9 Healthy Reasons You Should Love Pumpkin Seeds

9 Healthy Reasons You Should Love Pumpkin Seeds

Image via Stacy Spensley

It’s the season of all things pumpkin, and that includes the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are full of health benefits. In fact, they’re a poor man’s superfood. They have more health benefits than the pumpkin itself. This year we’re giving you a ton of good reasons to add pumpkin seeds to your diet.

1.  They’re a good source of zinc.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is vital for cell growth and division. It’s also important for fertility, immune system health, and vision as well as taste, smell, and appetite.

2.  They’re a good source of vitamin E.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects against the free radicals that damage cells and contribute to aging as well as the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

3.  They’re magnesium-rich.

Just one-fourth cup of pumpkin seeds contains your daily allowance of magnesium. Magnesium is really calming to the body. That’s why if you’re having trouble sleeping, taking an Epsom salt bath of magnesium helps you to get to sleep at night. But magnesium is also important for the proper development of teeth and bones and proper bowel function.

4.  They’re a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the plant-based omega 3 fatty acid ALA, which is important for heart and brain health.

5.  They’re good for prostate health.
They’re good for prostate health because of their high zinc content. Pumpkin seed oil also treats an enlarged prostate naturally.

6.  They regulate insulin.
Pumpkin seeds are also important for the regulation of insulin in the body. Studies in animals have shown that they help with insulin regulation and the prevention of diabetes complications.

7.  They’re a rich source of tryptophan.
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin and then converts to melatonin. Melatonin is better known as the “sleep hormone.” Without enough melatonin in the body, it’s difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.

8.  They’re mineral-rich.
Pumpkin seeds are extremely mineral-rich, loaded with phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, and copper.

9.  They reduce cholesterol.
They contain phytosterols which are known to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol.

Read this next: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

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Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. Sara has also handled copy writing and public relations for a global environmental consulting firm. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat. Today, Sara lives in Charleston with her husband and two lovable cocker spaniels, Madison and Bella.