block of proteins) that your body converts to serotonin, which in turn becomes melatonin, “sleep hormone”. Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before going to bed, along with a carbohydrate in the form of a small fruit, could be especially beneficial to provide your body with the tryptophan needed for the production of melatonin and serotonin in order to promote a restful sleep.
9. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
It has been discovered that pumpkin seed oil exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. Even an animal study found that it works similar to the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin to treat arthritis, but without the side effects.7
What is the Best Way to Consume Pumpkin Seeds?
In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. If you decide to buy seeds in a bulk container, make sure they smell fresh seeds – not rancid, spoiled or leathery, which could indicate rancidity or the presence of fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds are better because they are not contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
However, most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrient properties such as phytic acid, which can make all the important nutrients mentioned above less bioavailable at the time of consumption. So if you plan to regularly consume seeds or nuts, it would be convenient to wash them and germinate them. To give them a more pleasant flavor you can dehydrate them in the oven, or better yet and more profitably in a dehydrator. There are many dehydrators in the market, but Excalibur is generally considered the best. I have used one for more than 20 years. They are available on Amazon.
If you prefer to eat toasted seeds, toast them yourself so you can control the temperature and cooking time. Raw pumpkin seeds can be roasted over a low heat in the oven (no more than 170 degrees F or 75 degrees Celsius) sprinkled with Himalayan salt or another natural salt, for about 15-20 minutes.
Let’s face it: We are surrounded by threats, some unnoticed, that put our good health at risk. Transgenic, processed foods and electromagnetic fields. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It is time for most people to seek guidance to help protect themselves from these risks and ensure their well-being. What often seems an impossible challenge.
But I’ll tell you a secret: Even the most complicated work can be easier and simpler if you take it one step at a time. If you are really committed to taking control of your health, then my 30-Day Purpose Guide is exactly what you need. This step-by-step plan describes the most important strategies for achieving optimal wellness, and includes:
The healthiest foods to consume (and when to eat them)
The importance of high-quality sleep (and how to get enough)
A HIIT exercise that promotes your mitochondrial health (which only takes 4 minutes!)
And much more!