What are the Benefits and Harms of Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are mini nutrition reservoirs. They contain unsaturated fatty acids, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, essential amino acids and phenolic compounds. Snacking on these seeds can help manage diabetes, heart conditions, muscle/bone pain, hair loss, and acne. Explore the healing and delicious aspects of these seeds in the sections below.

Are there any benefits of pumpkin seeds?

Many people do not know the benefits of pumpkin seeds . Pumpkin seeds; Sunflower, soybean, safflower and watermelon seeds are included in the category of nutritious oilseeds. Pumpkin seeds have become popular in many countries as a rich source of nutrients. It is also sold as a mixed snack with various nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

The high levels of oleic and linoleic fatty acids in pumpkin seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease. They contain moderate amounts of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper, all of which are responsible for the benefits of pumpkin seeds . These seeds also contain significant amounts of antioxidants in the form of phytochemicals. Studies prove that these elements can fight stomach, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.

Read on to find out what the benefits of pumpkin seeds do for you. You’ll also find scientific evidence of these benefits.

What are the benefits of pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds have antioxidant , anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-arthritic and antidiabetic properties. Extensive research has monitored and examined the consumption of these seeds to reduce the risk of cancer and urinary tract infections.

Here are the benefits of pumpkin seeds:

1- It has anti-cancer properties

Alternative treatments have used pumpkin seed extracts for centuries to treat ailments of the kidney, bladder, and prostate. Active molecules such as cucurbitin in pumpkin seeds inhibit the rapid growth of cancer cells.

Experimental studies show that consumption of pumpkin seeds greatly reduces the growth of prostate, breast and colon cancer cells. This may be due to the presence of estrogen-like molecules (phytoestrogens) in pumpkin seeds.

Read More  10 Foods That Are Good For Cancer

Compounds such as lignans and flavones found in pumpkin seeds provide benefits by altering the expression of genes mainly involved in the prevention or management of breast and prostate cancers .

2- Nourishes, repairs and beautifies the skin

Pumpkin seeds and oil are excellent skin care ingredients. Molecules that produce bright orange pigments called carotenoids have anti-aging effects. They scavenge free radicals that cause premature aging of the skin.

Vitamins A and C in pumpkin seeds increase collagen production. Collagen aids in wound healing, keeping your skin young and wrinkle-free. Pumpkin seed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and ß-carotene. These components are powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

Using pumpkin seed oil as a topical agent can treat acne, blisters, and chronic inflammation of the skin. It also prevents bacterial and fungal infections when used as a lotion or massage.

3- It can prevent cardiovascular diseases

Various animal studies show the positive effects of pumpkin seed supplementation on heart health. Subjects who consumed pumpkin seeds in their diet showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels.

It is thought that pumpkin seeds can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by about 79% in subjects. Studies also report a reduction in subjects’ levels of inflammatory markers such as nitric oxide.

Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet can prevent cholesterol buildup and hardening of blood vessels. This prevents various heart problems such as coronary artery disease, stroke and so on.

4- May improve prostate health

Pumpkin seeds have a significant protective effect on the prostate gland. The prostate is said to store minerals such as zinc. These minerals prevent problems such as prostate enlargement (hyperplasia) caused by testosterone imbalance.

Because they contain beneficial amounts of zinc, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil have been shown to inhibit prostate enlargement. Laboratory experiments suggest that oil-free pumpkin seeds may help manage benign prostatic hyperplasia.

By managing hyperplasia, men will have fewer problems with urination. This reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

5- It can treat urinary tract infections

Pumpkin seed oil has been found useful for treating urinary disorders, especially in men. It does this by preventing problems such as prostate enlargement. Clinical studies have also proven that pumpkin seed oil is well tolerated by the body.

Large doses of about 500-1000mg per day did not induce undesirable effects in the study. In fact, when subjects with overactive bladders were given this dose for 6 and 12 weeks, their urinary function improved significantly.

You can read two articles about urinary tract infections below:

  1. urinary tract infection in men
  2. urinary tract infection in women
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6- May promote hair growth

Pumpkin seeds contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with other micronutrients, these fatty acids help improve dry and brittle hair texture. Zinc is another factor that increases the production of hair proteins. Pumpkin seeds contain plenty of zinc.

