Pumpkin seeds are a tasty and healthy snack that you can enjoy in many ways. They have a lot of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants that can improve your health in different aspects. You can eat them raw, roasted, or as oil, and get the benefits of pumpkin seeds. Here are some of the health benefits of pumpkin seeds that you might not know.
1. They reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a normal process of your body to heal wounds and fight infections, but too much inflammation can cause chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. These minerals can help lower the inflammation in your body and ease the pain and swelling in your joints. One study showed that pumpkin seed oil reduced inflammation in rats with arthritis without any side effects.
2. They lower cancer risk
Pumpkin seeds have plant compounds called phytoestrogens, which can act like the hormone estrogen in your body. Phytoestrogens have been shown to have anti-cancer effects, especially against breast and prostate cancer. One study showed that eating pumpkin seeds was linked to a lower risk of breast cancer in women after menopause. Another study showed that pumpkin seed extract stopped the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells in a lab. Pumpkin seeds also have antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
3. They improve prostate health
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common problem that affects older men, causing an enlarged prostate and urinary problems. Pumpkin seeds may help improve the symptoms of BPH by shrinking the prostate and improving the urine flow. One study showed that men with BPH who ate pumpkin seeds for a year had a significant improvement in their urinary function. Pumpkin seeds may also help prevent prostate infections and inflammation by boosting your immune system and stopping bacterial growth.
4. They support heart health
Pumpkin seeds are good for your heart because they have fiber, magnesium, and healthy fats. Fiber can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Magnesium can help relax your blood vessels and improve your blood circulation. Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, can help lower inflammation and prevent blood clots. Pumpkin seeds also have phytosterols, plant compounds that can lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol.
5. They reduce diabetes risk
Pumpkin seeds can help you control your blood sugar levels, which is important for preventing and managing diabetes. Pumpkin seeds have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause a sudden rise in your blood sugar after you eat them. They also have hypoglycemic properties, meaning they can lower your blood sugar by increasing your insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. One study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who ate pumpkin seeds every day had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who did not.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456