Halloween Superfood

PUMPKIN

Did you know that the name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’? Similarly, pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds. In fact, the average pumpkin contains about 500 seeds.

Today, let’s explore the outstanding nutritional profile of pumpkin seeds! Truly a yearlong superfood!

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually green in colour, semi flat and oval shaped. They have a pleasant nutty taste and a chewing texture.

Pumpkin seeds are most often roasted and do not need to be refrigerated. Their outstanding nutrition profile will have you running to the grocery store to incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.


Nutritional Profile

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering phytosterols and mono-unsaturated fats.

Pepitas are rich in antioxidants and the amino acid tryptophan, which converts to serotonin and melatonin to help with restful sleep.

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly high in magnesium (58% of daily requirement), which protects against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke.

Magnesium is one of the nutrients with the highest prevalence of inadequate intakes among Canadian adults (CCHS 2.2) along with vitamin A, vitamin D and calcium. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with chronic fatigue, increased muscle tension, insomnia and  possibly depression or anxiety. 

Read more about the role of magnesium in our bodies and food sources here.


1/4 Cup Pumpkin seeds
  • 189 calories
  • 9 grams protein
  • 60% of daily potassium requirement [helps control blood pressure, fluid balance, nerve and muscle functioning] 
  • 58% daily magnesium requirement [heart, nerve and muscle functioning]
  • 51% of daily phosphorous requirement [builds strong bones and teeth]
  • 32% daily zinc requirement [immunity, cell growth/division, sleep, mood]
  • 29% of daily iron requirement [carries oxygen throughout body]

Health Benefits
  • Prostate health
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Blood sugar control
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory effects for those with arthritis

Bottom Line

Pumpkin seeds are and extremely nutritious addition to your diet and support healthy body functions. As with other nuts and seeds, me mindful of portion size and stick to 1/4cup maximum for the day.

Idea! Packaged unsalted pumpkin seeds are a tasty treat for trick-or-treaters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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