Twenty-four weeks of treatment with pumpkin seed oil increased hair growth in men with hair loss by approximately 40%. This may be because the seeds have active molecules called phytosterols. They inhibit enzymes (proteins) that break down hair protein and cause hair loss.

Related article: What should be done to grow hair fast?

7- May lower the risk of cholesterol and obesity

High/abnormal lipid levels are linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and even death. Eating foods that control the metabolism, accumulation and excretion of lipids such as cholesterol is the easiest way to avoid such ailments.

This is where the benefits of pumpkin seeds come into play. Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of fat, fiber and antioxidants. Along with other plant seeds such as flax and purslane, pumpkin seeds can prevent body weight gain and cholesterol accumulation.

The potent anti-obesity effect of these seeds is attributed to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamin E derivatives and ß-carotene. Linoleic, linolenic and oleic acids help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Pumpkin seeds also help maintain healthy kidney and liver functions in obese/overweight individuals.

However, most of the studies have been done on rats and the dosage for humans can vary.

8- May help manage diabetes

The eighth ingredient among the benefits of pumpkin seeds is its anti-diabetic effects. Pumpkin seeds have phytochemicals like flavonoids and saponins that effectively control blood sugar levels. These molecules prevent inflammation of insulin-producing pancreatic cells.

Animal studies show that a diet rich in flax and pumpkin seeds increases antioxidant enzyme activity. In people with diabetes, these enzymes quickly scavenge free radicals, thereby reducing the effect on the kidneys and pancreas.

It has been determined that not only pumpkin seeds, but also pumpkin leaves and pulp have anti-diabetic properties. These contain complex carbohydrates like pectin, which can help regulate your sugar levels.

Related article: All about diabetes

What are the other benefits of pumpkin seeds?

The benefits of pumpkin seeds are not limited to the above. This wonderful seed also has other health benefits such as:

  • Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of magnesium. Using pumpkin seeds or oil can relieve muscle cramps, bone pain, arthritis, and inflammation. This mineral also supports memory and cognitive health.
  • Along with magnesium, pumpkin seeds are also rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan relieves anxiety and promotes healthy sleep. This happens because it triggers the release of serotonin, a ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus can eliminate insoluble compounds such as calcium oxalate in foods or that build up in your body. Therefore, consuming pumpkin seeds can help reduce the risk of bladder stones.
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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds?

Now that we have learned the benefits of pumpkin seeds in general, we can now prepare pumpkin seeds at home for us to eat with pleasure!

Things you will need:

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 liter
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Sufficiently sized frying pan

How is it done?

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Prepare the cleaned pumpkin seeds.
  3. Put the water and salt in a suitable container and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the cleaned pumpkin seeds to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Drain the water and spread the beans on a clean paper towel.
  6. Wait for the kernels to dry.
  7. Transfer the well-dried beans to a mixing bowl.
  8. Add the melted butter to it. Coat the beans evenly with butter.
  9. Spread the coated beans evenly in a large frying pan.
  10. Place the pan in the preheated oven.
  11. Roast the beans for 30-40 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown. Stir every 10 minutes while roasting.
  12. Let the beans cool.
  13. Enjoy it after it cools down!

You can also sprinkle these seeds on salads, soups, porridge, breakfast cereals and pasta.

Are pumpkin seeds harmful?

We learned what are the benefits of pumpkin seeds . What about the harms of pumpkin seeds ? In fact, there are no scientific studies showing the harm or side effects of pumpkin seeds. But in rare cases, excessive consumption can cause constipation and bloating.

Related article: All about constipation

Also, not enough research has been done to establish a safe intake limit for pumpkin seeds. Although they are generally considered safe for pregnant and lactating women, there is no scientific basis to prove this or the contrary.

Therefore, it is recommended to consult your doctor for information about the safety and dosage of pumpkin seeds.

As a result

Pumpkin seeds are natural sources of essential fatty acids, minerals, proteins, vitamins and phytochemicals. Including them in your diet can nourish your skin and hair. It has beneficial effects on problems such as urinary tract and prostate in men.

You can learn a safe dose range for you from a nutritionist or doctor. You can also use pumpkin seeds as a snack or side dish while cooking.

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