Pumpkin seed is not your regular fruit seed. There is so much more to this tiny seed.
These tiny white seeds are packed with lots of nutrients. Oval in shape covered with a white layer consisting of a green layer inside.
Also, you don’t need to eat them in large quantities. But a small amount can pack the power of nutrients into your body.
Its key nutrients are lots of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc. In addition, pumpkin seed contributes to various health benefits.
Cancers, heart health, or prostate health are said to be improved using pumpkin seeds.
They are commonly called Pepitas in America. Pepitas is a Spanish word that is defined as a little seed of squash.
One may find pumpkin seeds often in Mexican cuisine. Or people eating them as snacks.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are sold in a market separately. It’s not what we get in the pumpkin fruits. They are flavorful, and crunchy and have a bit of sweetness in them.
You can find numerous choices in the variety and flavors of pumpkin seeds in the market.
Note that not every variety you buy or eat has a nutritional benefit to your body. Although people consume them as a snack they can’t suit all people.
Some people might get side effects from using these seeds in their meals. So before you, binge on these make sure to do the proper research.
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
The following are a few of the main benefits of pumpkin seeds that you should know-
Maintains Blood sugar level
Most diabetic people will find comfort in pumpkin juice or seed powder.
According to an analysis, pumpkin seeds may be linked to improving diabetes complexity as found in adult rats.
Based on various animal studies and research pumpkin seed lessens the sugar level in diabetic people.
They say pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Hence they contribute to maintaining blood sugar levels.
Makes you sleep better
As we know that pumpkin seeds have an abundance of magnesium. In addition, they are also a great source of zinc.
Both magnesium and zinc contribute internally to make you sleep better. Moreover, tryptophan (amino acid) is present in Pumpkin seeds.
This tryptophan is considered a great source to improve your sleep. Whoever is trying to make their sleep better must eat pumpkin seeds.
Better immune system
The pumpkin seeds are loaded with vitamin E including powerful antioxidants.
Vitamin E plays a pivotal role to improve the immune system with healthy blood vessels.
Consuming pumpkin seeds regularly will help you with a better immune system.
Great with weight loss and digestion
Although pumpkin seed doesn’t directly contribute to weight loss yet the fiber in pumpkin seeds is said to be good for maintaining a healthy weight.
Also, the subtle advantages of pumpkin seeds make your digestion better.
Improves Heart Health
It is said that pumpkin seeds are a great origin of unsaturated fats, containing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) too.
With numerous study results, pumpkin seeds contribute largely to a balanced diet with lots of ALA range.
Hence this is considered very good for a healthy heart and can be safe from many cardiovascular diseases.
Lessens Risk of Certain Cancers
As per numerous studies, it is said that consuming a diet loaded with pumpkin seeds lessens the risk of many cancers. It can be stomach, breast, lung, prostate, or colon cancers.
Women after postmenopausal using pumpkin seeds will reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
In addition, as per collective studies, pumpkin seeds slow down the cancer cells associated with various organs.
Can Make Sperm Quality Better
Infertility in men is mainly due to less sperm quality. While the primary cause is the low zinc levels in their body.
Coming to the pumpkin seeds, they are full of zinc. Hence, it can be a good source to make sperm quality better.
Also, pumpkin seeds are beneficial for fertility in men because they have antioxidants.
These antioxidants chip in your body to maintain healthy testosterone levels with improved overall health.
Improves Prostate And Bladder Health
With the results of many studies, it is found that pumpkin seeds lessen the risk associated with prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH is an ailment that makes the prostate gland large, creating issues for urination.
The overactive bladder condition can be improved with a moderation intake of pumpkin seeds.
Nutritional value of pumpkin seed
With numerous studies and research on pumpkin seeds, they are known to be very healthy. Now when we eat pumpkin seeds even in small portions, they contribute to our body largely.
Here let’s see the nutritional value of pumpkin seed in detail.
Let’s evaluate 1 cup/129 grams of Pumpkin seed’s nutritional value:
Fiber: 7.74 grams
Carbs: 13.8 grams
Protein: 39 grams
Fat: 63.2 grams
Sugar: 1.81 gram
Vitamin K: 9.3 mg
Zinc: 10.1 mg
Magnesium: 764 mg
Iron: 11.4 mg
Copper: 1.73 mg
Manganese: 5.86 mg
Phosphorus: 1590 mg
Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, iron, manganese, sodium, calcium, potassium, vitamin B, and folate.
If we look closely at the vitamins present in the pumpkin seeds.
They are vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamins in different quantities.
Moreover, the plant compounds consist of nutrients that aid several benefits for your health. Your body gets a mineral that can be very powerful to fight back against bacteria and viruses.
