It’s Halloween season, which means plenty of pumpkin carving. But before discarding the pulp and the seeds you may want to consider keeping the latter. As you’re about to discover, pumpkin seeds have an abundance of amazing benefits that will do wonders for your health.
1. Healthy Heart
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, which is imperative for adequate physiological body function. This includes the proper pumping of your heart, as well as tooth and bone formation, DNA synthesis and bowel function. Magnesium is also a natural relaxant.
Being high in the amino acid tryptophan, pumpkin seeds help you to have a restful night’s sleep. This is because the acid converts to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can effect your sleep patterns. As such, they’re literally nature’s sleeping pills! As a result, they can also have an effect on your mood, because who doesn’t feel great after an amazing sleep?
3. Stress Relief
The seeds are also a great source of another amino acid, glutamate. This is essential to the synthesis of γ-amino butyric acid, which is an anti-stress neurochemical that reduces anxiety and irritability. You have to love being able to get some zen out of your snacks!
4. Menopause Symptoms
As for pumpkin seed oil, it’s also thought to help with symptoms of menopause. That’s because it contains an abundance of phytoestrogens—a plant based xenoestrogen, which functions as estrogen. It is said to help decrease hot flashes, pains, headaches and reduce blood pressure.
5. Stabilizing Blood Sugar
Due to being high in protein, pumpkin seeds help to regulate your blood sugar levels. This has two particularly great potential benefits—weight loss and diabetes prevention. It’s also said to help the latter by decreasing oxidative stress.
Pumpkin seed oil has also exhibited anti-inflammatory effects that rival indomethacin—a drug that is used to treat arthritis. In addition, it works without also providing any of the side effects that the drug itself does.
7. High In Omega-3
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most notable plant-based sources of obtaining omega-3. This is a fatty acid that’s essential to metabolism health, as well as brain and cognitive performance.
8. Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds contain a large quantity of zinc, which is incredibly important to prostate health. In fact, the highest quantity of zinc in a man’s body is in his prostate. It’s also believed that the oil within the seeds helps to treat prostatic hyperplasia, or a large prostate.
Zinc is also essential for insulin regulation, cell growth and your immune system. In addition, it helps your sense of taste and smell. A few seeds a day is certainly a small price to pay for great health and improved taste!
9. Good For Your Skin
Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin E, which is a lipid-soluble antioxidant. As such, it helps to protect tissue cells from mediated oxidant injury. In layperson’s terms, this means that it helps your skin to remain healthy and looking younger. What’s not to love about that?
Pumpkin seeds are full of iron, which will give you a fantastic energy boost throughout the day. This is a great alternative to sugary snacks that will only give you energy for a short period of time before resulting in a sugar crash. So, put down the candy bar and pick up some pumpkin seeds. You’ll be thankful once 4pm rolls around and you aren’t slumped half-asleep across your desk!
11. Lowers Cholesterol
In addition to omega-3, pumpkin seeds are also rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid. This helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and therefore helps to prevent stroke and coronary artery disease.
Of course, the pumpkins are useful too: 8 Uses for Pumpkins You Need to KnowFeatured photo credit: closeup half an orange pumpkin on background outdoors, wooden table via Shutterstock