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Pumpkin seeds, healthier than you know

PUMPKIN  seeds contain a heap of great nutrients and their inherent plant-based health benefits are often understated. There are loads of vitamins, minerals and other important phytonutrients in pumpkin seeds. These include manganese tryptophan, magnesium  phosphorus, copper, zinc and iron.

Pumpkin seeds are either an excellent or very good source of all of these nutrients and vitamins. Tryptophan helps fight depression and helps relieve anxiety and other related conditions. Zinc boosts immune function and fights osteoporosis. Phytosterols reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and raise HDL (the good kind) and may also be effective in the prevention of cancer.

Rich in antioxidants, pumpkin seeds have a diverse range of antioxidants in them. These include, but are not limited to vitamins. The  seeds contain vitamin E in a variety of forms. Having so many forms of Vitamin E in one food is beneficial because some of the forms are more bioavailable than others.

Pumpkin seeds also contain mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese. They include phenolic antioxidants, Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits. The lignans in pumpkin seeds  have also been shown to have antimicrobial—and especially anti-viral— properties.
Preliminary studies have suggested that ground pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil may improve insulin regulation and help protect the kidneys of those with diabetes.

Because of pumpkin seeds’ rich antioxidant profile (and thus their potential to reduce oxidative stress) they may help decrease risk of cancer. Preliminary studies have focused specifically on the lignans in pumpkin seeds, and their potential to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.


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