Pumpkin seeds are quite small, but don’t let their size fool you as they are packed with valuable nutrients. In fact, just a handful can already provide substantial amounts of fats that promote good health, zinc, and magnesium. This is why pumpkin seeds are often associated with health benefits and can even be incorporated so easily into our food. Here are some science-backed reasons why you should add more pumpkin seeds into your diet:
1. Full of Nutrients
An ounce or 28 grams of pumpkin seeds can give 151 calories derived from protein and fat. You can get many nutrients from the seeds, such as:
- Vitamin K
2. Rich in Fiber
Pumpkin seeds are so rich in fiber that you can easily reach 50 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.
3. Reduced Cancer Risk
There have been studies that showed how pumpkin seeds can lower risks of certain types of cancer, including stomach, colon, prostate, lung, and breast cancers especially in menopausal women.
4. Good for the Heart
Just ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds can meet 50% recommended daily amount (RDA) of magnesium. This mineral is important in different physiological functions, including relaxation of blood vessels and pumping of the heart. With enough magnesium in the body, this can help lower hypertension risks and prevent cardiac arrest and heart attack.
5. Stronger Immunity
Because of the richness in zinc, pumpkin seeds can help build immunity and provide other benefits, such as avoiding insomnia, better mood, enhanced senses of smell and taste, and improved skin and eye health.
6. Good for Bladder and Prostate
There are a few studies that showed how pumpkin seeds may help reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and they can even be used to treat an overactive bladder.
7. Good for Diabetics
Pumpkin products, including seeds, seed powder, and juice may be able to lower blood sugar levels. When you’re a diabetic, it is hard to find foods that will not affect your blood sugar. But because of the high amounts of magnesium in pumpkin seeds – equivalent to 37% RDA per ounce – pumpkin seeds can provide positive effects on people with type 2 diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds are great for everyone and can even be added to your diet with ease. You can just snack on them raw or you can roast them. You can add salt or leave the seeds unsalted – it is up to you. What’s more, you can add them to your yogurt, smoothies, or on top of your favorite fruits.