The Power of the Pumpkin Seed
By Sara Butler
Pumpkins seeds are small, but boy are they mighty! One serving of pumpkin seeds can provide your body with a ton of nutrients, including magnesium, zinc and healthy fats. They can improve your heart health, protect against some kinds of cancer and even increase the health of your prostate. Best of all, they’re very easy to make a part of your daily diet! Read on to learn a few of the many benefits of pumpkin seeds that just might help to convince you to add some into your meal planning!
Pumpkin seeds are also called pepitas and they’re not the tough, white seeds you find when you gut a pumpkin on Halloween. Those seeds still have the shell on them, which is why the seeds sold in most stores are much smaller and a different color.
A one ounce serving of these seeds provide:
- Vitamin K
Pumpkin seeds are also full of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, Vitamin B2, potassium, and folate. That’s a lot of power in a few small seeds!
Improving Bladder and Prostate Health
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition where the prostate gland enlarges and can make urination difficult. Pumpkin seeds have been found to help reduce symptoms of BPH and may also help to treat symptoms of another bladder issue called overactive bladder. So, pumpkin seeds can help your bladder function and give your prostate health a boost, too!
Can Help Normalize Blood Sugar
In animal studies, pumpkin seeds have been found to decrease blood sugar levels. This is a great benefit for people who suffer from diabetes and constantly struggle to keep blood sugar in check. So, if you have type 2 diabetes you should think about adding pumpkin seeds to your snack list.
They’re High in Fiber
Dietary fiber is really important to help control your appetite and keep your digestive system healthy, and pumpkin seeds happen to be an abundant source. If you like the whole pumpkin seeds with the white shell still on, those pack a punch of about five grams in just a one-ounce serving. The smaller pepita seeds have a little less than two grams per serving.
They Might Help You Sleep
Forget turkey – if you’re looking for a non-Thanksgiving meal to make you feel drowsy you should try pumpkin seeds. They also contain the chemical tryptophan, an amino acid that leaves you feeling drowsy after a belly full of turkey.
You’d have to eat a lot of pumpkin seeds, around seven ounces, to get the turkey effect, but since they also contain zinc they help to convert tryptophan to serotonin, which then changes to melatonin and helps you to regulate your sleep cycle. So, if you’re having troubles sleeping maybe try a few pepitas!