I blogged about the benefits of pumpkin once before and shared my recipe for pumpkin butter, but pumpkin seeds also top the list of the 150 of the Healthiest Foods, making pumpkin a double-hitter! Pumpkin seeds are great for prostate health, which is ironic because I just posted Tuesday about the benefits of Flaxseed on prostate health!
This must be men’s week on the 150 Healthiest Foods in the World Challenge!
Not only will pumpkin seeds help prevent prostate cancer and that annoying little habit that happens to men over the age of 40, going to the bathroom multiple times at night. But, drumroll please, pumpkin seeds can also help prevent against hair loss (again, same as flax seeds.) You can thank the chemical cucurbitacins for this benefit, as they help curb production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is partially responsible for hair loss.
Women, don’t be discouraged, pumpkin seeds also hold a whole host of benefits for you too. Pumpkin seeds are high in phytostrol, which has been shown to lower cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of minerals, including magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. They also have manganese, which is a trace mineral essential for growth, reproduction, peak brain function, wound healing and the proper metabolism of sugar, insulin and cholesterol.
My favorite way to eat pumpkin seeds is in my homemade trail mix. I go to The Fresh Market and get almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts and then I mix it up at home with some dark or white chocolate chips. Yum! Sometimes I will mix in dried cherries, but I do that immediately upon serving because I find that if I store the nuts with the dried fruit, the nuts will get soft.
I also love to roast fresh pumpkin seeds in the fall when we carve our pumpkin. All we do is scoop out the seeds and rinse them off really well. We then lay them out on paper towels to dry overnight. The next day I toss them in some olive oil and salt and then roast them in a slow oven for an hour. Delicious!
Have you ever had pumpkin seeds? Do you like them?