Carving pumpkins is a fun fall activity but you may find yourself with a lot of pumpkin insides and seeds that end up in the trash or compost. So before you toss the extras, pick out the pumpkin seeds and give them a rinse and throw them on a roasting pan. Add some himalayan sea salt, grass fed butter, coconut oil, ghee or olive oil and roast them at 325* for about 30 minutes, stirring often until brown.
Why eat pumpkin seeds? They are packed with a ton of phytonutrients!
1) Magnesium has been shown to benefit keeping your blood pressure within a normal range and help prevent heart attacks and strokes, yet an estimated 50 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral. 1
2) Zinc is vital to optimal immune system function, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health. Many are deficient in zinc and this can lead to increased colds and flu, depression and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/fibromyalgia.
3) Tryptophan; Pumpkin seeds are rich in this amino acid. Your body converts tryptophan into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin. It could be helpful to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed to improve sleep. 2
4) Omega-3 fatty acids; Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). Omega-3s "are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions." 3
U.S adults are not meeting the required daily intake of omega-3s. This is an easy way to increase that intake! 4