IVF Babble

Sowing the seed…. pumpkin seeds and male fertility

Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

Rich in zinc, pumpkin seeds have been linked in studies to helping support the immune system and male fertility.

Pumpkin seeds may be little, but they’re packed with nutrients and deliver large levels of minerals, including zinc and iron. Zinc is an antioxidant that helps to support the immune system and has been linked to improved fertility quality and prostate protection in males. Iron is necessary for maintaining energy levels and the health of blood cells. Furthermore, the seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, folate, magnesium, and vitamin E, all of which are important elements for male health and fertility. Pumpkin seeds contain sterols that aid in the removal of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol from the body. They are also linked to helping to balance blood sugar levels.

Why is zinc important in relation to fertility?

Zinc is needed to maintain normal levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the blood and to convert it into the female sex hormone oestrogen. Zinc is also critical in prostate function, sperm formation and sperm motility. As zinc is needed in cell division it plays an important role in foetal development. In women it is needed to ensure correct egg formation, regulate hormones and maintain follicular fluid.

According to a study published in Indian Journal of Urology, pumpkin seed ingestion can influence prostate health positively, which is very important for male sexual health.

Fancy some cinnamon spice pumpkin seeds- a tasty little snack– why not make your own?

The delicious seeds found in the centre of the pumpkin fruit are known as pumpkin seeds. They can be cleaned and roasted after being removed from the interior of the pumpkin,  then can be enjoyed either plain or with other flavours like as herbs and spices, to make a wonderful, healthy snack.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

12 oz pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Mix the butter, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the pumpkin seeds in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly. On a baking sheet, spread coated seeds in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally until seeds are lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven; allow to cool. Enjoy!

Interesting reading:

Christudoss P, Selvakumar R, Fleming JJ, Gopalakrishnan G. Zinc status of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate carcinoma. Indian Journal of Urology: IJU: Journal of the Urological Society of India. 2011;27(1):14-18. doi:10.4103/0970-1591.78405.

Gonadal steroids and body composition, strength, and sexual function in men. N Engl J Med. 2013 Sep 12;369(11):1011-22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1206168. PMID: 24024838.

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