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Now that Halloween is over, you’re probably wondering what you should do with all of those leftover uncarved pumpkins. Before you start heading to the curb with them, here is a little something for you to consider…
Did you know that pumpkin seeds are a phenomenal health food? They carry a wide variety of nutrients that range from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and even zinc! They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical-scavenging antioxidants which give your health that extra boost it often needs!
Best of all, pumpkin seeds can take care of that snack craving late in the afternoon and there is no need to feel guilty about eating them! They make an excellent snack whenever you are on the go or at home snuggled up on the couch.
Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium – a nutrient proven to regulate blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke.
Magnesium is also a major contributor to vital bodily functions, including the creation of energy molecules, proper bone and tooth formation, and proper bowel function.
Pumpkin seeds are also a very rich source of zinc. Just one ounce of pumpkin seeds contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral! Zinc is important to your body in many ways, especially immunity, cell growth and cell division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, skin and eye health, insulin regulation and male sexual function… just to name a few!
3. Heart & Liver Health
Those little pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibers that provide our heart and liver with the nutrients they need to function properly.
4. A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
The oil in pumpkin seeds has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effect. One study found that it even worked well as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat arthritis!
5. Restful Night’s Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of tryptophan - an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin, and then is converted into melatonin which is the sleep hormone. Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate (such as a small piece of fruit) may be especially beneficial for providing your body with the tryptophan needed to help you get that restful night’s sleep.
Who would have thought that those little pumpkin seeds could do your body so much good?! Whether you enjoy them raw or roasted, take care to save the seeds for a healthy snack this fall!