Seeds are a good source of many minerals and ‘healthy’ fats.
They are the ‘eggs’ that contain all of the nutrients needed to nourish the growth of a new plant, therefore it’s not surprising that they are so good for us.
Pumpkin seeds, otherwise known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds (sometimes incased in a yellow-white husk), they have a chewy texture, with a sweet, nutty flavour.
Nutritionally pumpkin seeds contain fibre, iron, manganese, magnesium, omega-3, omega-6, phosphorus, phytosterols, potassium, protein and zinc, to name but a few.
Associated health benefits
Studies suggest pumpkin seeds have various health benefits. These include, lowering cholesterol levels, relieving symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and preventing the formation of kidney stones.
It is however, important to remember that health and wellbeing is not associated with one particular food, or group of foods.
Pumpkin seeds can be very beneficial as part of a healthy balanced diet, however more scientific studies need to be carried out to confirm specific health claims.
A serving is roughly 1 tablespoon (10 grams).
Pumpkin seeds are high in calories, therefore limit your serving to a small amount each day.
Suggestions for adding to your diet
You can add pumpkin seeds to a wide variety of dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sprinkle on top of roasted vegetables
- Mix through leafy salads
- Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing
- Add them to homemade beef or chicken burgers
- Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your cereal or porridge
- Include in your baking recipes, for example oatmeal cookies