There are very few ‘go to’ easy snacks that allow you to obtain over 10 different vitamins and minerals from in one simple handful. For years nuts alone have been high on the list for their essential fats and nutrients but it seems like seeds are now taking their turn in the limelight. We introduce the nutritional powerhouse known as ‘Pumpkin seeds’
These nutrient packed seeds are easy to carry, with no need to be refrigerated they can simply be put in a container and carried with you on the move. A simple way to ensure you get your daily intake of fibre and heart healthy essential fats. Choosing to buy them for your busy lifestyle should be an easy decision.
Health benefits for men. They have recently made it into the Top 3 foods men should be including in their daily diets. They are packed full of zinc which is one of the most important nutrients for men, not only does it aid the production of testosterone but promotes a healthy prostate. The essential fatty acids also promote good heart health in men.
Health benefits for women. There are over 9 known benefits to health, each one offering women the chance to boost our wellbeing. They can benefit heart, liver, offer immune support, they hold anti diabetic properties and support hormonal balance for post menopausal women; they have the health appeal to females of all ages.
What other nutrients do they contain? It’s hard to imagine such a small package can hold such a wide range of nutrients. Magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, zinc and more importantly they contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free radical finding antioxidants, all of which promise an added boost for health.
How can we consume them? Although they are great for a snack, they can also be used in a diverse range of ways. Many recipes encourage them to be roasted, added to salads, or soaked and sprouted; eaten in their raw form boosts our ability to better absorb the nutrients they contain. The biggest trend is to dehydrate them, making them crispy and more appealing to eat.
Cultivated from the bright orange flesh of the pumpkin, the seeds are extracted by dicing the flesh into chunks, breaking the outer husk, hulling, washing and finally packing ready for shipping. Although complicated compared to the cultivation of other nuts, engineering has made this process very efficient.
Pumpkin seeds originated in South America and they can be traced back as far as 1300 AD making them a very ancient nutrient rich food source for our ancestors. Ancient diets would have ordinarily included nuts, red meat and rice so seeds were an important source of vitamins and minerals.
Although they are still grown throughout the USA, in the last 10 years China have taken the lead as the biggest cultivators. China exported 6 million tonnes in 2014 with India and Russia following close behind. Cultivating them is deemed very profitable as they take up very little crop space; more and more countries are looking to see if their climate is suitable.
We are more often turning to nuts and seeds for a healthy snack alternative, our busy lifestyles dictating our diet choices. If we choose to buy pumpkin seeds we can be happy in the knowledge we are putting a wide range of nutrients into our bodies, which will not only improve health over the long term but ultimately combat many modern day illnesses.Their ability to promote good health for both men and women mean they are easy to introduce to the diet of all the family.