The Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds for Acne, Arthritis, Kidney Stones & More
Raw pumpkin seeds are a particularly healthy and beneficial food to include in your diet for acne reduction and better looking skin.
As well as improving your appearance, here’s how eating pumpkin seeds regularly can also help treat arthritis symptoms, prevent kidney stones, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and much more.
Pumpkin Seeds for Treating Acne and for Better Skin
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent food for improving your skin tone and for treating acne problems.
The primary nutritional elements in the seeds that benefit your skin include zinc, selenium, essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
That said, pumpkin seeds have a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Preventing deficiency in many of these will be beneficial for your skin, which is often one of the first places to show nutritional problems.
The zinc in pumpkin seeds helps protect skin cells membranes and maintain the connective collagen. Good levels of zinc in your diet also helps promote skin cell renewal, leading to younger, fresher looking skin.
With regards to acne, zinc deficiency has been associated with acne outbreaks and problems with oily skin.
The mineral zinc is involved in helping to control both the hormone levels and oil production that have been linked to acne problems. It is also very important for skin healing, so should help with clearing up any spots that do appear.
Many people report a lessening of acne problems when they increase their zinc intake from a good source like these great tasting raw pepitas.
Selenium provides powerful antioxidant protection for our skin against UV damage, pollution and other environmental damage. It also helps keep skin elastic and subtle.
Increasing selenium intake is often recommended for people suffering from acne and other skin complaints.
While Brazil nuts are the best natural source, pumpkin seeds also contain decent levels of selenium.
Essential Fatty Acids
Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids, necessary for skin to effectively retain good moisture levels. Without adequate levels of EFAs, young skin will start looking older earlier, as it dries out and loses its flexibility and tone.
A diet high in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s, can also help reduce the appearance of blackheads and acne outbreaks.
As well as being a premier antioxidant, vitamin E has a wide range of benefits for your skin.
It has been shown to help diminish the appearance of stretch marks and help with wound healing.
Good levels of vitamin E in the diet may also assist with treating other skin problems like psoriasis and eczema as well as acne.
As beneficial as pumpkin seeds are for your skin, pumpkin seed oil is an even more concentrated version of fatty acids and fat soluble nutrients for treating acne and other skin problems.
Pumpkin Seeds and Arthritis
Pumpkin seeds can be beneficial for people suffering from arthritis (and that’s unfortunately a lot of us, with estimates that there will be 67 million Americans with doctor diagnosed arthritis by 2030).
Research has shown eating the seeds of pumpkins regularly has a similar effect to popular anti-inflammatory drugs.
Pumpkin seeds though, unlike these drugs, do not increase the level of lipid peroxides in the lining of the joints, which can lead to an increase in arthritis symptoms.
Pumpkin seed oil, with its healthy fats and other nutrients, can be even more effective for arthritis sufferers. Take a teaspoon of the oil daily or concentrated capsules like these.
Kidney Stone Prevention
At least 2 research studies have shown eating pumpkin seeds regularly can help prevent the most common type of kidney stones – calcium oxalate stones.
The seeds have compounds that both reduce the levels of substances that create kidney stones whilst at the same time increasing substances that inhibit kidney stone formation.
5 to 10 grams daily has been suggested as having a beneficial effect on kidney stone prevention and regular consumption would be important.
If you eat the raw seeds as often as I do, it makes sense to get them in bulk for savings like this and to save on postage.
Pumpkin seeds have one of the highest contents of phytosterols of any seeds or nuts regularly eaten as a food. At around 260 mg per 100 grams, only pistachio nuts and sunflower seeds are higher.
Phytosterols are plant sterols and stanols that are structurally similar to cholesterol from animal sources. Due to the similarity, phytosterols can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract when consumed in large enough amounts in the diet.
Some researchers put this cholesterol reduction, particularly of LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind), at over 10% with moderately high doses of phytosterols (Journal of Nutrition).
Phytosterols supplements are available and may be beneficial when taken with a fatty meal for those who want to reduce their LDL cholesterol levels (consult your doctor if you are currently being treated for cholesterol problems or taking medication).
For most people though, a bag of raw pumpkin seeds to snack on to replace other junk food snacks, is a good way to potentially reduce LDL cholesterol, along with all the other benefits.
I’ve written about the best pumpkin seeds I’ve found online here.
Other Benefits of Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Many other pumpkin seed benefits have being reported, such as a potentially lower risk of osteoporosis, improved bladder function and as a possible aid in the treatment of depression, due to the high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin.
With the level of nutrients in pumpkin seeds, it’s unsurprising that they would be so beneficial for so many different health issues.
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