Pumpkin seeds are often overlooked as a fantastic source of plant protein and nutrition. These seeds carry all the essential amino acids your body needs every day along with healthy fats. They are a great source of minerals like Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Iron, and Zinc. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of vitamins like vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin K.
Studies have shown pumpkin seeds can help improve heart health and prevent certain cancers. These seeds contain antioxidants which are now famous for protecting the body against damage from free radicals that cause heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Below are three significant health benefits associated with pumpkin seeds:
#1: Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds can slow or limit prostate growth according to studies. The seeds contain phytosterol, a protective compound that can block certain types of prostate growth.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc which is needed for normal prostate function. Studies also suggest eating pumpkin seeds or taking pumpkin seed oil can treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.
#2: Heart Health
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten with or without their shells. However, eating the shells adds to the fiber benefits, which aid in heart health. Pumpkin seeds in their shells contain about 5.1 grams of fiber per serving, compared to only 1.9 grams without the shell. The fiber in pumpkin seeds helps to lower cholesterol and control blood pressure.
In addition to the high fiber, pumpkin seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This, along with the earlier mentioned antioxidants, magnesium and zinc, protects the health of both your heart and liver.
Pumpkin seeds also have the power to increase nitric oxide generation in the body. Nitric oxide promotes blood vessel expansion, which improves blood flow and helps to fight plaque build-up in the arteries.
#3: Better Sleep
The high levels of zinc found in pumpkin seeds help your brain convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin that helps your body regulate its internal clock and sleep-wake cycles. It is also believed to have a significant impact on mood, appetite, digestion, memory, sex drive and behavior.
The magnesium in pumpkin seeds also packs a punch for helping to promote and improve sleep quality. Magnesium lowers blood pressure and helps your body relax.