When you were cleaning out your pumpkin to make a friendly jack-o-lantern this year, did you save the pumpkin seeds? I have to admit that my stint with making pumpkin puree ended up with the pumpkin “guts” in the trash. I was simply too lazy to do any more work than was necessary.
Then I discovered all of the amazing health benefits of pumpkin seeds. I mean I knew seeds and nuts were awesome, but I had no idea to what extent with this particular seed until I did some research.
Here are a few of the health benefits of pumpkin seeds:
Good for the heart
These large seeds contain phytoestrogens that are thought to lead to higher HDL (High Density Lipoproteins or good cholesterol) and at the same time lower LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol). This helps to lower blood pressure and all around improves your heart function.
Give you energy
Pumpkin seeds are high in Iron, which is a key nutrient in boosting energy levels. Compared to foods high in sugar or processed carbohydrates, the high iron and nutrient content in Pumpkin seeds promotes long lasting energy without the crashes. I know I prefer long-lasting energy to the highs and lows of the sugar cycle.
Good for the brain
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of omega 3s, a healthy type of fat that builds up the brain. Americans get plenty of omega-6s, but are often deficient in omega-3s, so grab a handful of pumpkin seeds to beat the odds!
May prevent certain cancers
Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants such as vitamin E that are thought to help battle cancer promoting oxidants in the body.
Good for your skin
The same antioxidant that may prevent certain cancers, vitamin E, is also great for your skin. Vitamin E fights free radical damage, protecting the skin and keeping it looking young and healthy. Pumpkin seeds are also high in Zinc, which has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making it a an excellent ingredient in many acne medications.
Boost your immune system
The World Health Organization recommends consuming pumpkin seeds for their high zinc content. Zinc is used to battle things such as the common cold and ear infections as well as aiding wound healing. Why not boost your immune system with some tasty seeds?
Help promote a good night’s sleep
I don’t need to tell you the benefits of sleep (See: How Getting More Sleep Changed My Life)…go without it even one night and you will realize your mental and physical capabilities are shot. Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan which the body converts to serotonin, then melatonin which is a key factor in signaling your body that it’s time for rest.
Good for older men’s and women’s health
Pumpkin seeds contain a key nutrient for prostate health: zinc. A healthy prostate obviously means less of a chance of prostate cancer which is common in older men. The phytoestrogens found in pumpkin seeds can help ease symptoms of menopause.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pumpkin and start digging! (Or if you’re like me, grab a bag of seeds from the store and enjoy!)
Have you ever roasted pumpkin seeds?
Do you know any other benefits to pumpkin seeds?
Originally posted 2013-11-08 13:57:50.