Pumpkin seeds — a.k.a. pepitas — are one of the best plant-based sources of zinc, making them a vital part of plant-based lifestyles.
Pumpkin seeds — shelled — are a beautiful green color, flat and oval. These are easy seeds to incorporate into your diet weekly, if not daily, for the flavor and nutrient density.
How to Use:
Use in smoothies, toppings for oatmeal, porridge, in granolas, muesli, sprinkled on salads, baked goods, in trail mixes, roasted as a snack, homemade nut butters, or homemade nut milk.
Nutrient Breakdown of Pumpkin Seeds:
*per 1 cup
Protein — 1 cup of pumpkin seeds contains 12g protein
Healthy fats — 1 cup of pumpkin seeds contains 12g fat
Iron — 12% DV
Magnesium — 42% DV
Potassium — 17% DV
Zinc | 44% DV
Copper | 22% DV
Manganese | 16% DV
Antioxidants — phenolic antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds not only taste great but have been shown to help with general antioxidant support, most notably from vitamin E. Most diets, the Standard American Diet, in particular, are low in minerals — pumpkin seeds are loaded with minerals and are great to incorporate often. Pumpkin seeds, oils, and extracts have unique anti-microbial benefits, from the lignans in these seeds. Pumpkin seeds have also been studied with anti-cancer benefits, cardiovascular benefits, decreasing blood pressure, benefits with benign prostatic hyperplasia (i.e. prostate enlargement).
Where to Purchase:
Health food stores, grocery stores, farmers markets, or online retailers. Go for raw and unsalted varieties, also unshelled varieties contain more zinc!
Tips and Tricks:
If purchasing seeds in bulk, store half in the freezer to keep from going rancid and keep the rest in the pantry for quick use.