This is the season to buy pumpkins: whether it is to put on your front step or to cook and bake with. But, what about the seeds found in these pumpkins? The whole seed is edible including the cream shell, or hull as well as the dark green kernel found inside the shell. The kernel contains mostly fat and protein, while the outer shell contains mostly carbohydrate. Now, let’s look at the health benefits of these seeds and how we can eat them.
They have been shown to have antioxidant properties. The vitamin E found in these seeds helps decrease the risk of certain cancers.
Improves immune function because of the mineral zinc found in these seeds.
Improves mood and sleep. This is due to the L-tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds, which is used in melatonin and serotonin production.
They show anti-microbial properties, also including anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
They help regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure due to magnesium content.
How to eat them
You can eat the seeds by simply washing them and air drying them. Or after washing, you can spread them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes on 200-degrees. If you prefer flavour then add a bit of oil and your preferred spices and bake them at the same temperature for another 10-15 minutes. However, if you only want the kernel then crack the shells using a rolling pin. Then add them to boiling water, which will crack open the shells and release the kernels. Take the kernels out and dry them.
Breyer, M. (2014, October 17). 7 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. Retrieved from: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/7-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds