Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
A crunchy, nutty seed that’s not only a great snack but also packed with magnesium, antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, protein, and other healthy nutrients? Enter pumpkin seeds!
Pumpkin seed benefits aren’t a new discovery by any means. Cultures worldwide have relished these tiny kernels as a remedy for digestive health, reproductive health, brain power, and overall health for centuries now. Consuming only a handful of pumpkin seeds daily may improve your health, and the best part is that they’re super easy to include in your diet!
Let’s explore what science says about the incredible pumpkin seed benefits and how you can make them a daily addition to your wellness routine.
What Makes Pumpkin Seeds Good for You?
According to the USDA, an ounce of unshelled pumpkin seeds contains 163 calories, 8.45g of protein, 13.9g of healthy fat, 1.84g of fiber, 14.7mg of calcium, 2.29mg of iron, 2.17mg zinc, and 156mg of magnesium—and that’s not all! Pumpkin seeds also contain many other nutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, potassium, phosphorus, alpha- and beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, fatty acids, and more, which explains the numerous health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Antioxidants in Pumpkin Seeds
Antioxidants such as vitamin E, phenols, flavonoids, and carotenoids play a major role in fighting inflammation and neutralizing free radicals, molecules that cause cellular damage and contribute to a host of illnesses, including cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds benefit you by protecting you from damage caused by free radicals and reducing inflammation, addressing the root of many diseases in the body at once.
Magnesium in Pumpkin Seeds
Magnesium is a macronutrient that’s responsible for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, yet it’s also one of the most lacking nutrients in our diets. Being one of the best sources of magnesium, some of the pumpkin seed benefits align with magnesium benefits such as regulating blood sugar, maintaining nerve function, controlling heart rhythm, and much more.
Healthy Fats in Pumpkin Seeds
Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, present in pumpkin seeds have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, which may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and may contribute to an overall healthier heart.
Fiber in Pumpkin Seeds
Dietary fiber is another reason for all the pumpkin seed benefits. Fiber is essential for regulating bowel movements, preventing constipation, and supporting healthy gut bacteria, and pumpkin seeds happen to be a rich source of it! Some studies have also shown the potential of dietary fiber in weight management and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Proven Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
According to a 2021 study on the effects of different pumpkin seed extracts on prostate cancer cells, it was observed that the polyphenols and other bioactive compounds present in the extracts slowed down the growth of cancer cells. One extract in particular triggered autophagy, which is a mechanism for cleaning up dead or damaged cells in the body.
Another study involving 8000 postmenopausal women observed that pumpkin seeds may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
May Improve Enlarged Prostate and Overactive Bladder
Pumpkin seed benefits extend to urinary functions, and there’s been research to suggest that taking pumpkin seeds or their oil may help with overactive bladder and bed-wetting at night. In a 2014 study, researchers gave 5-10g of pumpkin seed oil every day to 45 participants with overactive bladders and observed a significant improvement in their symptoms.
There have also been studies on those with enlarged prostates, a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and it was noticed that consuming pumpkin seeds benefits in relieving their symptoms.
May Lower Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, and Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
The antioxidants and fats present in pumpkin seeds are attributed to many of the health benefits of pumpkin seeds since they have been proven to support a healthier heart and may lower bad cholesterol levels and blood sugar—two factors for heart disease. This consequently may lower the risk of type-2 diabetes.
In a 12-week study on 35 postmenopausal women, pumpkin seed benefits were shown to lower diastolic blood pressure by 7% and improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels by 16%. In another study, it was observed that pumpkin seeds increased nitric acid generation in the body. This may have a positive impact on heart health as it expands blood vessels and prevents plaque buildup.
According to a 2018 study conducted on healthy adults, having 65g (2 oz) of pumpkin seeds followed by a high-carb meal resulted in lower blood sugar. There have been studies showing that people who take sufficient magnesium may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is why most of the pumpkin seed benefits for cardiovascular health are attributed to this mineral.
May Improve Sperm Quality and Male Fertility
Zinc is essential for producing healthy sperm, and since pumpkin seeds are abundant in it, the health benefits of pumpkin seeds may affect reproduction too. Lack of this mineral not only lowers sperm quality but may also increase the risk of infertility in men. A study on roosters, where they administered pumpkin seed oil and vitamin E, resulted in improved sperm quality and reproductive health. The antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may benefit testosterone levels and may improve overall fertility and reproductive ability.
May Boost Mood and Improve Memory
The zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and tryptophan (precursor to the happy chemical serotonin) present in pumpkin seeds are essential nutrients for boosting mood and improving memory. Studies on rats suggest that taking zinc supplements may enhance long-term and short-term memory. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, zinc displayed the potential to slow down cognitive decline. The role of magnesium in improving mood has also been studied extensively.
How to Add Pumpkin Seeds to Your Diet
Now that you’re familiar with some of the science-backed pumpkin seed benefits, you must be eager to stock your pantry with this delicious seed. We recommend trying out the Wildly Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds that have been soaked and dried to make it easier for you to absorb all the nutrients from them. You only need an ounce or a quarter cup of these to enjoy the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Here are some ways to enjoy this superfood:
- Lightly roast them for a quick snack or eat them straight from the bag
- Add them to your smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt
- Sprinkle them over salads and puddings
- Add them to homemade trail mixes and granola bars
If you want to put your cooking hat on for the pumpkin seed benefits, check out these recipes:
- Real Food Toasted Coconut Trail Mix
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad With Pumpkin Seed Pesto Dressing
- Nut and Seed Bars
- Paleo Pumpkin Tart
- Nourishing Pumpkin Custard Pie
Why Choose Wildly Organic Pumpkin Seeds?
At Wildly Organic, we believe in providing nuts, seeds, and oils that are minimally processed and responsibly sourced. Unlike other pumpkin seeds available in the market, our pumpkin seeds are raw, organic, and 100% natural. They’re also activated by soaking & dehydrating, which unlocks their nutrients and gives them a crunchy texture! Try them today or contact us if you have any questions about pumpkin seed benefits.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.