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11 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds You Need To Know

11 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds You Need To Know

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.

2. Sleep

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?

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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.

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6. Anti-Inflammatory

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.

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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?

10. Energizing

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!

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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.

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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