Monday, November 03, 2014

PUMPKIN SEEDS - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

Helping with depression, anxiety, BPH and heart health ...

Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds of a pumpkin, or any related squash in the Cucurbita family. They are often roasted and eaten with or without their husks.

Nutritional Content

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of protein, and a number of different minerals including: iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, molybdenum, and potassium. They also contain a number of fatty acids. By dry weight, pumpkin seeds contain 59% protein and 30% fat.

Depression and Menopause

One gram of whole pumpkin seeds contains 5.69mg of L-tryptophan, while one gram of pumpkin seed protein contains 17.2mg of L-tryptophan. Thus, it has become of interest in several mood disorders such as anxiety disorder, and clinical depression where L-tryptophan supplementation has been shown to help reduce symptoms. Eating pumpkin seeds can also be beneficial for insomnia for the same reasons. For more information on the benefits of tryptophan, please click here. Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to improve the symptoms of menopause, including headaches, hot flashes, joint pain and feelings of depression.

BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)

Pumpkin seeds were established by research in the 1990's to be effective against the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men. Symptoms that improved were: urinary flow, frequency and length of urination, and residual urine.

Pumpkin seeds can help to regulate your mood and reduce anxiety and depression.
Atherosclerosis and Heart Health

Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. Due to its alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil can help to prevent cardiovascular disease. For more information on the benefits of ALA, please click here. In addition to its beneficial oil content, one study found that eating 30 grams of pumpkin seeds daily helps to improve iron status in menstruating women, without the requirement of any extra iron supplementation.


Some preliminary research has begun looking at certain compounds extracted from pumpkin seeds as potential anti-cancer agents, particularly against melanoma cells. Research is ongoing to see if this effect works in living people as well.

How should I take pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds can easily be added to your diet. A dose of 30 grams of pumpkin seed has been studied in humans with positive effects. This is the equivalent of 4 Tablespoons of pumpkin seeds daily.

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