Hair can be considered a crowning glory for many women and a sign of youth and vitality for men. When men and women begin to lose their hair, this can become a source of insecurity. In addition to products like Rogaine or other prescription medications, there are many natural remedies, like eating pumpkin seeds, that may help grow hair.

Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain fatty oils with linoleic acid and oleic acid, both known to prevent cancer-causing cell production. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C. In addition, the seeds contain beneficial nutrients like zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Perhaps most important to those suffering from hair loss, the seeds contain cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for pumpkin seeds’ effects on hair growth.

Effect on Hair Growth

There are many causes of hair loss, including poor health or long-term illness, genetics, stress and hormonal imbalance. A lack of important nutrients in your diet can also lead to hair loss or a nonproductive scalp. The oil from pumpkin seeds are believed to effect testosterone and androgen levels in the body. Lack of androgens in the body is believed to be a primary cause of hair loss. Eating a handful of seeds a day can benefit in the fight for hair growth.

Where and What to Buy

Pumpkin seeds are readily available at many grocery, health food and convenient stores, making them an easy addition to your shopping list. You can buy pumpkin seeds raw, dried, shelled, salted or roasted. Another option is to go for pumpkin seed oil. Because it has a strong flavor, mixing it with other oils or dressings can improve the taste.

Ways to Add to Your Diet

Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds is easy enough, but if you’re looking for variety try tossing them into a salad for a crunchy addition. Sprinkle them in your bread or other baking recipes for added fiber, or add a small scoop to soup to give it a nutty flavor.

Toast pumpkin seeds at home for a spicy snack. First, bake them on a cookie sheet for about one hour at 300 degrees to dry the seeds. Then add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of cumin to a skillet. Add crushed red pepper, garlic powder or cardamon, depending on your preference. Cook the seeds in the skillet until toasted. Once cool, enjoy anytime as a spicy treat.

Time Frame for Results

Do not expect to see a change in hair growth immediately. It can take anywhere from six months to a year to notice changes. Patience is key in most attempts to improve hair growth.