Pumpkin seeds are one of those dynamic foods that serve double duty when it comes to whole-food goodness.
Through their role of being one of the best natural sources of magnesium, these mighty seeds can protect against insulin resistance, reduce heart disease risk, and help to form and maintain healthy bones.
It’s also believed that their ability to help the body increase nitric oxide output supports heart health by expanding blood vessels which improves blood flow and reduces the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries.
And if preventing heart disease isn’t enough, improved nitric oxide production improves sexual function in males!
Pumpkin seeds also contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E which help to reduce inflammation and protect cells from free radical damage. They have also been shown to help reduce the risk of colon, lung, stomach, breast, and prostate cancers.
In addition, one study with 45 men and women showed that a 10g serving of pumpkin seed extract daily helped improve urinary function and symptoms associated with an overactive bladder.
They do contain phytic acid which can reduce the bioavailability of some nutrients, but this is easily remedied by soaking, sprouting, or lightly roasting before adding them to a meal or snack.
Whether seasoned or plain, whole or ground, pumpkin seeds make a great addition to roasted veggie dish or salad, but they are also wonderful in a healthy homemade granola mix or in a special treat like my easy pumpkin seed brittle.
No matter how you decide to enjoy them, they are a great way to add delicious and protective nutrition to your diet.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seed butter or any raw nut butter
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (optional or substitute with stevia or luo han)
- 2 tablespoons raw coconut oil
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Taste and adjust for desired sweetness.
- Press mixture into a wax paper lined baking dish.
- Score with a knife into 1.5-inch squares.
- Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours.