These small but mighty seeds pack a powerful punch when it comes to your health. Don’t just save them for a fall harvest treat – consume pumpkin seeds year-round to help protect yourself from a range of ailments. Find out more about the health benefits you can get from only a handful of seeds.
Magnesium for Heart Health
Magnesium is a mineral vital to many aspects of your health, especially the heart. Low levels of magnesium are associated with an irregular heartbeat, hypertension, and higher risk of a heart attack. Gabriel Patterson, Winnipeg nutrition expert stated “fortunately, pumpkin seeds carry a tremendous amount of magnesium; 1 ounce or 28-gram serving contains 37 percent of your recommended daily amount.”
Found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, antioxidants are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and hair, and are being studied as a way to prevent cancer and slow down aging. One of the antioxidants’ key benefits is in reducing inflammation, which is helpful for many diseases and chronic conditions. One study showed that pumpkin seed oil reduced inflammation in rats, and ongoing studies are looking at the seeds’ role in lowering the risk of cancer in humans.
For Men: Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds have long been a natural remedy for prostate and bladder problems. Now scientists are looking at proving these claims. The seeds and their oil have shown promising signs of improving symptoms in men with enlarged prostates and even reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Also having one serving three times a week is thought to help.
For Women: Easing Menopausal Symptoms
The oil contained within pumpkin seeds is rich in plant estrogens. It’s thought that these natural sources of hormones can help balance the diminishing estrogens in post-menopausal women and help reduce symptoms like hot flashes, joint aches, and headaches.
Managing Blood Sugar
Magnesium does more than protecting the heart – it’s also associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Packed with magnesium, pumpkins, along with pumpkin seeds and juice, have been studied by scientists as a way to lower blood sugar.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
“Pumpkin seeds host tryptophan, the chemical compound that makes you snoozy after a turkey dinner,” shared Gabriel Patterson, Winnipeg health advocate. The seeds also have high amounts of magnesium and zinc, which have also been found to help improve sleep.
The healthiest form of pumpkin seeds to consume is its raw green form. For a little extra crunch, try roasting them in the oven on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. They work great on top of salads or granola. Maybe add a bit of salt and seasonings, like cumin, to make them a savory snack on their own. With only a handful, you’ll be adding a powerful health boost to your day. Make pumpkin seeds a regular part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to enjoy even more long-lasting benefits.