Pumpkin Seeds a.k.a. Pepitas
Pumpkin seeds a.k.a. pepitas have a wide range of health benefits AND are super fun to eat!
As you can see in the following Nutrition Facts , pumpkin seeds are loaded with healthy fat, amino acids, minerals and protein…but there’s more…
Nutrition Facts of Dried or Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Amount Per 1 oz.
Fat 11.9 g
Omega-3 31.25 mg
Omega-6 3571 mg
Carbohydrates 3.8 g
Fiber 1.1 g
Protein 9.3 g
Vitamin A 108 IU
Vitamin K 70.9 mcg
Niacin 0.5 mg
Folate 16 mcg
Choline 17 mg
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Calcium 12 mg
Iron 4.23 mg
Magnesium 151 mg
Phosphorus 332 mg
Potassium 228 mg
Selenium 6 mcg
Sodium 24.8 mg
Zinc 2.11 mg
Copper 0.39 mg
Manganese 0.85 mg
Moderation is Key
Now, obviously, like everything, you will want to eat these in moderation so make it simple by adding a small handful to your daily routine (I included one of my favorite homemade recipes at the end of this blog).
Preferably you will want to eat these delicious seeds in raw or dried form rather than ones loaded with extra fats from other oils and/or tons of salt. If you soak or sprout them, it will make them even more nutrient dense! Check out how they do this on SproutPeople.org .
Pumpkin Seed Oil
While pumpkin seed oil consumption is popular in Austrian/Hungarian cuisine, taking it in supplement form actually has been proven to assist with an overactive bladder for both men and women. Keep in mind that it may take up to 12 weeks to notice the effectiveness and you can find this supplement in pill form at your local vitamin store. I recommend taking the suggested dosage on the bottle for best results.
Using pumpkin seeds as a protein source is absolutely amazing in my opinion because they are an alkaline forming protein while a lot of other protein sources like meat or dairy are acid forming in the body. Acidic proteins are harmful because they pull essential minerals from your bones and cause other harmful reactions related to chronic diseases. Watch Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function
Minerals such as magnesium and potassium help to balance out our alkalinity while also helping our muscles to relax which is fantastic for reducing leg cramps in the evening. For this reason, I usually sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on my salad during dinnertime. You can even make a simple salad dressing with pumpkin seed oil, local honey or maple syrup and sea salt.
Additional Health Benefits
Pumpkin seeds also contain all of the amino acids including L-tryptophan, the hormone well known for helping with depression and anxiety.
According to many health professionals including those at the University of Maryland and the Boulder Colonic Center , the components of pumpkin seeds actually help parasites starve and die off within your intestinal tract. It is suggested that eating pumpkin seeds on a regular basis alongside a healthy diet rich in high fiber foods may significantly reduce parasites in your body. Now that’s a fantastic reason to eat these yummy seeds!
Check out these other health benefits (from Dr.Mercola):
Blood pressure reduction
Heart disease prevention
Anti-inflammatory (check out my previous article on these type of Foods )
Hormone balance for women
Cynthia’s Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups Raw Pumpkin Seeds
½ Tablespoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt or Celtic Salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne OR one small drop of DoTerra Rosemary oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Set aside the Coconut Oil in a medium sized bowl with sea salt and/or other spices
Bake 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds in the oven for 8-12 minutes
Mix warm pumpkin seeds in a bowl with your oil and spices.
Let cool & ENJOY!
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