What Are the Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds?

Reviewed on 12/16/2020
Pumpkin and its contents are primarily very safe, and there is little to no risk in consuming pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin and its contents are primarily very safe, and there is little to no risk in consuming pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are densely packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and provide an impressive amount of health benefits. They help in various conditions such as:

  • Abundant nutritional value: These seeds have a high nutritional value in terms of protein and selenium content that may have a role in managing hair loss.
  • Cancer risk: It reduces the risk of certain cancers such as colon, stomach, breast, and prostate due to its high antioxidant activity and high lignan content. A German study on postmenopausal women revealed that eating pumpkin seeds reduces the risk of breast cancer.
  • Bladder problems: It is an age-old cure for irritated bladder conditions and improves urination problems.
  • Prostate enlargement: It improves inflammation (redness, pain, and swelling) in benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of a gland, in older men). Pumpkin seed oil with or without palmetto or other herbs may help to reduce prostatic hyperplasia symptoms.
  • Risk of disease and inflammation: Antioxidants and zinc in pumpkin seeds may reduce the risk of disease and inflammation and improve digestion.
  • Diabetes: Pumpkin seed oil contains magnesium and zinc, which reduce and maintain lower blood sugar levels; therefore, they are good if you have diabetes.
  • Heart conditions: Studies have shown that the risk of coronary heart disease reduces as the frequency of nut intake increases. Antioxidants in pumpkin seeds, such as vitamin E and carotenoids, reduce damage-free radicals that can inhibit a disease, especially heart diseases. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of unsaturated fats and help to lower the cholesterol in the blood.
  • Fertility issues: It is claimed to help solve fertility issues by improving sperm quality and increasing the testosterone hormone level.
  • Weight management: It supports healthy weight loss, as it contains fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats. It also helps to trim your tummy fat.
  • Boosts immunity: Vitamin E in pumpkin seeds can boost your immune system.
  • Pregnancy: Consumption of pumpkin seeds during pregnancy aids a healthier development of the baby.
  • Eyesight: It boosts beta carotene that helps to improve eye health and sharpens your eyesight.
  • Sleeping trouble: It contains tryptophan, an amino acid, that helps you to sleep more soundly.
  • Bone health: It improves bone health because it contains plenty of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Hair growth: Pumpkin seed oil may help to improve hair growth in men suffering from baldness.
  • Blood pressure control: It contains potassium and plant sterol that helps to improve blood pressure under control.
  • Better skin tone: It contains high amounts of zinc and vitamin E, which improve the skin tone and soothe the skin. It heals wounds more rapidly, fights acne, and helps with skin renewal. It also has anti-aging effects.
  • Mood disorder: It has a high tryptophan content that may help you to sleep better and improve poor mood.

What are the side effects of pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin and its contents are primarily very safe, and there is little to no risk in consuming pumpkin seeds if consumed in the recommended amount. Side effects of pumpkin products are very rare.

  • Weight increase: Because these tiny seeds are quite high in calories and fats, it may increase your weight if you eat more than recommended.
  • Slow down bowel movement: Pumpkin seeds are very high in fiber; therefore, they may slow down your bowel movement, and if you eat them too many or too often, then they may cause gaseous distension, bloating, or constipation (especially if you eat with the pumpkin shells on). Therefore, consuming 30 g without shells daily is recommended to prevent this.

However, there is very little data available regarding the amount to be consumed during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, stick to the usual food amounts.

When should you not eat pumpkin seeds?

You should check with your doctor about eating pumpkin seeds in the following conditions:

  • If you have kidney disease: Because pumpkin seeds are high in potassium and phosphorus, check with your doctor if you have kidney disease and whether you need to limit these ingredients in your diet.
  • If you are taking lithium: Pumpkin may interact with lithium. Therefore, if you are taking lithium, you must consult your doctor about whether to consume pumpkin seeds and change your lithium dose.

There is very little evidence for overactive bladder, bladder irritation, intestinal worms, kidney infection, or other conditions.

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References
WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/diet/pumpkin-seed-oil-good-for-you#1

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-pumpkin

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-810/pumpkin

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