Pumpkin Seeds’ Crazy Health Benefits
Since I just wrote an article on the health benefits of pumpkins, I figured I should do the same for the powerful seeds found inside.
Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack food.
You’ll find them mixed in tons of the popular “protein bars” found at the grocery stores.
And they’re inexpensive.
But what is it about pumpkin seeds that makes them such a killer Fall food?
Glad you asked. I’ll explain below.
4 Reasons To Stock Up on PumpkinSeeds
When most people think about pumpkin seeds, they’re familiar with the whole seed just as it appears when you take them out of your pumpkin after carving it up to make a jack’o lantern.
And it’s that combination (what’s known as the kernel and the endosperm) that hold all of the seed‘s dynamic nutrients.
One of the most potent is described below.
1. Pumpkin seeds are rich in Zinc
Zinc is an essential nutrient you absolutely must have in your diet.
For men, zinc is important in maintaining healthy sexual function. Without zinc in the diet, libido can suffer, as well as the ability to perform as needed.
And then there’s zinc’s affect on the immune system.
The truth is, most Americans are deficient in zinc, which is one cause for the levels of sickness across the U.S.
It also has the ability to help regulate quite a few other functions of the body which include your sense of taste and smell, insulin regulation, and both skin and eye health.
Part of the reason pumpkin seeds are so incredible is because just one ounce of them contains around 2 mg of zinc, which is quite high based on weight.
Think a zinc deficiency isn’t a big deal?
According to Dr. Mercola, zinc deficiency is associated “with increased colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor school performance in children, among others.
2. Pumpkin seeds contain special antioxidants
I write about antioxidants quite frequently, and for good reason.
Antioxidants are known to help protect your DNA at the cellular level. They’re influential at neutralizing free radical formation and they work extra hard at keeping inflammation down.
All of these attributes are helpful at preventing things like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and more.
One of the interesting things about pumpkin seeds are the kind of antioxidants they contain.
Some of them have only recently been discovered, and pumpkin seeds might have them in higher amounts than just about any other food.
The World’s Healthiest foods writes:
It’s the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds that makes them unique in their antioxidant support. Pumpkin seeds contain conventional antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. However, not only do they contain vitamin E, but they contain it in a wide variety of forms.
Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol are all forms of vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds. These last two forms have only recently been discovered, and they are a topic of special interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms.
3. They can help fight pathogens and microbes
Pumpkin seeds contain compounds known as lignans which are known to have some pretty stellar health properties.
For years, even before there was research on the subject, pumpkin seed oil and the extract from pumpkin seeds were believed to help fight bacteria and viruses.
What researchers have discovered is the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol help with its antimicrobial and anti-viral properties.
There’s even a molecule called interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) inside of pumpkin seeds which has been shown to help fight the formation of microbes.
All of these work together to make pumpkin seeds one of the best lines of microbial defense you can find.
4. They can help with prostate health
As I mentioned in the section above, pumpkin seeds are great for men’s sexual health.
One of the organs associated with sexual function is greatly affected by the properties of pumpkin seeds.
For years, pumpkin seed extract and oil have been used to help treat one of the most common as well as problematic conditions involving the prostate.
Known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), this health problem can wreak havoc on a man’s ability to urinate with consistency.
So how do pumpkin seeds help?
The World’s Healthiest foods put’s it like this:
U.S. Studies have linked different nutrients in pumpkin seeds to their beneficial effects on BPH, including their phytosterols, lignans, and zinc. Among these groups, research on phytosterols is the strongest, and it centers on three phytosterols found in pumpkin seeds: beta-sitosterol, sitostanol, and avenasterol.
The phytosterols campesterol, stigmasterol, and campestanol have also been found in pumpkin seeds in some studies. Unfortunately, studies on BPH have typically involved extracts or oils rather than pumpkin seedsthemselves.
For this reason, it’s just not possible to tell whether everyday intake of pumpkin seeds in food form has a beneficial impact on BPH. Equally impossible to determine is whether intake of pumpkin seeds in food form can lower a man’s risk of BPH. We look forward to future studies that will hopefully provide us with answers to those questions.
This makes pumpkin seeds incredibly useful for helping a significant men’s health issue.
Here’s a cute little video on how to cook the seeds from your pumpkins this fall.