I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t NEED to splurge on that superfood salad to live your best life. I’m all about sharing the best diet hacks to help you live healthier by eating ultra-nutrient dense foods WITHOUT sacrificing your wallet... Which brings me to today’s post on pumpkin seeds! 🎃
So here’s why you should give pumpkin seeds a chance:
They’re super affordable and easy to find year-round & worldwide 🌎
These small green seeds are considered embryonic (aka they’re just like little plant embryos 🌱), meaning they naturally contain all the nutritional power the plant needs to sprout and thrive. This makes them little powerhouses of essential nutrients for us to enjoy 😊
Pumpkin seeds are really rich in much-needed micronutrients like copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A, E, and K 💪🏼
They help our bodies deal with the negative effects of stress (since one serving provides nearly 50% of your daily value of magnesium)
They’re an aphrodisiac (aka a natural mood-enhancer thanks to their high levels of serotonin & tryptophan which boost your brain’s dopamine levels) 🧠
They help your hair grow faster & healthier. 💁🏻♀️ Their richness in an amino acid called cucurbitin, combined with vitamin c, makes a killer combo for accelerating hair growth.
Since they're an incredibly rich source of zinc, they're antiviral and antiparasitic. That means that eating pumpkin seeds can boost your immunity and also help kill disgusting parasites (they're more common in adults than you'd think, especially if you often experience sugar cravings or chronic stress. More on that in another article).
How to eat pumpkin seeds
I always look for pumpkin seeds that are organic and unsalted and buy them in bulk (like this one).
On the go: They make for a nutritious breakfast when you're on the go. You can throw them into a little baggy and bring them with you to work.
Mid-adventure snacktime: They make a great snack while hiking too.
With your morning cup of jo: I like to eat a fistful on mornings I don't feel like making breakfast but still want to nibble on something.
A secret topping: A lot of people throw a handful into salads and savory meals, but what's great about pumpkin seeds is that they also taste great in sweet foods. I like to mix them into my bags of cereal and granola for a nutrient boost- the taste is so subtle I don't even notice I'm eating them.
Unshelled: My family is Persian and we tend to always have a bowl of shelled pumpkin seeds on hand for when we drink tea. It's amusing to put the shell between your teeth and break it open. It's almost like you're earning the right to eat them after putting in the work.
Dessert: Okay so this option ends up killing most of the nutrients BUT it's still healthier than most other dessert options (I will write an article about healthy dessert options later, stay tuned for that). Here's what you do: mix some sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle them on your unshelled pumpkin seeds before throwing them in the oven for 10-12 minutes on 365 F (180 C).
Savory appetizer: Similar to the dessert option, you can ovenroast the seeds with a savory spice mix with sea salt, fresh lime juice, and some cajun spices. Keep in mind again that you'll sacrifice the nutrients like this, but it's still a healthy-enough snack.