Prostate: The Great Pumpkin Seed
When you need a chewy snack, but don’t want to eat junk food, consider pumpkin seeds.
With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package.
Best of all, because pumpkin seeds are highly portable and require no refrigeration, so they are great to keep with you whenever you’re on the go, or they can be used as a quick anytime snack at home, too.
Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, protective compounds which may be beneficial in supporting prostate health as well as treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). They also contain chemical compounds that can help prevent some transformation of the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Elevated levels of DHT are associated with an enlarged prostate. Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt this triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT.
They’re plant-based protein bombs
According to the USDA, this is how 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds stacks up nutrition-wise:
· 285 calories
· 11.87 grams protein
· 12.42 g fat
· 11.8 g dietary fiber
Although plant-based protein differs from animal-based, it’s just as important and pumpkin seeds are a great way to boost your protein intake without resorting to red meat. The fiber is a great bonus too; and while the fat content looks high, it is predominantly the “healthy fats” that many of us don’t get enough of.
That same cup of roasted pumpkin seeds also boasts 168 milligrams of magnesium, more than half of the 310 mg adult women should consume daily. The body needs magnesium for many processes, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure, plus making protein, bone and DNA. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that people in the United States consistently have intakes of magnesium that are lower than recommended amounts.
The body likes potassium for jobs such as helping muscles contract, regulating fluids, balancing minerals and maintaining blood pressure; it may also help reduce the risk of recurrent kidney stones and bone loss as the body ages. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recommends that adults consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day, which is twice as much as most people get. Pumpkin seeds are a notably rich source of this important mineral with 588 mg per cup. Compare that to the famous potassium source known as a banana — a medium one provides 422 mg.
There’s a reason that treatments to prevent and quell the common cold generally contain zinc; it’s an important mineral that plays a significant role in immune function. The National Institutes of Health recommends 8 mg of zinc daily for adult women, and a cup of pumpkin seeds will almost meet that with its 6.59 mg. Studies have shown that about one in eight Americans has zinc deficiencies, and our ability to absorb zinc declines with age. Almost half in older Americans may be deficient in the mineral.
All of that zinc can positively impact prostate health. Pumpkin seeds contain several major groups of active components such as essential fatty acids, amino acids, phytosterols (also known as beta-sitosterol) which might be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also offer chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with enlarged prostate.
Carotenoids are chemicals with nutritive properties that exist in the pigment that colors plants and animals. The carotenoids that are found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds also have shown benefits for prostate health. Men who have a higher amount of carotenoids in their daily diet have a lowered risk for BPH. This connection is what has led to an interest in pumpkin seed carotenoids.
Pumpkin seed oil has been utilized in combination along with saw palmetto in two double-blind trials to effectively reduce many of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Only one of the trials evaluated the effectiveness of using pumpkin seed oil alone for symptoms of BPH. Several animal studies have revealed that pumpkin seed extracts can improve the functions of the urethra and bladder. This could partially account for BPH symptom relief.
Early symptoms of BPH may take many years to become bigger problems. In most cases, these symptoms may point to an enlarged prostate, but they may also be a sign that other, more serious conditions that require prompt attention. If you are experiencing these early symptoms, it is a good time to see your doctor.
Fortunately, there are exciting new treatment options that can help you reclaim your life from the symptoms of BPH. A comprehensive product that does work at supporting prostate health is Prostate Health Essentials (click here to view). It contains 30+ natural ingredients that have been shown to support prostate health. This easy-to-take daily supplement provides excellent all-around prostate health.