The other morning I bought a piece of pumpkin from my regular hawker at the morning market. She told me not to throw away the pumpkin seeds. According to her, the seeds are beneficial to men’s prostate health. They can be eaten raw or have the seeds roasted on a low flame. You can also toss them into a frying pan and roast them for a few minutes. If you want you can sprinkle a bit of sea salt for taste.
I was not really convinced by my neighborhood hawker’s words, so I went and did some reading from various sources. True enough, the first thing I came across, it mentions that pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a natural food for men’s prostate health. This is because of their high zinc content, which is vital for prostate. In addition, it says the pumpkin seed extracts and its oils (high in Omega 3s) can play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate).
Besides being an excellent source of fiber, I also found out that pumpkin seeds have a wide variety of nutrients; ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. As you know zinc is important to your body. It can help in immunity, cell growth, improve your mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation and male sexual function.
These pumpkin seeds is said to be enriched in the sleep-enhancing amino acid tryptophan. This is the acid that makes the feel-good and relaxation neurotransmitter serotonin in your body. In other words, they promote a restful night’s sleep. A source even suggests that eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before hitting the sack, together with a small piece of fruit. Personally I still haven’t tried that.
Then I also came across an article which says pumpkin seeds are good for the heart. They have a good amount of heart-healing mineral magnesium. As you know magnesium has been shown to benefit our blood pressure. So is the pumpkin seed oil which is rich in natural phytoestrogens. And studies have shown that it can increase the good “HDL” cholesterol.
Some folks advised me to eat them raw to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds. But I read that these pumpkin seeds contain high levels of phytic acid just like grains, legumes, nuts, and other seeds. To reduce the amount of phytic acid, what you need to do is to soak the seeds overnight in cold water. Pour away the water in the next morning. Then only you eat them raw or toast them.