Pumpkin is a nutritious and luscious orange-colored vegetable that has many uses. It is used as a pie filling, main course delicacy, and even as a decorative item in Halloween celebrations. You can also find juices, salads, and soups that use pumpkin. Likewise, pumpkin seeds are also full of health-related uses. Let’s look at the benefits of pumpkin seed that you must know so that you can make full use of this nutrient-laden vegetable.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
1. Effective Antioxidant
Pumpkin seeds contain a combination of carotenoids and Vitamin E which helps in fighting inflammation and protects your body from free radicals. Thus, pumpkin seeds can help you combat various diseases.
2. Combats Cancer
A high percentage of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds also lowers the risk of cancers like breast cancer, gastric cancer, and colorectal cancer. The presence of carotenoids helps in fighting prostate cancer as well.
3. Manages Diabetes
Including pumpkin seeds in your diet plan can be highly beneficial if you are diabetic. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium which helps in keeping low blood sugar levels in the body. Thus, pumpkin seeds aid diabetes management easily and naturally. (ALSO READ: 13 Foods You Must Avoid In Diabetes)
4. Boosts Immunity
Apart from antioxidants like Vitamin E, pumpkin seeds also have zinc that protects the body from inflammations, allergies, and infections. Zinc lends antimicrobial and antiviral properties to pumpkin seeds which positively impacts the immune system. (ALSO READ: Zinc Rich Foods: 18 Fruits & Vegetables To Increase Zinc)
5. Heart Friendly
Fiber and magnesium present in pumpkin keep a check on LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Additionally, magnesium regulates blood pressure and improves overall heart health. (ALSO READ: 18 Foods Rich In Magnesium: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage)
6. Improves Sleep Quality
Pumpkin seeds contain Amino Acid Tryptophan which mimics the function of sleep-inducing hormones like serotonin and melatonin in the body. If you are someone who has a difficult time getting a sound sleep, this is one of the benefits of pumpkin seed that is all for you.
7. Supports Weight Loss
Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber and proteins. These nutrients keep your tummy full for long hours and reduce the urge for mindless snacking. So, if you are on a weight loss journey and are also a foodie, pumpkin seeds can help you a lot! (ALSO READ: 24 Best Weight Loss Foods To Lose Weight Fast Without Harsh Dieting)
8. Strengthens Bones
A high concentration of magnesium in your diet can increase the mineral density of your bones. As a result, the risks of bone fractures and osteoporosis are reduced. The easiest way to increase the amount of magnesium consumption naturally is to consume pumpkin seeds regularly.
9. Ensures Prostate Health
As mentioned above, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Although more research needs to be done on the subject of pumpkin seed oil and its role in treating urinary disorders, some data indicate a positive role.
10. Checks Quality Of Sperm
Reproductive health is a common concern among both men and women. Natural ingredients like pumpkin seeds are great for ensuring healthy sperm quality and quantity. This function is performed by zinc present in pumpkin seeds. One of the benefits of pumpkin seed is that it increases testosterone levels.
11. Good For Healthy Pregnancy
The list of the benefits of pumpkin seed continues! Pumpkin seeds boost the immunity levels and growth of the baby during pregnancy. This too is taken care of by the presence of Zinc. For the same reason, pregnant women are advised to consume large quantities of food rich in zinc. (ALSO READ: Dry Fruits For Pregnancy: 9 Best Dry Fruits, Benefits & Side Effects)
12. Lowers Depression And Anxiety
Pumpkin seeds are indeed a versatile gift of nature. They also have mental health-related benefits. The magnesium present in pumpkin seeds relieves stress and anxiety, thereby calming the mind. (ALSO READ: 14 Best Stress Relieving Foods To Beat Your Stress & Anxiety)
13. Great For Skin
A popular benefit of pumpkin seeds is that it fights skin aging and acne. If you want soft, wrinkle-free, and clear skin, a handful of pumpkin seeds daily is all you need. (ALSO READ: How To Reduce Melanin In Skin Naturally? Here Are The 10 Tips)
14. Great For Hair
There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t dream of having strong and shiny tresses. With the help of pumpkin seeds, you might end up having those for real! Pumpkin seeds make your hair strong and lustrous. (ALSO READ: Foods For Fast Hair Growth: 15 Foods To Make Your Hair Healthy)
Do pumpkin seeds have any side effects?
Apart from all the benefits of pumpkin seeds, you must also be aware of their side effects, most of which occur in case of immoderate or excessive consumption only:
- Bloating, stomach ache, constipation, and gastric issues can happen in case of excessive consumption of pumpkin seeds.
- Due to their high caloric value, pumpkin seeds can backfire on your weight loss process, if taken in excess.
- For diabetic or hypoglycemic people, pumpkin seeds can be harmful if taken without moderation as they lower blood sugar levels.
- In care cases, pumpkin seeds can be allergenic for some people. In case any symptoms like headaches, difficulty in breathing, or rashes show after consumption of pumpkin seeds, medical consultation is a must.
Takeaway on the benefits of pumpkin seeds
Next time you cut up a pumpkin to cook, don’t forget to use its seeds too as they come with a range of health benefits. But, also keep in mind that all things natural are not always safe for careless consumption. Likewise, you must consume pumpkin seeds in balanced proportions and only after being thorough with your needs and required outcomes.