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Health Benefits of Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds

author image Caroline Thompson
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.
Health Benefits of Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds
Fresh pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are a natural source of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. They are not only nutritious, but also tasty, having a sweet and chewy texture. Pumpkin seeds can be boiled, baked or eaten raw. They are low-calorie, high-nutritive snacks and can help improve various physical conditions including prostate and bladder problems, as well as depression.

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Nutritional Powerhouse

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids. The nutritive value of pumpkin seeds includes vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, fat, carbohydrates and protein. For minerals, they include magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium and copper, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Database. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids, EFA, omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Prostrate and Bladder Treatment

A randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the summer 2008 “Urology” journal treated 476 patients with lower urinary tract symptoms, LUTS, and benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH, with pumpkin seeds. The results showed a significant improvement of 6.8 points, which was 1.2 points over the placebo group. The study noted that an improvement in International Prostate Symptom Score, IPSS, of that size is rarely achieved.

Cure Intestinal Parasitic Worms

A combination of pumpkin seeds, onions and soymilk makes a remedy for parasitic worms in the digestive tract, according to the April 25, 2008 issue of the “American Chronicle.” Soak three tablespoons of pumpkin seeds in water for three hours. Then mix the soaked seeds, half an onion, a half cup of soymilk and 1 teaspoon of honey. Blend this in a food processor or blender until it's a liquid. Take this three times daily for three consecutive days.

Depression Treatment

Depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance. A chemical that the body makes from tryptophan called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) regulates behavior. It can have a positive effect on sleep, anxiety, mood, appetite and pain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For mild to moderate depression, 5-HTP can be an effective treatment. It increases the serotonin in the brain, which affects mood. Pumpkin seeds are a dietary source of tryptophan, which the body uses to make 5-HTP, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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