Grocery stores everywhere are pushing pumpkins! Even if you aren’t the jack-o-lantern type, don’t let the opportunity for fresh DIY pumpkin seeds (or seeds from any kind of squash) pass you by. Most store-bought pumpkin seeds are over-roasted and rancid, which destroys the healthy unsaturated fats (and thus, many of the healthy properties) in the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds provide us with a wide array of health-boosting antioxidants, whose rare combination allows them to offer us many unique benefits. Unlike other foods, these seeds offer a full spectrum of different vitamin E forms, some common and some rare and just discovered. This makes it easier for the body to absorb this important vitamin and antioxidant from pumpkin seeds than from other sources. They are also a rich source of several other antioxidant phytonutrients, offering immune boosting, disease fighting and anti-aging properties.
Pumpkin seeds are a minefield of vital minerals and nutrients, like magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and fiber. The World Health Organization highlighted pumpkin seeds as an especially good daily source of zinc, which is vital for strong immunity, wound healing, growth, brain health and eye health. They are also a good source of protein.
Like other raw nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are a great source of plant-based omega 3s. But while many people are highly allergic to nuts, pumpkin seed allergies are much less common, making them an excellent substitute — especially when you need a dash of nutty flavor or crunchy texture in healthy recipes, smoothies and nut-free spreads and dips.
Other health benefits of pumpkin seeds include protection from diabetes, microbial infections, post-menopausal issues, cancer and prostate problems.
Easy Recipe to Make Your Own Fresh, Health-Boosting Pumpkin Seeds:
2. Spread the seeds out on a sheet of parchment paper, and allow them to air dry overnight.
3. Spread the dried seeds out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in an oven set to 165 degrees fahrenheit, for no more than 20 minutes.
4. Enjoy them freshly shelled or, to get a higher dose of zinc, eat them with the shell still on.
5. Sprinkle them over oatmeal, use in a smoothie, or use them in delicious and healthy recipes.