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By Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Pumpkin’s claim to fame may have been by way of the pumpkin spice latte, but this gourd deserves much more attention—and for good reason! Carve up that pumpkin this year, and whatever you do don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds! These tiny seeds are packed with big nutrition! Pop pumpkin seeds all fall long for healthy dose of key nutrients like magnesium, zinc, protein, fiber and more.
A Wealth of Nutrition
- Aids in muscle relaxation
- Optimizes blood flow
- Improves sleep quality
- Reduces risk of disease
The green variety of pumpkin seeds, called pepitas, Spanish for: “little seeds of squash,” are found in certain varieties of pumpkins. You can find pepitas year round in your grocery store’s bulk section, or in Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars! The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds makes them a great snack after a run on a chilly fall day. The body needs magnesium for muscle relaxation and optimal blood flow, and pumpkin seeds are an extremely concentrated source, coming in at about 50% of daily magnesium needs per cup. Magnesium also plays a role in the physiological functions of the brain, and heart. Some experts suggest that magnesium also helps improve sleep quality, and reduce the risk of disease. The bottom line is, you don’t want to miss out on this nutrient, and pumpkin seeds are a great way to get more of it!
- Builds and repairs tissues
- Building block of muscle, bones, cartilage, skin
Pumpkin seeds also pack protein, making them a great choice for vegans, vegetarians and anyone looking for a plant-based source of protein. Incorporating them into your diet will help to keep you fuller longer.
- Normalizes bowel movements
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Aids in maintaining healthy weight
One cup of pumpkin seeds contains 8 grams of fiber, which most of us don’t get enough of. So grab a handful, or a Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bar between meals to keep hunger at bay, and digestion running smoothly.
- Aids in serotonin production
- Aids in quality sleep
- Reduces headaches
If the changing of the seasons has you in a slump, snack on pumpkin seeds. They contain the amino acid tryptophan — the same one found in turkey — which aids in serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical known to boost your mood and produce an overall good feeling in the brain and body.
Once you’ve carved your pumpkin, roast the seeds in cinnamon, or go for a spicier combination like black pepper and turmeric. Black pepper helps increase your absorption of turmeric (and anti-inflammatory agent that increase the antioxidant capacity of the body). Bonus that they will come out speckled black and orange! Now you know the extra nutritive genius behind Health Warrior’s Honey Cracked Pepper with Turmeric flavor!
Salads, yogurt bowls, oatmeal, smoothies, and more! What can’t you put pumpkin seeds on?! Top foods with pumpkin seeds for a crunch, and boost of added nutrition. I feel good putting them on just about everything knowing I’m getting an extra dose of protein and fiber with every bite! Toast them in the oven to bring out a rich, nutty flavor that makes them great for adding to savory dishes like soups, pasta, and pesto.
So “pump” up your foods this fall, and all year long by adding pumpkin seeds to reap their nutritional benefits. Fuel your inner warrior with the vitamins and minerals found in these mighty seeds, and grab a Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bar when you’re on the go to keep you fueled up and ready for the season’s activities!
Ready to take take advantage of all these health benefits? Use code SPOOKY at healthwarrior.com for 30% off your order. Shop now!