Halloween and October may be a great time of year for pumpkins, but don’t forget the pumpkin seeds. Their nutrition content is high, they are satiating and, not surprisingly they are paleo.
You can incorporate them into your diet all year round, whether you eat the pepita seeds plain, get a pumpkin seed oil supplement (what?) or make paleo pumpkin bars (did you know that you can buy raw pumpkin seed snacks too?)
OK, So what’s the nutritional content of pumpkin seeds?
Per 1 cup serving, you get:
- 12 grams of fiber
- 12 grams of protein
- 42% RDA of magnesium
- 16% FDA of potassium
- 11% RDA of iron
These are good-looking nutritional stats, but so what?
According to Mercola.com:
- The magnesium helps with bone formation and is beneficial for blood pressure
- Pumpkin seeds are one of the top sources for plant-based omega 3 fatty acids
- These seeds also contain tryptophan, which helps promote restful sleep
- Animal tests have shown the seeds to help regulate insulin levels
- Pumpkin seed oil to have anti inflammatory effects
- The oil is also rich in phytoestrogens, which can be beneficial to post-menopausal women
What about Raw vs Roasted Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds?
Both versions are good for you. However, one thing to keep in mind if you plan on roasting your seeds is that you want to roast them for less than 20 minutes. WHfoods.com states that roasting seeds for longer will change the structure of the fats, making them not as beneficial.
Because they are so nutrient dense and provide a variety of health benefits, it makes sense to incorporate these seeds into our diet on a regular basis. Because they are so portable and filling, they make great snacks. Let’s take a look.
Here is a unique recipe that reminds me of trail mix. It contains dried cranberries in addition to pepitas. You can make a bunch at one time and portion it into small bags for on-the-go snacks, yogurt or oatmeal toppings or simply eating when you need a quick snack. The recipe calls for sugar, but I use stevia instead or no sweetener at all.
You Mentioned Pumpkin Seed Oil…
Yes I did. This is actually fairly new to me. I didn’t know you could buy this until I started researching the benefits of pumpkin seeds. It’s available in capsule form and a 60-day supply costs only about $10.
It is promoted as supporting healthy prostate function. However, users have reported a variety of other beneficial side effects as well. Here are a few:
- Arthritis relief
- Memory improvement
- Better digestion
- Improved sleep
But Wait – There’s More Ways to Gain the Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Come Halloween and Thanksgiving time, most people think of adding a good ‘ol can of pumpkin, combine it with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and make pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream, cheesecake, pie and more.
What you can do instead (paleo style!) is use pumpkin seed protein powder to make nutritious and low carb breads, desserts and of course shakes. It mixes well and most people like the taste. It contains 9.5 grams of protein per serving, and you can check out the amino acid profile on the label online.