Pumpkin Seeds Aren’t Just For October…
Those seeds that you typically toss out of the mushy insides of your jack-o-lantern
are actually considered some of the world’s healthiest foods. You may see pumpkin
seeds labeled as “pepitas”, which is consistent with their heritage from Central and
South America. The phrase pepita de calabaza is translated as little seed of squash.
Additionally, many Native American tribes praise pumpkin seeds for their
nutritional and medicinal properties. As you are shopping for pumpkin seeds today,
don’t be surprised if the package says pepitas.
Pumpkin Seed Pro Tip: When searching for pumpkin seeds at the store, you will find
them in their natural state without a shell. Many times when pumpkin seeds are
roasted at home we leave the shell on. The shell-free seeds are green in color and
There are many science-based reasons why incorporating these powerful seeds into
your diet is beneficial:
Pumpkin Packed Nutrients: Though they are small, pumpkin seeds are packed full
of nutrients. They contain vitamin K, phosphorous, manganese, iron, zinc, and
magnesium, just to name a few. Additionally, these are a fantastic plant-based
protein source with approximately 7 grams per 1 ounce serving.
Reduced Cancer Risk: Due to the high level of antioxidants such as carotenoids and
vitamin E, a diet rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduction in
cancer risk. Cancers including stomach, lung, breast, prostate, and colon were found
in this risk reduction association.
Prostate & Bladder Health: Consuming pumpkin seeds have been linked to
improving the quality of life of those with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH
is a condition that causes the prostate gland to enlarge which can cause difficulty
urinating. Additionally, consuming these seeds can assist with treating overactive
Natural Source of Magnesium: Americans struggle to get the adequate amount of
magnesium in their diets. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of this
mineral. Magnesium can assist with controlling blood pressure, reducing heart
disease risk, maintaining healthy bones, and regulating blood sugar levels.
Sleep Well: Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of tryptophan. You may have heard
of this amino acid associated with that tired feeling you get after eating turkey on
Thanksgiving. Tryptophan has been scientifically linked with promoting better
sleep. Although these seeds are a natural source of this amino acid, you would have
to consume a large amount to achieve the necessary amount of tryptophan.
However, the zinc and magnesium in the seeds have been associated with improving
Pumpkin seeds are a highly nutritious food that can help your body be protected
against various health issues. There are many easy ways to incorporate them into
your diet. Some individuals choose to eat them plain as a snack or add them to a trail
mix. At FreshVibes you will find them on our Vibin’ Veggie Salad!
Here’s a simple recipe to help you incorporate them into your everyday lifestyle…and great for a healthy & easy kids treat…
*Parent tip: Want to get your kiddo trying healthy snacks and foods? Get them in the kitchen with you and let them have a part in making their healthy treat. Also, talk with them about the benefits of incorporating certain foods into their life. From experience, we have found that letting kids be hands-on in the kitchen will have them excited to try out their newest creation 🙂