Pumpkin seeds: Benefits, nutrition & recipes
Pumpkin picking, pumpkin carving, pumpkin spiced lattes: every October, the UK goes pumpkin crazy. But the humble pumpkin has more to offer than just Halloween spirit: nutrient-packed pumpkin seeds.
Nope, these super seeds aren’t just for tearing out off a freshly carved pumpkin. Packed with immunity-supporting, sleep-boosting and health-protective nutrients, they deserve a place in your everyday diet.
Here's everything you need to know about this super seed, including their health benefits, nutrition facts and simple recipe ideas to help you get more of them into your everyday diet.
Pumpkin seeds 101
Pumpkins were one of the earliest cultivated foods of the Western Hemisphere. Dating back to around 3500 B.C, both the flesh and seeds were a diet staple for many Native American tribes.
Nowadays, most commercially available pumpkin seeds are grown without the hard outer shell and are sourced from China. This means they’re dark green, broad, flat and prone to bitterness.
But our Greek pumpkin seeds are grown in the shell. Once de-hulled, they’re narrow, plump and much lighter in colour, which results in a beautiful mild taste and a much softer texture.
Pumpkin seeds nutrition
Two tablespoons (around 28g) of pumpkin seeds contains approximately 128 calories, 13g fat (of which only 2g is saturated) and 1.7g dietary fibre.
They’re packed with plant-based protein, too – an impressive 7g per 2 tbsp, including all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs.
That same two tablespoons provides 190mg magnesium (50% NRV) of magnesium, 2.52mg zinc (25% NRV) and 260mg potassium (13% NRV). They’re a great source of iron for vegans and vegetarians, with 2 tbsp providing 2.84mg (20% NRV).
NRV = Nutrient Reference Value (EU guidance on the daily amount of a vitamin or mineral that the average healthy person needs to prevent deficiency)
Pumpkin seeds health benefits
Health benefits that’ll make you think twice about chucking away the seeds after carving this year’s pumpkin…
1. Lowers cholesterol & supports heart health
High cholesterol levels may increase your risk of heart disease, as well as stroke.
But pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of unsaturated fats; particularly alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which can positively influence cholesterol levels. Purition contains an average of 1.85g of heart-healthy ALA per serving – over 90% of your daily ALA requirement.
Studies show that pumpkin seed oil may reduce high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of antioxidants, as well as magnesium and zinc, which all support a healthy heart.
2. Improves sleep
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant sources of magnesium, a mineral that may improve sleep quality.
Magnesium can make it easier to fall asleep by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which creates feelings of relaxation. It also regulates melatonin, the hormone that controls your natural sleep-wake pattern.
A 40g serving of pumpkin-seed-packed Purition contains up to 30% of your daily magnesium requirement. And that’s not all! Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone.
The body can then convert serotonin into sleep-boosting melatonin. That’s why numerous studies show that increasing your intake of tryptophan can significantly improve sleep quality!
3. Reduces disease risk
Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E, which reduce inflammation and protect our cells from disease-causing free radicals.
This can lower your risk of chronic disease, including some types of cancer. In fact, studies show that diets rich in pumpkin seeds are associated with a decreased risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers.
Pumpkin seeds are also high in lignans. Lignans reduce the body’s production of estrogen, which studies have linked to breast cancer prevention.
Sesame, sunflower, chia and flax seeds are also rich in health-protective antioxidants. The good news? You’ll find all of them in your daily Purition!
4. Improves blood sugar control
Studies show that pumpkin seeds can reduce blood sugar, which can be especially helpful for those with type-2 diabetes. This may be due to pumpkin seeds’ high magnesium content, which plays a role in the body’s ability to secrete insulin.
Magnesium can also help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the first place. So much so, that an observational study found that magnesium-rich diets were associated with a 33% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in men and a 34% lower risk in women. If you have type-2 diabetes or suffer from blood sugar crashes, Purition can help.
All of our flavours are naturally low in carbs and sugar to support blood sugar balance. According to our own tests and plenty of positive customer feedback, Purition has a negligible impact on blood sugar levels.
5. Supports the immune system
The rich nutrient content of pumpkin seeds can help to support the health of your immune system.
They are high in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that helps cells fight off infection and protect cells from free radical damage. They’re also packed with zinc, a mineral that helps the immune system to ward off bacteria and viruses and can help to keep inflammation under control.
And that’s not all! Pumpkin seeds also have natural antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which may help to boost your body’s natural defences.
How to eat more pumpkin seeds
So now you know about pumpkin seeds' impressive health benefits, how do you get more of them into your diet? It's easy with these simple serving suggestions...
- Eat a handful as a snack - they're tasty as they are!
- Sprinkle them on salads, roasted or unroasted
- Blend them into smoothies (blend for at least 30 seconds)
- Add them to guacamole or hummus
- Grind them up and add to homemade burgers or meatballs
- Roll them into energy balls or make pumpkin protein bars
Enjoy pumpkin seeds in Purition
The easiest way to make Purition a part of your everyday routine? By enjoying a daily glass of Purition.
Purition is a nourishing whole food meal made of seeds and nuts: whole ground golden linseed (flax), sunflower kernels, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, whole chia seeds and sesame seeds.
That means protein, nourishing fats, digestion-boosting fibre and vitamins from real food, not chemicals, in every shake. Enjoy it for breakfast or lunch daily to change your diet for the better – and boost your long-term health and immunity – with very little effort.
Our pumpkin seeds are grown in Northern Greece, where they’ve been grown and harvested for thousands of years. They grow in an area with well-irrigated, clean, pure and fertile soil and a mild Mediterranean climate – simply put, they’re the best of the best!
We’re passionate about farm-to-table traceability, which is why we’ve visited, and are on first name terms with, our pumpkin seed supplier. This means we can follow the crop’s progress all the way from field, to pumpkin, to shake!
What you should do next...
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