Pumpkin seeds are the flat, dark-green, edible, peeled seeds of pumpkin. They are chewy and have a subtle sweet, nutty flavor. Pumpkin and its seeds are native to Americas where they are known as Pepitas. From ancient times, they have been a treasured food for their dietary and medicinal properties.
These seeds are a natural source of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and amino-acids. The seeds contain good amounts of essential minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
They are a highly-nutritive snack that help keep our metabolism running smoothly and maintain hormone balance while also keep us satiated for longer periods of time. The seeds are also rich sources of fiber and therefore promote good digestive health.
The kernels are especially rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid that helps lower bad LDL-cholesterol and increases good HDL-cholesterol in the blood.
Since, these seeds are a rich source of zinc they build our immunity, promote cell growth and division, have a positive influence on our sleep, mood, senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health and insulin regulation.
Pumpkin seeds can be boiled, baked, sprouted or eaten raw. They can be added to any salads, stir fried vegetables or munched like a snack. They blend well with many desserts like kheer, phirni, halwas, cakes. You may even try out our recipe of pumpkin seed tea. It is a rich source of phytosterols and anti-oxidants that give our health a definite boost.
- Contain good quality fats and proteins
- Good source of antioxidant vitamin E
- Good source of B-complex group of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin
- Rich in minerals like zinc and magnesium
While buying pumpkin seeds, stay away from the salted variety and opt for the plain roasted ones. The former would end up adding too much unnecessary sodium to your diet.
Store them in airtight containers in refrigerators for a longer shelf life otherwise they tend to turn rancid.