What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds?

Frances Largeman-Roth, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are rich in the mineral magnesium, which is important because it regulates blood pressure. Watch registered dietician Frances Largeman-Roth explain how having some pumpkin seeds can help reduce stress, plus recipe ideas.


RealAge
Administration
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with all sorts of goodies: omega-3 fatty acids; iron; zinc; phosphorous; manganese; magnesium; vitamin K; and phytosterols, plant compounds that lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and prime your immune system. In other words, they're one of those health-bestowing foods that, munched regularly, can make you feel younger.
Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Munch on a handful of pumpkin seeds before bedtime and you'll reap a surprising health benefit. Naturopathic doctor Pina LoGiudice explains what it is in this video.


Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics
Pumpkin seeds are rich in the minerals, magnesium and zinc. They also contain iron and selenium as well as many vitamins. Zinc is a mineral that aids in maintaining a healthy immune system and is needed for the healing of wounds. It is in every cell in your body so good intakes are always needed. Magnesium helps the body to absorb calcium, keeps the heart beating and the muscles properly relaxed. Pumpkin seeds also have fiber and protein which makes it a perfect addition to your daily diet. So instead of throwing the seeds of your pumpkin or squash away, dry them and roast them in the oven for a great snack.
Pumpkin seeds taste great when toasted and they're nutritious. One ounce of pumpkin seeds provides 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of fat (1 gram saturated, 4 grams unsaturated).

You can also toast pumpkin seeds. Here's how: Rinse seeds to remove pulp and strings. Spread seeds on a medium baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt or seasoned salt. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir occasionally during cooking.
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors have utilized the benefits of pumpkin seeds to treat prostate conditions effectively. The high levels of essential fatty acids, zinc, and phytosterols make them an excellent part of a prostate health regimen, and research supports the notion that these nutrients may benefit prostate enlargement. One of the phytosterols, called beta-sitosterol, helps block conversion of tester one into a metabolite (dihydrotestosterone) that encourages prostate enlargement. Not surprisingly, studies using pumpkin seed oil or beta-sitosterol have demonstrated considerable benefits in improving the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement.

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d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.