Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of valuable nutrients.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc.
Because of this, pumpkin seeds have been associated with several health benefits, including improved heart health, prostate health, and protection against certain cancers.
What’s more, these seeds can be easily incorporated into your diet.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Here are the top 10 health benefits of pumpkin seeds that are supported by science.
1. Full of valuable nutrients
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are also known as “pepitas,” a Mexican Spanish term.
Unlike the hard white seeds from a carving pumpkin, most pumpkin seeds bought at the supermarket don’t have a shell.
These shell-free seeds are green, flat, and oval.
In addition, a 1-oz (28-g) serving contains the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):
Carbs: 3 g
Protein: 8.6 g
Fat: 14 g
Fiber: 1.7 g
Manganese: 56% of the Daily Value (DV)
Copper: 42% of the DV
Magnesium: 40% of the DV
Phosphorus: 28% of the DV
Zinc: 20% of the DV
Iron: 14% of the DV
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, In addition to the nutrients listed above, pumpkin seeds also contain some antioxidants and small amounts of potassium, riboflavin, and folate.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and many other nutrients. 1 oz (28 g) contains about 160 calories.
2. High in antioxidants
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids. They also contain small amounts of vitamin E and carotenoids.
It’s thought that the high levels of antioxidants in pumpkins seeds are partly responsible for their positive effects on health.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, In one older study, pumpkin seed oil reduced inflammation in rats with arthritis without side effects, whereas animals given an anti-inflammatory drug experienced adverse effects.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants that may help protect against disease and reduce inflammation.
3. Linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Some research suggests that pumpkin seeds may contain plant compounds that could help protect against cancer growth.
In fact, a 2012 observational study found that eating pumpkin seeds was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Other older studies suggest that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play a key role in preventing and treating breast cancer.
Furthermore, one test-tube study found that pumpkin seed extract had the potential to slow down the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.
Some evidence suggests that pumpkin seeds may help prevent certain types of cancer.
4. Improve prostate and bladder health
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, causing problems with urination.
Several studies in humans found that eating these seeds reduced symptoms associated with BPH.
In a 2021 study, pumpkin seed oil consumption was able to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life in 73 people with BPH. Additionally, though pumpkin seed oil was not as effective as a prescription medication, it was associated with fewer negative side effects.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Further research suggests that taking pumpkin seeds or their products as supplements can help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.
One older study in 45 people with overactive bladders found that taking 10 g of pumpkin seed oil extract daily improved urinary function.
Pumpkin seeds may reduce symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and an overactive bladder.
5. Very high in magnesium
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium, a mineral that is often lacking in the diets of many Western populations.
In the United States, around 48% of adults have a magnesium intake below the recommended daily amount.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Magnesium is needed for more than 600 chemical reactions in your body. Adequate levels of magnesium are also important for:
Controlling blood pressure
Reducing heart disease risk
Forming and maintaining healthy bones
Regulating blood sugar levels
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as heart and bone health.
6. May improve heart health
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and unsaturated fats, all of which may help keep your heart healthy.
Human and animal studies have also shown that pumpkin seed oil may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two important risk factors for heart disease.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, One older, 12-week study in 35 postmenopausal women found that pumpkin seed oil supplements reduced diastolic blood pressure by 7% and increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels by 16%.
Other research suggests that pumpkins’ ability to increase nitric oxide generation in your body may be responsible for its positive effects on heart health.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque growth in your arteries.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Nutrients in pumpkin seeds may help keep your heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol.
7. Can lower blood sugar levels
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Some older animal studies have shown that pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder, and pumpkin juice can reduce blood sugar.
One study in healthy adults found that those who consumed meals containing 65 g (about 2 oz) of pumpkin seeds had lower blood sugar levels after a high carb meal.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Interestingly, the high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its positive effect on diabetes.
One large observational study found that people who consumed the highest amount of magnesium had a 15% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the lowest amount over a 28-year period.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Still, more research is needed to confirm these beneficial effects of pumpkin seeds on blood sugar levels.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds may help reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed.
8. High in fiber
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fiber. In fact, shelled seeds provide 1.7 g of fiber in a single 1-oz (28-g) serving.
A diet high in fiber can promote good digestive health.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, In addition, high fiber diets have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Whole pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber. Diets high in fiber are associated with many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
9. May improve sperm quality
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in males.
Since pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, they may improve sperm quality.
Interestingly, evidence from one animal study found that supplementing with pumpkin seed oil and vitamin E improved sperm quality and reproductive performance in roosters.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are also high in antioxidants and other nutrients that can contribute to healthy testosterone levels and improve overall health.
Together, all these factors may benefit fertility levels and reproductive function, especially in males.
The high zinc content of pumpkin seeds may help improve sperm quality and male fertility.
10. May help improve sleep
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed. They’re a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.
According to a 2014 study, consuming at least 1 g of tryptophan daily is thought to improve sleep.
However, note that you would need to eat around 6 oz (170 g) of pumpkin seeds to achieve the needed amount of tryptophan.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium. Adequate magnesium levels have also been associated with better sleep, according to some observational studies.
Some studies have found that taking a magnesium supplement could improve sleep quality and decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep in older adults with insomnia.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin seeds are a good source of tryptophan and magnesium, both of which help promote good sleep.