Today is National Pumpkin Day, and it’s yet another amazing excuse to continue on your goal to eat nothing but pumpkin-flavored foods from now until October 31st. You’ve probably already consumed some pumpkin ice cream, some Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and I’m also willing to bet that you recently purchased some Pumpkin Marble Mousse Bars from Trader Joe’s. Because why wouldn’t you? Because they’re amazing. While you’re eating those mousse bars, you should also check out these other amazing health benefits that come with eating pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. You may now resume eating your regularly scheduled pumpkin food programming.
#5 It Makes You Calmer
Pumpkin seeds contain a ton of magnesium which many studies have shown is great for helping relieving anxiety, stress, and making you calmer. Over the last 50 years, the consumption of magnesium has plummeted while rates of anxiety have gone up drastically in that same time.
#4 Pumpkin Helps You Produce Serotonin
You know that stuff in Thanksgiving turkey that makes you really sleepy? It’s called tryptophan, and pumpkin seeds are loaded with it. Tryptophan also produces serotonin, the awesome neurotransmitter that helps us do awesome things like Netflix and Chill. Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters influencing mental health according to NCBI, and is a potential target for pharmaco-logical treatments.
#3 Pumpkin Seeds Are Great Brain Food
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are both rich in fiber and fiber actually promotes good brain health via the gut-brain axis. Science Direct performed a study about the metabolism of a high fiber diet in the gut and how it can alter gene expression in the brain to prevent neurodegeneration and promote regeneration. In Layman’s terms, this means their study found that there’s a positive link between a high-fiber diet which leads to a healthy gut, and having a healthy gut leads to additional brain health/functionality.
#2 Lowers Blood Pressure and Can Reduce Hypertension
Pumpkin seed oil contains tons of phytoestrogens, which some recent research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. Researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the pumpkin seed oil, and they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
#1 Pumpkin Seeds Help Burn Fat Which Can Improve Your Mood
Pumpkin seeds may seem small because they’re seeds, but the reality is they’re an extremely dense snack that fills you up while simultaneously keeping you satiated. This means if you use pumpkin seeds as one of your primary snack foods, you’ll snack less, consume fewer calories over time, and lose weight. Man studies have shown how weight loss is extremely beneficial to our mental health including improvements in both overall mood and sleep.