1. Feel Fuller
Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber. Fiber helps keep you fuller longer, which keeps your appetite at bay so you eat less overall.
2. Boost Vision
A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
4. Sleep Better
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood.
5. Protect Your Package
Pumpkins — especially the seeds — are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men.
6. Have a Healthier Heart
All that fiber can also help protect your ticker, research shows.