Pumpkin Seeds: Benefits, Side Effects, And More

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

The edible seeds found in pumpkin are known as pumpkin seeds. They have an exterior shell that is firm and oval. The seeds are Inside the pumpkin’s inner cavity, attached to the pumpkin’s flesh.

Several vitamins and minerals are abundant in pumpkin seeds. They also contain antioxidants that may offer some health benefits.

Pumpkin seeds could be consumed raw, roasted, or ground into a paste. They are often used as a topping for bread and desserts or as a flavoring for soups and stews.

Pumpkin seeds are a popular ingredient in many cuisines, including Indian, Mexican, and Thai. In this article, we will discuss more nutrition value, its health benefits, side effects, and tips to consume.

All About Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of several nutrients, including zinc, magnesium, and iron. Additionally, they contain a significant amount of protein and fiber. Here’s a look at the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds:

  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 19% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 5% of the RDI
  • Copper: 28% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI

Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds provide several health advantages,

  1. Rich In Antioxidants

    Pumpkin seeds are a good source of several different antioxidants, including:

    • Vitamin E: This vitamin helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin E is abundant in pumpkin seeds.
    • Beta-carotene: The body transforms this molecule into vitamin A. Vision, immunity, and growth all benefit from vitamin A.

    They also contain phytochemicals, which are plant-based compounds that have health-promoting properties.

  1. Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

    Pumpkin seeds contain compounds that may help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of antioxidants, which could help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

    It may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

  1. Enhance Your Prostate And Bladder Health

    Pumpkin seeds are often overlooked as healthy food, but they offer several benefits for bladder and prostate health. Zinc, which is important for the health of the prostate, is found in pumpkin seeds.

    They also contain phytosterols, which have been shown to reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

    Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a natural source of antioxidants, which could help to protect the bladder from inflammation.

  1. High In Magnesium

    Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in many bodily functions.

    Magnesium is involved in energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. 

    It is also essential for the proper formation of bones and teeth. Not getting enough magnesium may lead to symptoms such as fatigue, cramps, and irritability.

    That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient. And one great way to do that is by eating pumpkin seeds. 

  1. May Enhance Heart Health

    Pumpkin seeds are a good source of several nutrients that are important for heart health. They are a good source of unsaturated fats, which could help to lower cholesterol levels.

    They also contain magnesium, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber, which may also help to reduce cholesterol levels.

    Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds a day may help to improve heart health. However, it is important to remember that pumpkin seeds are high in calories, so they should be eaten in moderation.

  1. Able To Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

    Blood sugar levels could be lowered with the aid of pumpkin seeds. This is because pumpkin seeds contain a type of amino acid known as cucurbitacin, which has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

    Additionally, pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber, which may also help to regulate blood sugar levels.

  1. High In Fiber

    The dietary fiber in pumpkin seeds is excellent. Soluble and insoluble are the two basic categories of fiber.

    Soluble fiber dissolves in water and could help to reduce cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels.

    Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to add bulk to the stool, which may promote regularity.

    To enhance their fiber consumption, people should choose pumpkin seeds because they include both soluble and insoluble fiber.

  1. Might Enhance Sperm Quality

    Pumpkin seeds are a good source of several nutrients that are important for sperm health, including zinc, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. In addition, pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants that may help protect sperm from damage.

    Men who took a daily supplement containing pumpkin seed extract had significantly higher sperm counts and better sperm quality than those who did not take the supplement. The shows that pumpkin seeds may improve sperm quality.

  1. May Enhance Your Sleep Quality

    Tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the body’s production of serotonin, is present in large quantities in pumpkin seeds.

    Anxiety, mood, and sleep are all influenced by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium, a mineral that helps relax muscles and improve sleep quality.

  1. Weight Loss Friendly

    Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack that may help with weight loss. They include significant amounts of protein and fiber, which may prolong your feeling of fullness.

    Pumpkin seeds are also low in calories, making them a good choice for weight loss.

    Additionally, the magnesium in pumpkin seeds could help boost metabolism and promote fat burning.
  1. Healthy For Pregnancy

    Eating pumpkin seeds during pregnancy may help to improve the mother’s health and the health of the developing baby.

    Pumpkin seeds may also help to prevent certain birth defects, such as neural tube defects.

    Including pumpkin seeds in the diet may also help to improve pregnancy outcomes, such as reducing the risk of preterm labor.
  1. Beneficial For Skin

    Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients like zinc and vitamin E, which are essential for healthy skin.

    They also contain natural plant compounds that may help to protect the skin from damage and keep it looking young and radiant.

  1. Favorable For Hair

    Pumpkin seeds are not only a delicious snack, but they are also good for our hair. Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients like zinc and iron that are essential for healthy hair.

    They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep your scalp healthy and your hair follicles strong.

Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a nutrient-rich snack that has a variety of health benefits. However, they could also cause some side effects, especially if they are consumed in large quantities.

Some of the most common side effects of consuming pumpkin seeds include,

  1. Digestive Issues

    Pumpkin seeds are a common cause of digestive problems. The seeds contain a substance called cucurbitacin, which is a known gastrointestinal irritant.

    When consumed in large quantities, cucurbitacin can cause the digestive system to go into overdrive, resulting in abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea.

  1. Allergic Symptoms

    Pumpkin seeds contain a protein that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

    This protein is similar to the proteins found in other food allergens, such as peanuts, soy, and wheat.

    When someone with an allergy to pumpkin seeds consumes them, their body produces antibodies to fight off the proteins.

    This can lead to symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.
  1. Kidney Stones

    Pumpkin seeds contain a compound called oxalate, which is a substance that can form stones in the kidney.

    When pumpkin seeds are consumed, the oxalate is absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted by the kidneys.

    However, some of the oxalates can become deposited in the kidney, where they can form stones.
  1. Increased Risk Of Bleeding

    Pumpkin seeds can help increase the risk of bleeding. This is due to the high levels of vitamin K in pumpkin seeds.

    Vitamin K is an important vitamin that helps blood clot. When there is too much vitamin K in the body, it can lead to an increased risk of bleeding.

    Pumpkin seeds also contain a substance called punicic acid, which can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.

  1. Might Trigger Weight Gain

    Different from the other seeds, pumpkin seeds contain a high level of unsaturated fats.

    The fatty acids in pumpkin seeds, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, can promote cell regeneration and growth.

    Furthermore, these unsaturated fats can also help store energy in the body, which can eventually lead to weight gain.

If you ever encounter these side effects after consuming pumpkin seeds, it could be the best to speak to a doctor or allergist to determine whether you are allergic to them or if you are consuming too many.

How Should Be Pumpkin Seeds Consumed?

There are many different ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds. Here are a few ideas,

  • Add pumpkin seeds to oatmeal or yogurt
  • Make a pumpkin seed butter
  • Add them to salads as a topping.
  • Roast them with spices for a flavor-packed snack
  • Add them to granola or energy bars
  • Make a pumpkin seed milk
  • Toasting pumpkin seeds

Conclusion

Here to conclude, Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious, versatile, and easy-to-eat snack. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, and they may be enjoyed roasted, raw, or as a part of a variety of recipes.

Pumpkin seeds are also thought to have some health benefits, including a lower risk of certain cancers and improved heart health.