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

oval shaped.

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

bladder symptoms.

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

sleep health.

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 🙂

Healthy No Bake Superfoods Breakfast Cookies