Pumpkin seeds aka pepita in Mexico are the nutrient-rich edible seeds found inside the pumpkin. They are flat, light green, and oval-shaped.
The seeds from the oil are pressed to produce pumpkin seed oil. However, pumpkin seeds are also good for you.
This article will look at the benefits of adding pumpkin seeds to your diet, the best ways to add it to your diet, and the best brands of pumpkin seeds.
The Benefits of Adding Pumpkin Seeds to Your Diet
1. High Amounts of Zinc
Pumpkin seeds contain very high amounts of zinc. Zinc is required for the optimal functioning of the body’s immune system.
2. Heart Healthy Magnesium
Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium for healthy blood pressure and a healthy heart.
A ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds contains up to 20% of the daily recommended amount of magnesium.
3. Excellent Source of Protein and Fiber
Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. A 100 gm serving contains about 20% of the daily recommended value of both these nutrients.
4. Lots of Nutrients
Additional nutrients in pumpkin seeds include vitamin E, potassium, folate, and sodium.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Pumpkin seeds help reduce inflammation in the body, which counters the side effects of health issues such as arthritis.
6. Hair Growth Vitamins
There are good things in pumpkin seeds too when it comes to hair growth. Pumpkin seeds contain thiamine, niacin, iron, riboflavin & pantothenic acid.
Pumpkin seed oil is highly recommended for resolving hair growth issues in How to Grow Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils.
7. Improves Insomnia
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in more restful sleep.
If you suffer from insomnia, a handful of pumpkin seeds sometimes before bed can help you sleep better.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
- Eat pumpkin seeds as a snack. Either raw or roasted works fine. You can add a few taste enhancers such as Himalayan salt and spices before eating. You can also fry them if you like although this won’t be as healthy.
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds generously over salads. Keep in mind 100 gm of pumpkin seeds is around 570 calories.
- If you like making homemade granola, you can include pumpkin seeds in the recipe.
- After sautéing or grilling vegetables, you can sprinkle a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds over it before eating.
- You can also include pumpkin seeds in bread, muffins, bagels, and pesto.
- When I buy Thai food, I top with 2 teaspoons of roasted pumpkin seeds before eating. I love the crunchy flavor it gives the food.
Related Content: Protect Hair Follicles & Promote Shine with Pumpkin Seed Oil
How Much Pumpkin Seeds Should You Eat Daily?
3 – 3.5 tablespoons per day is recommended. These can be 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds alone or a combination of other types of seeds with pumpkin seeds.
Flax seeds and sunflower seeds are great to combine with pumpkin seeds.
The Best Pumpkin Seeds Brand
You can buy pumpkin seeds either raw or hulled. Whichever you choose, make sure they are certified organic such as below:
DIY Pumpkin Seeds at Home
If you have the time, you can prepare your own pumpkin seeds at home.
- Keep the seeds after scraping them out of the pumpkin.
- Separate the seeds from the pulp, rinse the seeds then shake dry while in a colander. Set aside. This video shows How to Clean Off Pumpkin Seeds.
- Spread the seeds onto a baking tray and lightly toss with olive oil and salt.
- Roast for 10 minutes at 325F.
- They’re ready to eat once cool.