Risks Associated With Pumpkin Seeds
- Rancidity is the basic risk associated with Pumpkin seeds as they are full of high-fat content.
- Eating pumpkin seeds without keeping a limit can make you have constipation for a long time.
- The fiber factor in pumpkin seeds often causes bloating.
- Though, you may use pumpkin seeds in your weight loss journey yet it cannot be denied that they are high in calories and fat, so they may make you gain weight.
- It is very rare to have a pumpkin seeds allergy yet some people are largely allergic to pumpkin seeds. They may have allergic symptoms like headache, swelling, coughing, throat pain, itching, and rash are a few of the common symptoms of this allergy.
- Pumpkin seeds are considered not safe for infants due to their fiber and fatty content. It can be the reason for stomach and many other issues in them.
- Pregnant and lactating women must consult the doctor before avoiding or using pumpkin seeds in their diet.
How To Use Pumpkin Seeds In Your Meal?
There are several ways to use pumpkin seeds in your daily diet. Pumpkin seeds could be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack.
Plus you can buy them directly from the market or just take them from inside the pumpkin fruits.
Most countries roast pumpkin seeds with some salt, and they eat them as a snack. Or else you can have raw pumpkin seeds directly.
Also, pumpkin seeds can be added to your regular smoothies with some yogurt or fruits.
The other method to add pumpkin seeds to your meals is to garnish them on salads, soups, cereals, and pasta. You can utilize these seeds with other food items at your convenience too.
Often people like to use these crunchy seeds in their baking cakes for that extra crunch factor to it.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds contain phytic acid in them. These acids may work as a reducing agent for some of the other nutrients in your food.
Now to reduce the amount of phytic acid, you can soak the pumpkin seeds or roast them to lessen the phytic acid range present in them.
You have to eat pumpkin seeds to get the potent antioxidants packed with great nutrients. Not only this but eating them will make you healthier with fewer deficiencies.
It also guards a protective shield against many diseases. The potential in the pumpkin seeds is not to be ignored but one must take advantage of them.
Lastly, pumpkin seed is not so difficult to add to your routine meals. Just a few ingredients mix and you are good to go with a healthy meal.
You may need to take a few considerations into action to avoid the pumpkin seeds’ negative effects on your health and body.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- Mohamed Makni, Hamadi Fetoui, Nabil K Gargouri, et al. Antidiabetic effect of flax and pumpkin seed mixture powder: effect on hyperlipidemia and antioxidant status in alloxan diabetic rats. J Diabetes Complications. 2011 Sep-Oct;25(5):339-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Nov 23. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21106396/
- Fu Caili, Shi Huan, Li Quanhong. A review on pharmacological activities and utilization technologies of pumpkin. Review Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2006 Jun;61(2):73-80. doi: 10.1007/s11130-006-0016-6. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16758316/
- Ruy Lopez-Ridaura, Walter C Willett, Eric B Rimm, et al. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):134-40. doi: 10.2337/diacare.27.1.134. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14693979/
- D Chollet, P Franken, Y Raffin, et al. Magnesium involvement in sleep: genetic and nutritional models.. Behav Genet. 2001 Sep;31(5):413-25. doi: 10.1023/a:1012790321071. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11777170/
- Shona L. Halson. Sleep in Elite Athletes and Nutritional Interventions to Enhance Sleep. Sports Med. 2014; 44(Suppl 1): 13–23.Published online 2014 May 3. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0147-0
- Vitamin E. Updated: March 22, 2021. Available from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamine-consumer/
- James W Anderson, Pat Baird, Richard H Davis Jr, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Review Nutr Rev. 2009 Apr;67(4):188-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19335713/
- Danijela Ristić-Medić , Gordana Ristić, Vesna Tepsić. [Alpha-linolenic acid and cardiovascular diseases]. Med Pregl. 2003;56 Suppl 1:19-25. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15510909/
- Dagmar Richter, Sibylle Abarzua, Mareike Chrobak, et al. Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells. Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(5):739-45. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2013.797000. Available fromhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23859042/
- Abasalt Hosseinzadeh Colagar , Eisa Tahmasbpour Marzony, Mohammad Javad Chaichi. Zinc levels in seminal plasma are associated with sperm quality in fertile and infertile men. Nutr Res. 2009 Feb;29(2):82-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.11.007. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19285597/
- Mie Nishimura, Tatsuya Ohkawara, Hiroji Sato, et al. Pumpkin Seed Oil Extracted From Cucurbita maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 72–74.doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.124355.
- Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried. Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc app.html#/food-details/170556/nutrients
- Raj Kishor Gupta, Shivraj Singh Gangoliya, and Nand Kumar Singh. Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Feb; 52(2): 676–684. Published online 2013 Apr 24. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-0978-y
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.