Halloween is upon us. Most likely, you’re either getting the family ready for trick-or-treating or getting yourself ready for a Halloween party. Either way, chances are you took the time to carve out a pumpkin this year. Before you just throw away all the gunk from the inside of the pumpkin, consider keeping the seeds for a tasty snack! Especially if you have kids.
Pumpkin seeds may not sound like the perfect snack, but they really are. Not only do they taste good, but they are actually very nutritious! Here are just a few of the benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Data
|Amount Per Serving:||1 oz.||(~85 seeds)|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat:||5 grams||7%|
|– Saturated Fat:||1 gram||5%|
|– Polyunsaturated Fat:||2.5 grams||*|
|– Monounsaturated Fat:||1.7 grams||*|
|Total Carbohydrate:||15 grams||5%|
|– Dietary Fiber:||5.2 grams||20%|
|Calcium:||5 grams (10%)||Iron:||0.94 mg (5.2%)|
|Magnesium:||74 mg (18.5%)||Sodium:||5 mg (0%)|
|Manganese:||0.14 mg (7%)||Copper:||0.19 mg (9.5%)|
|Potassium:||261 mg (7.5%)||Zinc:||2.92 mg (19%)|
|Phosphorus:||26 mg (2.6%)|
|Vitamin C:||0.1 mg (0.16%)||Thiamin:||0.01 mg (0.6%)|
|Vitamin B-6:||0.01 mg (0.5%)||Pantothenic Acid:||0.01 mg (0.16%)|
|Riboflavin:||0.01 mg (0.58%)||Niacin:||0.08 mg (0.4%)|
|Vitamin B-12:||0.0 μg (0%)||Folate:||3 μg (0.75%)|
|Vitamin A:||18 IU (0.3%)||Vitamin D:||0.0 IU (0%)|
|Tryptophan:||0.092 grams||Threonine:||0.194 grams|
|Isoleucine:||0.271 grams||Leucine:||0.446 grams|
|Lysine:||0.393 grams||Methionine:||0.118 grams|
|Cystine:||0.065 grams||Phenylalanine:||0.262 grams|
|Valine:||0.423 grams||Arginine:||0.864 grams|
|Histidine:||0.146 grams||Alanine:||0.248 grams|
|Glycine:||0.385 grams||Proline:||0.214 grams|
|Aspartic Acid:||0.531 grams||Serine:||0.246 grams|
|Glutamic Acid:||0.925 grams|
The Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
1. May Help Lower Cholesterol & Boost Immune System
A previous report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry focused on the amount of phytosterols contained in the most commonly consumed nuts and seeds in the United States. Pumpkin seeds landed pretty high on the list with 265mg in 100 grams. Phytosterols are a chemical structure found in plants that is similar to cholesterol. It is widely believed that phytosterols help boost your immune system and reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. In case you were wondering, pistachios and sunflower seeds topped the list as being the richest in phytosterols.
2. May Help Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds contain oil that is believed to interrupt benign prostatic hypertrophy, a common condition that can affect men over the age of 50. This condition is basically the enlargement of the prostate gland, commonly caused by the too much testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Additionally, pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc, another nutrient known to have a positive effect on prostate health. More research is needed to determine what role, if any, zinc plays when it comes to your prostate.
3. Protect Your Bones (Especially Men)
A previous study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a correlation between eating zinc foods and osteoporosis. The study looked at the dietary intake of zinc in 396 men. Researchers concluded that eating more zinc foods has a “positive association with bone mineral density” in men. As previously mentioned, pumpkin seeds have a high amount of zinc.
4. May Help With Arthritis
Another benefit of pumpkin seeds is that it may possess anti-inflammatory benefits for those with arthritis. While research is limited to only animal studies, researchers believe that pumpkin seeds can actually reduce inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritis, with none of the side effects that come along with prescription drugs. While these are very positive results, it would be wise to talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of pumpkin seeds versus the medicine you are already taking.
5. High in Protein, Minerals & Monounsaturated Fat
One of the most important health benefits of pumpkin seeds is the overall amount of nutrients they contain. They are high in many essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper and protein.
Recipes for Cooking Pumpkin Seeds
I would give you my recipe for cooking pumpking seeds, however, the ones below are much better. In fact, I may just try one of these this year. Below are links to five recipes for cooking pumpkin seeds.
- Oven Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Skillet Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Microwave Pumpkin Seeds
- Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Avocado Pumpkin Seed Salsa
If the above pumpkin seed recipes didn’t do it for you. Here’s a video that explains how to cook pumpkin seeds.
Video Tutorial: How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds
What are your thoughts on pumpkin seeds? Do you have a favorite recipe? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!