10 Oct 3 Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds
We’re full swing into fall! Pumpkin spice everything is everywhere and Halloween is coming up, so I thought I’d take the chance to let you know about some of the awesome perks of adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
In general, nuts and seeds make great snacks that are not only tasty, but also deliver great nutritional value. So before you carve your pumpkin and throw out the seeds this year, consider their benefits to your health!
Because pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, protein, and healthy fats (to name a few), they can help to:
- Support the Immune System
Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which is valuable to the immune system. This mineral helps in the creation and function of immune cells which not only help to fight infection when you’re feeling symptomatic, but also help to fight off infections before you feel sick!
- Improve mood and sleep
Pumpkins seeds contain an amino acid (protein building block) called tryptophan – yup the same one found in turkey! In the body tryptophan is used to make serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain associated with feeling happy. Serotonin is also used to make melatonin which is the hormone which helps us to fall asleep at night.
- Regulate hormones
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fibre and phytoestrogens which help to regulate estrogen levels. It’s important to have enough estrogen for heart health, fertility, and healthy bones but having too much estrogen can leave you feeling moody, bloated, and suffering from painful cramps.
Pumpkin can be can be enjoyed whole or ground. Ground seeds can be easily made in a coffee grinder or specialized blender and can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, stews, etc…
How to roast pumpkin seeds
- Remove seeds from pumpkin, clean and dry thoroughly (may need to leave to dry overnight)
- Add olive oil and your favourite spices
- Bake at 300F until light golden brown (45min)
- Cool and eat 🙂
Dr. Catherine Newry, ND