Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) ★★
These seeds are probably one of the healthiest seeds you can eat. They have been shown to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They can also help with arthritis pains.
The seeds can help reduce your risk for cancer, specifically prostate cancer but also gastric, breast, lung and colon cancers also.
The seeds can also help with reducing bladder pressure and can keep your blood sugar levels low, which is great for diabetics.
The seeds are a great source of manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus copper and zinc. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin E and beta-carotene. The beta-carotenes in Pumpkin seeds also promote a healthy prostate. The high magnesium content helps lower your blood pressure and therefore reduces your risk for having a heart attack or stroke.
The zinc content can actually be beneficial for the sex drives of both men and women because zinc can increase testosterone levels. Zinc does this by blocking an enzyme that converts estrogen into testosterone. Women benefit from this because some studies show that women with higher sex drives have higher testosterone levels.
Pumpkin seeds also contain an amino acid called tryptophan that the body uses to make a hormone called serotonin. This hormone can help bring down your stress levels and calm your mood. This can help you fall asleep if you have trouble sleeping or reduce your anxiety if you suffer with any anxiety disorders.
They are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids. However, most of the fats are Omega 6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation rather than reduce it when we eat too much.
The seeds are large and white before they are hulled. Once the outer shell is hulled you get the green seed that we see. This is why Pumpkin seeds can look so different because they can be eaten hulled or not hulled. For the best health benefits, buy the seeds raw and unsalted, then roast them with a little oil and add salt to your liking. It’s easy to get carried away when eating them because they taste so good. Men should be aware of the iron content since healthy men do not really need much iron in their diets. However, women who are menstruating, can benefit from the iron in the seeds.