If you aren’t sure what to do with all those pumpkin (and squash) seeds, here is an easy recipe to roast them that everyone will enjoy. These are so tasty even a four-year-old will gobble them down. Recipe follows…
But first, don’t overlook their amazing health-giving benefits. Dr. Mercola tells us that:
1.) They are full of Heart-Healthy Magnesium: One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, and relaxation of your blood vessels.
Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
2.) Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc: (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.
Many are deficient in zinc due to mineral-depleted soils, drug effects, plant-based diets, and other diets high in grain.
Note to Moms: Zinc deficiency is associated with increased colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor school performance in children, among others.
3.) Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats: Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA).
4.) They promote Prostate Health in Men: Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate).
6.) There are Benefits for Postmenopausal Women: Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.
7.) Pumpkin Seeds Improve Heart and Liver Health: Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.
8.) They Contain Tryptophan for Restful Sleep: Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.
9.) Have Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.
And I’ll add a 10th and 11th benefit!
10.) They are the most alkaline-forming seed.
11.) Pumpkin seeds are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.
How To Get Pumpkin Seeds Into your Diet:
To preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten RAW, and a tablespoon is all you need!
If you prefer to eat the seeds roasted, do it yourself so you can control the roasting temperature and time.
Spicy Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Raw Pumpkin Seeds (with most of pumpkin residue removed and patted dry)
- Honey (enough to lightly coat seeds)
- Ground Cayenne
- Himalayan or other natural Sea Salt
One 8″ Pumpkin yields about 2 cups.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, add cleaned and dried seeds and toss gently with just enough honey to coat them. Add several dashes sea salt and cayenne powder to taste. Toss well and spread out on cookie sheet. Pop it into a 170-225 degree oven until lightly golden and crispy (check and stir seeds occasionally to insure they don’t over-brown). You don’t want to destroy the healthy oils they contain.
Let it be said that this healthy snack is slightly addictive! Subtly sweet and richly warming to the mouth and body, these easy Spicy Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds will hit the spot on a chilly evening in front of the crackling wood stove or as a take anywhere snack. You just might want to grow your own pumpkins next year!
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison
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Thanks for reading!