Plants seeds are packed with concentrated nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are no exception.
When you scoop out the innards of your pumpkin, hold on to the seeds to prepare and enjoy their many health benefits.
10 Pumpkin Seed Benefits
Grab a handful and read on!
1. Arthritis Relief
Anti-inflammatory antioxidants in pumpkin seeds have been shown more effective than the popular non-steroidal drug indomethacin in reducing inflammation of arthritis (1). Additionally, it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce stiffness and improve mobility (2).
2. Cancer Prevention
The phytochemicals in pumpkin seeds are very effective at moderating human hormones, with implications for cancer prevention and treatment (3). Pumpkin seed extract has been found to inhibit the growth of prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer cells (4).
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3. Reduced Cholesterol
Phytoestrogens in pumpkin seed oil increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL, “good” cholesterol) and decrease blood pressure (5). High levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, “bad” cholesterol) and high blood pressure are contributors to heart disease and increase the risk of stroke.
Pumpkin seeds have significant and quick-acting anti-diabetic properties. In fact, they are said to reduce glucose levels and help maintain blood sugar balance (6).
5. Menopause Symptoms
Because of their hormone-modulating effect, pumpkin seeds alleviate symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, headaches, night sweats, and mood swings (7).
The loss of bone density that sometimes comes with age means that older adults may be mineral deficient. Especially rich in zinc and phosphorus, pumpkin seeds naturally replenish to help keep bones strong.
8. Prostate Health
Antioxidants in pumpkin seeds prevent prostate growth. The greatest amount of concentrated zinc in the male body is contained in the prostate. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc, giving the prostate what it needs to stay healthy (9).
9. Testosterone Support
As people age, hormone levels adjust to suit the different stages of of their life. Menopause in women and andropause in men wreak havoc in the body and mind in a way similar to the extremes of puberty. Pumpkin seeds boost testosterone levels, which benefits both sexes as they get older (10).
10. Weight Loss
High in fiber, protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, phosphorus in pumpkin seeds help with weight loss by increasing the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
Hail the Great Pumpkin!
Pumpkin seeds are an exceptional anytime snack. They can satisfy the craving for something crunchy and, with a little added zing, will delight your taste buds, too.
Below are some recipes to try.
Pumpkin Seed Recipes
- Maple syrup adds sweetness and minerals—eaten by the handful, mixed with nuts, or as a garnish. Find the recipe here.
- Whether you prefer a salty or sweet snack, this recipe satisfies both.
- The savory masala on these roasted seeds provide unexpected flavor and the turmeric powerhouse.
- Taking sweet and spicy to a new level, honey and sriracha seeds are an excellent combination.
- Superfoods honey and ginger add to pumpkin seeds’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Try using Earl Grey tea instead of plain black to add the delicate flavor of bergamot to these roasted pumpkin seeds. Recipe here.
- An Italian twist gives this garlic parmesan recipe the taste of Europe. Try them on a Caesar salad.
- Much better than Cracker Jack, salted caramel pumpkin seeds are simply…yummy! Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar blend together to provide that sweet caramel flavor.
- Buenos dias! Chili lime roasted seeds bring the heat, zest, and sunshine of Mexico to your palate.
- A taste of the East: curried pumpkin seeds. These will keep for a while, so if you want to serve them for a special event, you can make a batch ahead of time.
- Classic and easy, simple salt and pepper appeal to the most basic tastes and are always popular.
- A bit of Asian cuisine, these ginger-soy seeds taste like sushi without the fish. Make sure your soy sauce is organic to avoid genetically-modified soy, or try using tamari to make it gluten free.
- Rosemary supports memory and garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory. They pair exceptionally well in this pumpkin seed recipe.
- Smoky paprika gives these seeds a barbecue-like flavor. Zesty, tasty, and easy.
- Cheese is a very popular flavor for snack foods. These cheesy pumpkin seeds are way better for you than Doritos. Try using nutritional yeast instead of cheese to make it vegan and add tons of vitamin B12.
- Pesto never tasted so good! Using pumpkin seeds instead of pinenuts or walnuts provides an alternative for people with allergies who love pesto.
- Speaking of allergies, you don’t have to miss out on the pleasures of peanut brittle—use pumpkin seeds instead. Avoid refined white sugar in this recipe by using coconut palm.
- Raw cocoa isn’t just for dessert. Cocoa makes us happy because of its chemical properties—but you don’t have to think about that. This sweet snack or dessert topping is sure to please. The recipe calls for granulated cane sugar but we all know there are better alternatives to that.