“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”
Well Linus, we agree with most of your famous statement, but we DO think it’s time we all started talking about just how great pumpkin seeds, one of our favorite brain-foods, truly is!
To get the facts straight, pumpkin seeds come from pumpkins, which belong to the gourd family and includes melons, cucumber and squashes. They are round, come in all sizes, are orange and awesome. And the best part of the pumpkin, of course, are the seeds themselves.
Here’s 5 reasons to crack open those orange gourds and go straight for the seeds inside, not just during Halloween, but year-round.
5 Reasons to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
1. They’re great for your brain
Pumpkin seeds are actually one of the most nutritious (and delicious) seeds to eat. They are a true brainfood containing Omega 3 and Omega 6, making them a smart snack for you and your kids. The Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their role in improving mental health, aiding memory and supporting healthy brain development.
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2. Calms your brain
The benefits of pumpkin seeds go well beyond just omegas. They contain a high amount of magnesium, which has a calming effect on the brain. Who doesn’t need a little zen during this time of year?
Food for thought: if your kids are going into orbit from Halloween sugar, consider throwing a few pumpkin seeds into the mix to get everyone’s feet back on the ground.
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3. They are high in zinc
Not only can you get your “zen” from these little nutritional powerhouses, you can also get your “zinc.” Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is mega-important for the healthy functioning of the brain, immune system, skin functions and more.
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4. Burn fat
Some studies show that pumpkin seeds even help burn fat. Given our country’s obesity rates, the seeds should be considered a year-round snack.
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5. Boost your immune system
Pumpkin seeds are extremely high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants can help strengthen your immune system and may reduce the risk of cancer and other dangerous diseases.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
As you and your kids get ready to carve that Halloween pumpkin in the upcoming weekends– don’t toss the seeds! Toast them, roast them, or grind them and make them sprinkleable, but don’t miss the opportunity to teach your kids about this awesome superfood.
You can sprinkle the seeds ground or whole on your favorite yogurt, along with raisins, fruit, honey, or even carob chips for a smart snack. Or grind them up extra fine and add them to any delicious smoothie.
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Pumpkin seeds taste great, are good for you, and are fun to make. So crack open your Halloween gourd and get to the good stuff…the seeds themselves!
Alexandra Buckley Voris and Maggie Jones Patton are co-founders of Bitsy’s Brainfood, a natural foods company committed to the idea that healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected and that learning to eat smart should be fun.
Featured image by jaxzin