The best snack for your enlarged prostate

What should you be snacking on to help ease your symptoms?

Dr. Jen Tan

18 May 2015

Introducing....pumpkin seeds

Everyone loves a snack to nibble on in front of the TV or as a mid-morning pick me up. But there is one snack that’s better than the rest when it comes to the health of your prostate. Sorry gentlemen it’s not chocolate, and although fruit is part of a recommended prostate friendly diet, there is one snack that is even better if you have an enlarged prostate (BPH) and that’s…pumpkin seeds.

When you carve up a pumpkin, either to use as a fun Halloween decoration or to add to hearty recipes such as soups, it’s easy to discard and also disregard its seeds, but not only do they make a tasty snack, they also provide many health benefits, including maintaining your prostate health.

Why eat pumpkin seeds to beat BPH?

Packed with essential nutrients, these small but mighty seeds have a powerhouse of health benefits, from helping you sleep to keeping your heart healthy. Research has also shown that they are particularly helpful in supporting prostate health and treating the symptoms of BPH – making them the ultimate snack for men’s health.

So how can they help? Pumpkin seeds contain many nutrients which help to reduce an enlarged prostate. Firstly, they contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which have been found to help reduce an enlarged prostate.

Their rich zinc content is another reason why pumpkin seeds are considered to be good for prostate health. Zinc is an essential mineral in the treatment of BPH. Not only can it help prevent the condition, it can also help reduce the size of an enlarged prostate due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Men with BPH have low levels of zinc in prostatic fluids, therefore supplements and foods rich in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, can help raise these levels and reduce the enlargement.

That’s not all…pumpkins are also thought to contain chemicals that can stop testosterone from being converted into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is important because high levels of DHT can lead to prostate problems.

And if that wasn’t enough …pumpkin seeds are also rich in healthy Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) which have also been found to be helpful in relieving an enlarged prostate.

Struggling to urinate? Pumpkin seeds can help this common symptom of BPH. The seeds contain diuretic properties which help relieve bladder discomfort and help urine flow.

Pumpkin seeds and Saw palmetto

Research suggests that pumpkin seeds used in combination with Saw palmetto may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health. Renowned naturopath Alfred Vogel also recommended a daily dose of Saw palmetto, as well as a handful of pumpkin seeds’ for men with BPH to help ease the symptoms

How to eat pumpkin seeds

The best way to enjoy pumpkin seeds is to remove the shells and eat them plain as a snack. You can also add them to cereal, oatmeal, yoghurts, our use them to garnish soups and salads. A handful everyday is recommended to help ease BPH symptoms.

Although fresh pumpkins are seasonal you can still buy pre-packed pumpkins seeds all year round from health food stores. But if you would you like to make your own, follow the recipe below for lovely oven roasted pumpkin seeds:

Make Your Own Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1 large pumpkin, rinsed & drained
2 tbsp of olive oil
Seasoning (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180c.
2. Add your ‘pulp free’ seeds to a large bowl. Make sure you have rinsed and drained them well.
3. Stir the olive oil and your preferred seasoning (see below for ideas) into the seeds until evenly coated.
4. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then enjoy.

Note: If you would like to season your pumpkin seeds, why not sprinkle them with a little Herbamare Original® seasoning salt, barbecue powder, garlic powder, Cajun season or even Worchester sauce to create a tasty savoury snack.

Have you tried pumpkin seeds before? How do you like to eat them?

Meet our expert

Having trained as a doctor at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Jen Tan, Medical Director of A.Vogel, has been involved in herbal medicine research over a number of years, coordinating projects both within the UK and internationally.


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  • Graham Sharples's photo avatar
    Graham Sharples — 26.04.2018 18:45
    Dear Sir, I was on saw palmetto for years, but developed a problem in not being able to urinate, eventually was put on Tamsulosin and finasteride, which seemed to help greatly, but I wonder if I should now resume saw palmetto or is there any point and do they clash. I do take pumpkin seeds every day with my cereals. I do have enlarged prostate and cleared after an mri.


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 27.04.2018 07:50
      Hello Graham. Saw palmetto should not be used together with medicines prescribed for the prostate unless under the supervision of your doctor. This is because these medicines work in the same way and there is a possibility of interactions. If you are experiencing side effects of tamsulosin and finasteride, and wish to change your medication, speak to your doctor to see if a change to Saw plametto might be suitable for you.


