Pumpkin seed is the cultivator seed from the pumpkin plant. Pumpkin seeds are believed to be native to Central America, specifically Mexico dating back to 5500 BC. Pumpkin belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family of plants which includes melons, squashes and gourds.1
Pumpkin seeds are relatively flat and almond or oval shaped with pale green or white coloring. While the seeds are often discarded when a pumpkin is hollowed out for making Jack-o-lanterns, the seeds are actually edible and offer a number of pumpkin seed benefits for health.
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten whole and raw or they can be baked for a crispy snack. Pumpkin seed oil extract is also available to consume as a supplement.
Pumpkin Seed Health Uses and Health Benefits
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of nutrition. They contain a wide range of nutrients including magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, calcium and protein. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants. Pumpkin seed benefits don’t end there. They are also a high-fiber source as well as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.2,3
Additional pumpkin seed benefits for health include:
- Immune support from zinc content
- Diabetes control
- Antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal benefits
- Anti-cancer benefits including pumpkin seed for prostate health
- Phytoestrogens for menopausal support
- Tryptophan and serotonin production for improved sleep quality and mental wellbeing
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
You can treat and prevent a variety of conditions with various pumpkin seed health uses. Here are some of the top at-home pumpkin seed health uses to try:
- Prostate Cancer - Pumpkin seed for prostate health has been well-documented both for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Anti-inflammatory pumpkin seed benefits can help reduce the overall size of an enlarged prostate.
- Prostatitis - Taking pumpkin seed for prostate health can help to treat prostatitis, the general swelling and enlargement of the prostate gland.
- Depression - The natural tryptophan content in pumpkin seeds can help to produce more serotonin, an important neurotransmitter for improving mental wellbeing and treating depression.
- Amoebiasis - Antimicrobial pumpkin seed benefits can help to kill parasites that cause amoebiasis, an intestinal parasitic infection.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP) - BHP is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Pumpkin seeds for prostate health can help to treat BHP due to anti-inflammatory health properties.
- Osteoporosis - Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become fragile. The magnesium and calcium content of pumpkin seeds can help to build bone density and prevent bones from becoming brittle due to osteoporosis.
Pumpkin Seed Side Effects and Precautions
There are no known pumpkin seed side effects. It does not appear to have any negative reactions with medications or other foods that may cause other pumpkin seed side effects. However, consult your physician if you plan to use pumpkin seed as a treatment for any condition. 4