It’s pumpkin season. Harvest season means pumpkins are aplenty. From decorating the front stoop, to a pie on the table, to flavouring festive beverages, pumpkins are a staple of autumn. Pumpkin seeds are another great treasure buried within this squash. Eating pumpkin seeds can help reduce inflammation, acne, and improve prostate health.
Eating Pumpkin Seeds- Health Benefits
Pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of protein, vitamin K, iron, zinc, and copper. Pepitas are also rich sources of magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
A large portion of pumpkin seeds is dietary fat, and protein. They do contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, which is important to note if you’re on a low-carb diet. While the high fat content in pumpkin seeds is great for people on a ketogenic diet, it is important to note that there is a significantly higher ratio or omega-6 compared to omega-3. It is a good idea to take an omega-3 supplement to even out these ratios. An imbalance can lead to inflammation and many health concerns.
One possible benefit that pumpkin seeds have to offer is the rich source of zinc. Zinc is often heralded as a powerful reducer of 5α-Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an androgen hormone. It shrinks hair follicles, causing a shorter lifespan of hair, and decreases new hair growth. Zinc MAY inhibit DHT formation. There have been studies showing a decrease in DHT, and others that show a significant increase.
These same studies that show a significant increase in DHT also show that zinc has a powerful effect on the male reproductive system. Zinc substantially increases testosterone levels, as well as sperm count.
Zinc may be a natural treatment for reducing acne. There is a high correlation between acne and zinc deficiency. Large studies have shown supplementing with zinc significantly reduced acne in patients.
Zinc deficiency also causes inflammation. By taking zinc you can cut down of the inflammation in your system. Prolonged inflammation is a factor in most diseases and should be avoided.
While it is unclear if the zinc from eating pumpkin seeds will help with hair loss, there are other ways these seeds will help you have luscious locks. As an added bonus the high levels of fatty acids you get when eating pumpkin seeds helps promote thicker, healthier hair.
Zinc is an important nutrient for prostate health. Adequate zinc levels promote a healthy prostate and can prevent prostate cancer.
Anyone who has ever carved a pumpkin knows the joys awaiting you when you cut into this squash. Once you cut the top off the pumpkin you can scoop out all the seeds, separating them from the fibrous strands.
Rinse the seeds in a colander.
Toss the seeds in a bowl with a good olive oil, coconut oil, or melted grass-fed butter. Proceed to sprinkle your seasonings of choice onto the seeds. Sea salt is a common choice, but you can use garlic, chilli flakes, or any other seasoning you like. Have fun experimenting, but keep it healthy.
Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet and bake at 180°C/350°F for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Once they’re cooked to your liking let them cool and enjoy!
Eating pumpkin seeds can have many health benefits. They’re easy to make and are packed with nutrients. Be mindful of the ingredients you add when baking them, and remember they are high in omega-6.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please consult with a doctor before adding/changing your dosage of any supplement in your diet. Take any supplements at your own risk.