The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Written by Lexie Bennetts, Acupuncturist and Owner, Calm Spirit Acupunctureand Massage, Arvada, Colorado
After buying a pumpkin, most people would clean out the seeds, dispose of them, and keep the flesh, and that’s a terrible waste. Pumpkin seeds are not only edible; they’re incredibly healthy and make for a delicious snack. Pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, many nutrients, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They can help lower your blood pressure, bolster your immune system and help in preventing cancer.
The seeds are also rich in antioxidants, making them a powerful anti-aging addition to your diet. The high levels of iron and magnesium are incredible energy-boosters, making perfect for pre or post-workout snacking. They help prevent the formation of kidney stones and are an excellent source for zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
If that’s not enough, pumpkin seeds are useful at destroying tapeworms and roundworms, as well as boosting fertility levels.
Other benefits of pumpkin seeds:
Prevents constipation and promotes a healthy digestive system.
Prevents premature aging and promotes longevity.
Prevents kidney stones and osteoporosis.
Reduces the risk of cancer, prostate, and diabetes.
Reduces symptoms of asthma, arthritis, anxiety, and depression.
Reduces bad cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease and stroke.
Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Improves your brain function and memory.
Boosts immune system and bone density.
Boosts your energy and mood.
Preparing pumpkin seeds:
Clean the seeds – You have to clean the seeds meticulously until there are no signs of pumpkin guts. The best way to do this is to put the seeds & guts into a
big bowl of water and break it apart with your hands. The seeds will float to the top.
Let it simmer for 10 minutes in salt water – Put the clean seeds in boiled water with 1 tsp of salt and let it simmer for 10 minutes. This makes the seeds easier to digest.
Drain the seeds and dry them out – they don’t have to be completely dry, but it’s recommended.
Spread seeds on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil – Make sure they’re finely coated in oil and add a light sprinkle of salt. Then spread them and try avoiding the seeds from overlapping each other.
Roast seeds at 325 F for 10 minutes – Remove from oven and stir. Roast for another 8-10 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of roasting, open a few seeds to make sure that they’re not burning. Make sure they don’t brown.
Tips to remember:
When preparing a pumpkin, save the seeds.
Add chopped pumpkin seeds to cereal.
Make sure the seeds are dry when roasting them.
Add pumpkin seeds to smoothies.
Refrigerate in an airtight container when not consumed.
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