Don’t be fooled by the diminutive size of pumpkin seeds—they pack quite a punch. Even if pumpkins are already part of your diet, you should consider adding the seeds as well. After all, they’re packed with tons of nutrients, and they’re just as delicious to eat as pumpkins. Also, when it comes to consuming the seeds, you have quite a few options. You can eat them raw. You can roast the seeds and toss them with spices. You can explore all kinds of recipes for pumpkin seeds online. And you can do all of the above.
But why exactly should you consume pumpkin seeds every day? Let’s take a look at the top seven reasons below.
#1. Pumpkin Seeds Are Filled with Essential Nutrients
Pumpkin seeds contain a considerable amount of beneficial nutrients. A single ounce without shells (roughly 28 grams) will give you 151 calories, mostly consisting of protein and fat. In that ounce, you also derive the following nutrients (provided the pumpkins are grown organically on healthy soil):
- 1.7 grams fiber
- 7 grams protein
- 5 grams carbohydrates
- 13 grams fat (6 grams of which are omega-6 fatty acids)
- 18% daily recommended intake of vitamin K
- 33% daily recommended intake of phosphorus
- 37% daily recommended intake of magnesium
- 42% daily recommended intake of manganese
- 23% daily recommended intake of iron
- Vitamin B2
As a result, pumpkin seeds can go a long way in ensuring that you get many of the nutrients you require on a daily basis. This leads to several other benefits, as you’ll see below.
#2. Pumpkin Seeds Improve Bladder and Prostate Health
According to research, pumpkin seeds may provide relief from the symptoms of BPH. Short for benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH is a condition related to the enlargement of the prostate gland, which can hinder the process of urination.
There’s also been some research to examine the links between pumpkin seeds and overactive bladders, with some promising results suggesting that consuming the seeds may provide relief.
#3. Pumpkin Seeds Are Rich in Magnesium
Magnesium deficiency is a major concern for many countries in the west. To ensure this doesn’t become a problem for you, simply add pumpkin seeds to your diet. They’re one of the biggest sources of magnesium found in nature. Responsible for over 600 chemical reactions, magnesium is one of the most important micro-nutrients for the body. It’s essential both in the formation of bones and in maintaining bone health. Magnesium also has a role to play in the regulation of blood sugar levels and controlling blood pressure. Getting enough magnesium in the body can also reduce your risk for heart disease.
#4. Pumpkin Seeds Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
You probably know how important it is to keep your blood sugar in check—but did you know that pumpkin seeds can help? In fact, in addition to the seeds, the pumpkins and pumpkin juice can be just as beneficial.
If you’re a diabetic, pumpkin seeds should certainly feature in your diet as they can help regularize your sugar levels. Some studies even suggest that people suffering from type 2 diabetes can experience a reduction in their blood sugar levels. This might possibly be an effect of the high magnesium content in the seeds.
#5. Pumpkin Seeds Can Improve Heart Health
Many of the nutrients found in pumpkin seeds are known for their beneficial effect on the heart. As noted above, these include omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc. Even the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds can be beneficial for your heart. The results of some animal studies show that the oil is capable of reducing cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Since these are major risk factors of cardiovascular disease, keeping them in control contributes greatly to your heart health.
#6. Pumpkin Seeds Are a Rich Source of Fiber
Whole pumpkin seeds (with shells) are an excellent source of dietary fiber as just one ounce can provide you with 5.2 grams. Unfortunately, most varieties of pumpkin seeds available in the market are sold without shells, which considerably lowers their fiber content. Whenever possible, avoid these and opt for shelled pumpkin seeds. They can make a significant contribution to the health of your digestive system.
It’s worth keeping in mind that diets rich in fiber offer other beneficial effects, such as a reduced susceptibility for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
#7. Pumpkin Seeds Are Easy to Eat
Unlike many other healthy foods, it’s extremely easy to include pumpkin seeds in your diet. In fact, it’s as easy as grabbing a handful of raw pumpkin seeds for a snack as you walk out the door. To improve the taste, you can salt or roast them quite easily, or add them to a variety of recipes. Smoothies are an excellent option. You can make an amazing beverage out of fruit, Greek yogurt, and some pumpkin seeds.
You can also add them to cereals, soups, and salads, and use them in baking cakes and sweet breads.
As you can see, the benefits of pumpkin seeds are considerable. But like all good things, everything in moderation. There’s a downside in eating too many pumpkin seeds, especially when it comes to the fiber content. Watch out for issues such as constipation, gas, and even indigestion if you consume too many or if you’re unable to digest the shells.
Image from Pixabay.