Can Pumpkin Seeds Help Your Prostate Health?

Prostate enlargement is common in aging men. 

This walnut-sized gland is pivotal for your reproductive health. 

However, its location makes it prone to falling prey to enlargement and hyperplastic changes. 

There are numerous natural remedies to shrink the size and improve symptoms. 

One of the proven strategies is pumpkin seeds. 

Pumpkin seeds for prostate health can mean a great deal of improvement. 

In this article, firstly we discuss what pumpkin seeds are and how they can help your prostate.

Then, we examine other pumpkin seed benefits and how to include these seeds in your diet.

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What Are Pumpkin Seeds?

Pepitas, more commonly known as pumpkin seeds, are edible seeds of the fruit pumpkin. 

There are plenty of ways you can consume them, including:

  • Pumpkin seed oil

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds 

  • Pumpkin seed powder 

  • Pumpkin seed flour  

These seeds are part of certain cuisines (Mexican) and can also be enjoyed individually as healthy snacks. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrition and health benefits, making them a natural snacking choice worldwide. Researchers have found various health-improving components inside pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. 

The most evident constituents of pumpkin seed are:

  • Alkaloids 

  • Flavonoids 

  • Fatty acids (omega-3-fatty acids)
    • Palmitic acid 
    • Oleic acid 
    • Linoleic acid

Can Pumpkin Seeds Help Improve Prostate Health?

An article on pumpkin seed nutritional benefits would be never-ending owing to the multitude of therapeutic advantages extended by this snack. Pumpkin seed oil’s role in prostate health is appreciable. 

Pumpkin Seed Benefits In Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous overgrowth of the prostate gland and is evident in up to 90% of men aged 85 years or older. 

In studies, when patients consumed the seeds in high amounts, they were pretty effective in bringing about the following positive changes:

  • Alleviation of symptoms (pain, discomfort, etc.)

  • Reductions in the levels of protein binding prostate (PBP) that plays a crucial role in the enlargement of the prostate.

  • Decrease in weight of the ventral prostate size 

  • Improved histological appearance of the testis

A 2018 study concluded that pumpkin seeds could reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The reduction of obstructive urinary symptom scores in BPH patients with pumpkin seed oil was equivalent to saw palmetto usage. Pumpkin seed extracts took the lead when compared with BPH medicines. 

In a study of one hundred participants, pumpkin seed oil came out on top. This is because the pumpkin seed oil led to a greater reduction in the International Prostatic Symptom Score and improved the quality of life far better than prazosin.

Reduces Prostate Growth

Overproduction of the hormone testosterone can also culminate in unwanted growth of the prostate gland. As per a theory, a powerful metabolite of testosterone i.e. dihydrotestosterone, can build up in the prostate. This accumulation leads to excessive growth of the prostate gland. 

One of the many prostate health benefits of pumpkin seed oil is the blockage of conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. 

A study on rats with hyperplastic prostate backs the claims that pumpkin seed oil inhibits testosterone-induced prostate hyperplasia. 

Another 2019 study found that consuming pumpkin seed oil can enhance the effect of Tadalafil in inhibiting testosterone-induced benign hyperplasia. 

The use of different oils i.e. saw palmetto oil and pumpkin seed oil is considered efficacious and safe in the symptomatic treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The curative effect of pumpkin seed oil for BPH patients is appreciated by many other studies as well.

Replenishes Zinc Reserves Of The Body 

Zinc is an essential mineral required for optimal prostate health. This fact has been proven by many studies that have found a link between low zinc levels and enlarged prostate. 

The reduction in levels of tissue zinc, and plasma zinc is evident in cases of prostate carcinoma and BPH.So, to keep prostate enlargement and carcinoma at bay, you ought to add zinc to your diet. And you can do this with pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin seeds are batteries of zinc that can effectively revamp your body’s reserves. This latest study concludes that consumption of pumpkin seed flour can effectively elevate body weight and serum zinc levels. The trace elements inside pumpkin seeds, such as zinc, act as potent antioxidants too. This has an additional positive impact on the reproductive health of the males too.

5 Pumpkin Seed Benefits 

Pumpkin seed benefits are not limited to prostate health.

Instead, health benefits from pumpkin seed are an umbrella that covers multiple aspects. 

1) Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes is a disease that can stay with you for a lifetime. Maintaining an ideal glycemic index is challenging for many diabetes patients. So, for those suffering to control their blood sugar levels, pumpkin seeds can be beneficial. 

Moreover, pumpkin seeds can help control blood sugar levels and protect you against complications arising from long-standing diabetes. A study showed that pumpkin seed had a hypoglycemic effect that can be utilized in maintaining glycemic control.

In addition to blood sugar control, eating pumpkin seeds can also protect you from diabetic complications (nephropathy, neuropathy, etc.). So, these seeds paired with flax seeds can be pretty helpful in keeping diabetic complications at bay. Loads of magnesium in pumpkin seeds also help in diabetes control. The magical mineral magnesium also plays a neuroprotective role.

2) Cardiovascular Health 

This rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (healthy fats) has several advantages for your heart. The oleic and linoleic acids inside are quick to lower cholesterol levels in the body, therefore decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Additionally, pumpkin seeds exhibit anti-hypertensive properties. According to a study, pumpkin seeds are superb at reducing arterial blood pressure and carrying out cardioprotective effects by generating nitric oxide.

3) Antioxidant Effect

The antioxidant effect of pumpkin seed is also commendable. It is a rogue free radical scavenger and fights oxidative stress-causing elements. 

As per a study, the radical scavenging property of pumpkin seeds is exceptional and is the basis for the many health benefits it imparts. To check the antioxidant capacity of pumpkin oil, researchers poisoned mice with aflatoxin (a strong oxidant). At the end of the study, it was concluded that pumpkin oil could revert its effects to a great extent.

4) Weight Loss

Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of dietary fiber, proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids. The combination of these biological compounds is great for allowing weight loss. 

Data suggests that fiber intake directly links to weight loss promotion in obese adults. This is because the fibers and proteins in the pumpkin seeds lead to a feeling of fullness. The pumpkin seed protein content in the seeds and oil promotes weight loss

5) Immune System 

Even if consumed as a snack, pumpkin seeds can extend pretty solid immune-boosting effects. Research shows that pumpkin seeds have immunomodulatory effects. Significant increases in lymphocyte counts were seen with pumpkin seeds.

This is why it is an immunonutrient. Supplementing your diet with pumpkin seeds and vitamins (vitamin C, D, and E) can be very helpful.

How To Add Pumpkin Seeds To Your Diet

You can add a handful of pumpkin seeds to your daily diet. You can also try adding commercially prepared raw pumpkin seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds.

If you like a pumpkin snack, you can also cook them by roasting them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 77℃. Cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil is also commercially available. You can use the oil as an additive to smoothies or as a salad dressing.

Safety Concerns Regarding Pumpkin Seeds Consumption 

There are certain precautions that you must keep in mind while consuming pumpkin seeds:

  1. The high fiber content of pumpkin seeds can cause gas/bloating and constipation (if consumed in large quantities).

  1. The chewy shells of the seeds can be difficult to swallow

  1. When snacking pumpkin seeds, it is better to stay within calorie limits because the seeds are high in calories.

Conclusion 

So, pumpkin seeds are a very beneficial product. Whatever form you consume them in, people can see improvements in prostate, heart, and immune health. The multi-therapeutic seeds can also aid in controlling blood sugar levels and carry out weight loss.

Explore More

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