Have you heard that good things come in small packages? Pumpkin Seeds, also known as “Pepitas,” are a fantastic example of that old proverb! With a wide variety of nutritional quality, these high-fiber seeds are a convenient, chewy snack with phenomenal benefits. A celebrated food among many Native American Indian tribes, Pumpkin Seeds were treasured for both their dietary and medicinal properties. They have been traced back as far as 1300 A.D. to the Aztec cultures who used them both as a ritual offering and as a staple food. Pepitas are a standard part of everyday cuisine in many parts of Europe, especially Greece. In the early 1800’s, herbal doctors treated urinary and gastric illnesses with these small powerhouses. The effectiveness of Pumpkin Seeds as a parasite remedy was so well observed via Native Americans that the United States Pharmacopoeia listed them as an official medicine in the early 1900’s.
Classified botanically as a fruit rather than a vegetable because it produces seeds, the Pumpkin is a Mexican native and can be found in most parts of the world today. Its low sugar content adds to the confusion and it is on the blurry line along with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Eggplants — other fruits that seem more like vegetables. Take a look with me at these ten ways that Pepitas NOURISH LIFE. Pumpkin seeds:
1. Are high in easily-digestible protein to stabilize blood sugar
2. Contain magnesium, as an essential mineral for all tissues of the body and often referred to as a “natural relaxant”
3. Provide a great source of energy boosting, blood-building iron
4. Have anti-inflammatory qualities
5. Are a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid in the form of alpha-linolenic acid which can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA when insulin is at healthy levels
6. Enhance sleep via their content of the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin and melatonin
7. Are an excellent source of digestive fiber
8. Help alkalize the body by raising pH
9. Lower cholesterol due to their sterol content
10. Are high in zinc, a mineral that provides immune support and prostate health
Pepitas NOURISH LIFE! There are even more benefits than are listed above. The key is to harness this crunchy, seed nutrition in a variety of delicious ways; I love to add them to my homemade granola. Put some in your car, backpack, or desk at work. START SOMEWHERE giving your body more of the real food that it was designed to thrive on. You can do it . I will help you!