2. They Regulate Blood Sugar
In a 2012 Taiwanese study, pumpkin seeds were found to significantly reduce blood glucose levels in a short time.
Here’s the conclusion of the study that blew us away:
“Based on the results described above, we propose that the major function of PCE-C [pumpkin crude extract] is not to stimulate β-cells in the islets of Langerhans to increase insulin secretion, but rather restore the islets of Langerhans, repairing impaired islets or act as an insulin sensitizer to enhance insulin action by improving the insulin sensitivity of target tissues such as the liver, muscle and adipose tissue [emphasis added]. Pumpkin polysaccharides may also play an important role in the recovery of liver function and glucose utilization” (4).
The pumpkin seed extract didn’t simply stimulate the production of insulin, it healed the parts of the pancreas that manufacture it and improves your body’s ability to use the insulin.
Similar results were found in a study of pumpkin fruit (5). It’s believed that the polysaccharides (long chains of single-molecule carbohydrates) of the seeds (and fruit) are the key elements responsible for these effects. The carbohydrates are also used in the body for energy and help promote healthy cell structure.
3. They Prevent Osteoporosis
Bone health requires exercise and proper nutrition, including magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Pumpkin seeds also contain iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and potassium (6). Talk about getting bang for your buck!
4. They Relieve Symptoms of Menopause
As a hormone regulator, pumpkin seeds’ zinc supports progesterone and estrogen hormone balance, which is especially important for post-menopausal women, whose estrogen production is reduced (7).
Additionally, a 2011 study showed pumpkin seed oil’s ability to regulate cholesterol, decrease of diastolic blood pressure, and to significant reduce in the unpleasant by-products of menopause, including hot flashes, headaches, and joint pain (8).
5. They Moderate LDL Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the kind of cholesterol we worry about. Although it is a necessary nutrient, the modern North American diet promotes its over-production with all the excess insoluble fats, salt, and chemical additives in processed food.
Pumpkin seeds are a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which converts to omega 3 fatty acids in your body. These acids then regulate the balance between high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the “good cholesterol”) and LDL.
6. They Boost Weight Loss
Portable and packed with protein and fiber, just a handful of pumpkin seeds can starve off hunger while nourishing your body. Its phosphorus content supports the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to increase energy without causing weight gain (9).