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
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.