By:  Amy Tribolini, MS, RD

Amy Tribolini currently works as both a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Instructor.  She lives, trains, and competes as an ultra-runner out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Amy specializes in fueling endurance athletes, athletic performance, and plant-based diets.  Amy holds both a Bachelors Degree in Dietetics and a Masters Degree in Human Nutritional Science from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Health Warrior brand ambassador.

 

One of the easiest grab-and-go snack options – pumpkin seeds – is making a huge splash among runners and athletes.  Pumpkin seeds are not only a good source of protein and healthy fats; they are packed with fiber, zinc, potassium and magnesium.  If you are seeking a nutritional edge this winter season, consider incorporating more into your diet. Take full advantage of these benefits with a Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bar.   

Magnesium
Magnesium plays a huge role in the body because nearly every cell requires it to function properly.  For runners it is especially important because it plays a critical role in energy metabolism as well as muscle contraction and relaxation.  The body cannot produce magnesium so you need to consume magnesium in foods daily.  When evaluating foods that are magnesium-rich, pumpkin seeds are at the top of the chart.   

Zinc
Running outside during the winter months can require some extra gusto on behalf of your immune system.  With cold and flu season surrounding us, getting enough zinc is important.  Zinc is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting off infections.  The less time you spend sniffling on the couch the more time you can spend training at a high level during these winter months.  

Potassium
When it comes to getting enough potassium, pumpkin seeds are a great way to bolster your intake.  Athletes deplete essential electrolytes like potassium through sweat and it is important to replenish these electrolytes or greater soreness and cramping can occur.  

Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Two big factors that can determine whether you feel full and satisfied after a meal are your fat and fiber intake.  Both fat and fiber slow down digestion and allow your body to absorb more nutrients.  Another great benefit is that these nutrients can help regulate and stabilize blood sugar.  Pumpkin seeds, a great source of both of fiber and fat, can be a healthy part of any athlete’s diet and help maintain a healthy weight throughout the holiday season.   

Find Pumpkin Seed Bars at healthwarrior.com. Find Amy on Instagram at @ultrarunningdietitian or email at tribolinia@gmail.com.