I remember when I was little; for Halloween we used to make jack-o-lanterns. We would scoop out all the pumpkin insides and put them on a plate. My family was never so resourceful as to make our own pumpkin pie filling, but I do remember picking out the pumpkin seeds from the tangles of orange guts, placing them on a baking tray and roasting them in our toaster oven. It was a halloween tradition.
It turns out this little snack I have such fond memories of, has numerous health benefits which range from helping you sleep to preventing cancer.
Pumpkin seeds contain lots of different nutrients. They contain lots of vitamins and minerals, including, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as, lots of protein. One cup of these seeds contains 68% of the recommended daily value for protein. (1) In addition to all that here are 7 really important nutrients in pumpkin seeds.
Full of Folate
Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of folate. (1) Not a lot of people know what folate does.
Folate is a mineral that helps the body create red blood cells. For your average joe it helps prevent anemia. For pregnant women getting enough folate in your diet can prevent severe birth defects such as spina bifida.
Public health officials recommend 400 mcg of folate per day for pregnant women and about 200 mcg for people who aren’t pregnant.
Abundance of Antioxidants
In a study done on rats, pumpkin seed oil was proven to help alleviate chronic arthritis because it is so high in antioxidants. (3) Antioxidants have been proven to help prevent stroke, Arrhythmia, Cardiac arrest, etc. (4)
Pumpkin seeds are also particularly high in Vitamin E which is known to help prevent cataracts, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. (5, 6) Although it has not been thoroughly studied, pumpkin seed antioxidants are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. (7)
If you don’t like pumpkin seeds try pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is better for you than other oils because it is very high in antioxidants and less refined. (8)
Pumpkin seeds contain so many wonderful things that will keep you from feeling under the weather.
Phytoestrogen: Fight Cancer
Pumpkin seeds contain phytoestrogen which is thought to help prevent breast cancer. (9) Furthermore, studies have shown that eating phytoestrogen (the kind found in pumpkin seeds) might be key to curing breast cancer completely. (10)
In a recent study done on prostate cancer it was shown that ProstaCaid which contains pumpkin seeds as well as green tea, pomegranate, mushrooms etc. has had great success in curing prostate cancer. (11,12)
Pumpkin seeds are helping us fight the good fight with great success.
Filled with Fiber
Like all whole foods pumpkin seeds contain fiber. One cup of these seeds contains 22% of the recommended daily value for fiber. (1) The average person in the United States gets less than half the recommended daily value of fiber.
Simply eating enough fiber can prevent stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (13)
By eating pumpkin seeds and other whole foods it is easy to get all the fiber you need.
Meet Magnesium Requirements
People who have diets high in magnesium are at less risk of heart attack. (15) Magnesium deficiency has been associated with a number of clinical disorders including osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. (16 ,17)
Pumpkin seeds help you meet your mineral needs.
Absorb Alpha-Linolenic Acid
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are high in alpha-linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid prevents heart attack and stroke. (18)
Pumpkin seed oil exhibits an antihypertensive and cardioprotective effect. (21) In less scientific terms, alpha-linolenic acid lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart.
Sleep is important in any kind of physiological or cognitive function. It is also affects metabolism and appetite which are key factors in weight loss. Even a gram tryptophan can do a lot to improve both sleep latency and sleep quality, and we all need a good night sleep.
Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of tryptophan. There is one gram of tryptophan in approximately every 200 g. (22)
You can get a full night of beauty sleep by eating pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of seven important nutrients: folate, antioxidants, phytoestrogen, fiber, magnesium, alpha-linolenic acid, and tryptophan. These nutrients provide many health benefits such as protection against heart disease and diabetes as well as improved sleep and lower blood pressure. They also prevent birth defects, cure cancer and anemia, and remedy osteoporosis.
You don’t have to wait till Halloween to enjoy their health benefits. Enjoying pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil is just one way to be healthier without making a major life change.