If you are interested in using pumpkin for healthy recipes, don’t forget about the seeds! Also called pepitas, pumpkin seeds contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, are low in fat, and are great for having as a snack or putting on salads. Here are some things to know about pumpkin seeds backed by our functional medicine Los Angeles experts.
They Are Loaded with Health Benefits
Pumpkin seeds, like the flesh of a pumpkin, have a lot of vitamins and minerals. They are delicious and wonderful to have in the fall but don’t forget they are also really good for you. Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of magnesium, which is a type of electrolyte that is good for overall health. Some other nutrients include:
- Zinc, which helps with your immune system and boosts male reproductive health
- Fiber to help with digestive health and weight loss
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Nutrients that help with your prostate and sleep better
You Can Roast Your Own Seeds
While you can buy pumpkin seeds, either salted or unsalted, in grocery stores and health food stores, they are also easy to make at home, as recommended by our Sherman Oaks Functional Medicine professionals. This is ideal if you are already roasting your own pumpkin to use in recipes or to make your own pumpkin puree. When you cut open the pumpkin and remove the guts, save them so you can roast your own seeds.
To make your pumpkin seeds, start by separating them from the guts of the pumpkin, placing them in a colander, and rinsing them really well. Make sure they are completely rinsed with no guts stuck to them. Put the seeds on a paper towel so they can dry a little. If you are planning on seasoning them with salt or other seasoning, you might want to add the seasoning while they are still wet so it sticks. But you can also coat them with oil, then add the seasoning.
To get started, our functional medicine Burbank professionals at Functional Medicine Los Angeles suggested turning your oven to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and roasting it for 15 minutes. Try to avoid more than 20 minutes, or you might roast out the nutrients of the seeds. Remove them from the oven and store how you like.
Ways to Use Pumpkin Seeds
Our functional medicine Studio City doctors also recommended that the simplest way to add more pumpkin seeds to your diet is to eat them as a snack. Grab a handful and munch on them when you’re feeling a little hungry. You can also top salads, soups, and chilis with the seeds or grind them up to add to various baked recipes as well.