    • bob's photo avatar
      bob — 28.04.2018 02:56
      saw palmetto doesnt work for me. I hope the pumpkin seeds is the answer. Not sure how many seeds to take each day


    • bob Hussey's photo avatar
      bob Hussey — 28.04.2018 02:56
      how many pumpkin seeds per day is best use


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 28.04.2018 07:29
      Hello Bob. Sorry to hear that you did not respond to Saw palmetto. Try taking one or two handfuls of pumpkin seeds each day.


  • H R 's photo avatar
    H R — 20.09.2017 13:36
    Hello Again I like to give you a idea about my Urine Lab test . I have the Protein 900 and i try to have daily a smoothie with oat and 3 pieces of grapes with seeds, 5 green grapes without seeds, one or half green apple, Piece of Melon, 1 peach, 14 g pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 3 g walnut and 3 g almonds and a pinch of ground cumin . On the top 3 g cinnamon , 3 g walnut and 3 g blanched almonds. Please give me your opinion and your instructions Thank you


    • Dr Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Dr Jen Tan — 21.09.2017 07:55
      Hello, The reason for taking pumpkin seeds in this situation is for their zinc content. This is the reason for my preference for a larger amount, as zinc is present in small quantities. The oils are also useful and they may not be so available unless you crush your seeds just before eating them. Even with an increased amount I would not expect to see changes very swiftly, so please do not lose sight of your doctor's recommendation for surgery.


    • Dr Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Dr Jen Tan — 21.09.2017 07:55
      Hello, The reason for taking pumpkin seeds in this situation is for their zinc content. This is the reason for my preference for a larger amount, as zinc is present in small quantities. The oils are also useful and they may not be so available unless you crush your seeds just before eating them. Even with an increased amount I would not expect to see changes very swiftly, so please do not lose sight of your doctor's recommendation for surgery.


  • H R 's photo avatar
    H R — 16.09.2017 07:15
    Thank you for your advice. It was great to read what you have published. Me and my wife eat always Pumkin seeds but RAW pumpkins seeds without shell so, i would ask you if to eat daily 1 ounce of RAW pumpkin seeds without shell will be the best solution for my enlargement prostate 1.6 . They suggest an operation after a biopsy but i decided to wait 4 weeks to see the result of the pumpkin seeds . Please i need your opinion. Thank you


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 17.09.2017 15:14
      Very pleased to hear that you have managed your condition using diet. Raw foods are indeed more nutritious and eating pumpkin seeds this way will be fine. 1 ounce will be the minimum - I would probably go for 2 ounces a day.


    • H R 's photo avatar
      H R — 18.09.2017 08:02
      Thank you for your reply . The doctor said that he prefer to make operation to remove the enlargement but i asked him to wait a little. I start to add 14 g pumpkin seeds in my morning blending smoothie and i add 14 g too on the top like garniture to eat . Sure i can add more if you advice that but to inform you that i take daily too 28g mixed nuts (Cashew, Almonds, Walnuts, Macadamia)


    • MM's photo avatar
      MM — 08.11.2017 02:47
      I've been eating raw pumpkin seeds for the last few weeks and the results are incredible. No more difficulty urinating and much stronger stream.


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£ 14.99

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What's being asked

Hi, I had a blood test a few weeks ago to check for prostate cancer, which came back as negative. Would this test tell me if I had an enlarged prostate?

No, blood tests are not part of the diagnosis for an enlarged prostate.
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I have an enlarged prostate. I take Saw Palmetto with other ingredients including zinc etc. Any other ideas please?

Zinc is a good supplement to take, as it is thought to benefit the prostate gland generally. You ...
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I have an enlarged prostate and have had a biopsy. All is ok but is there a herbal or other type of product I can take to reduce the size of my prostate?

If you have a diagnosis of enlarged prostate then you can take Prostasan Saw Palmetto capsules to ...
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Here's what I recommend

As the A. Vogel Men’s Health expert, I recommend Prostasan® Saw Palmetto capsules to help relieve symptoms arising from enlarged prostate.

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Did you know?

BPH is a very common problem that increases the older men get, and around half of all men have an enlarged prostate by the age of 50. At the age of 80, this has risen to 80%

What you need to know about BPH

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