It’s fall, which means it is pumpkin season. Every year, we cook several fresh pumpkins and we are left with a lot of seeds. Typically, we roast them with salt and olive oil, which is delicious. In honor of the fall harvest, today, I’m sharing the health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds with you.
According to health researchers, pumpkin seeds have the following health benefits:
High Magnesium Content
Pumpkin seeds have a high amount of magnesium. Half a cup of seed contain your daily recommended dose of magnesium. A lot of us are naturally low in magnesium (particularly women) because modern food sources have much fewer minerals than food in the past.
Tons of Zinc
Zinc is important during fall and winter because it is used to boost the immune system and is also used in cell growth and division. Pumpkin seeds have high levels of zinc. Half a cup of pumpkin seeds contain about 50 percent of your daily recommended intake for zinc.
Omega 3 Fats
Are you surprised to see omega 3 fats in pumpkin seeds? I was! Pumpkin seeds are high in ALA omega 3 fats, which are essential for brain health and metabolism.
Insulin Regulating Ability
According to a 2011 study published in the journal Climacteric, pumpkin seeds help with insulin regulation. During the study, women who regularly consumed pumpkin seeds had a decreased in cholesterol, diastolic blood pressure, and improved insulin regulation.
Other Mineral Benefits
Pumpkin seeds are also incredibly high in manganese, copper, and phosphorous. Half a cup of seeds gives you about 160 percent of the recommended daily intake of manganese, 100 percent of your phosphorus intake, and nearly 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of copper. Since many children and adults today are mineral deficient, eating pumpkin seeds is a tasty and easy way to maximize your mineral intake.
You can grow your own pumpkins and here’s a book that will help you with that and much more!
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Making your own roasted pumpkin seeds is easy.
- Rinse the seeds in a colander under running water to remove all pumpkin goo.
- Dry the seeds with a towel.
- Place the seeds in a bowl with about ½ a teaspoon of olive oil (or your favorite oil) per cup of pumpkin seeds. Add ¼ of a teaspoon of salt per cup of seeds.
- Toss the oil, salt, and seeds together.
- Place the seeds flat on a cookie sheet.
- Roast in the oven at about 300 degrees for about an hour until the seeds dry and just start to turn brown. Check the seeds every 15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. All ovens vary, so keep an eye on it!
- When the seeds are dry and golden, remove from the oven and eat! You can add extra salt at this point, if desired.
What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin seeds?
Need ideas of how to use the pumpkin itself?
- Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Pie in the Slow Cooker – with crust!
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Torte