Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nutritious Organic Pumpkin Seeds

Pictured are M-J's Favourite Pumpkin Seeds, by TERRASOUL
They're great freshly-ground and used as a salad-topper.
 "Pepitas", as they are called in Spanish, are delicious when toasted in a pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil and about a half-teaspoon of salt per cup. Stirred frequently with a wooden spoon, my pumpkin seeds were ready after ten minutes in a medium-hot cast-iron pan. 

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, iron, magnesium, omega-3s, are low in carbs, and three tablespoons of them contain eight grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds have properties that are used in an efficacious treatment for parasites. Storing ground pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator will preserve their freshness.

From George Mateljan's venerable website, "World's Healthiest Foods", here is the first paragraph of, and a link to, his article about Pumpkin Seeds:



Antioxidant Support

While antioxidant nutrients are found in most WHFoods, it's the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds that makes them unique in their antioxidant support. Pumpkin seeds contain conventional antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. However, not only do they contain vitamin E, but they contain it in a wide variety of forms. Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol are all forms of vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds. These last two forms have only recently been discovered, and they are a topic of special interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms. Pumpkin seeds also contain conventional mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese. Phenolic antioxidants are found in pumpkin seeds in a wide variety of forms, including the phenolic acids hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, protocatechuic, vanillic, and syringic acid. Antioxidant phytonutrients like lignans are also found in pumpkin seeds, including the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol.
Interestingly, this diverse mixture of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may provide them with antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food. For example, the pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) is known to be inhibited by pumpkin seed extracts, but not due to the presence of any single family of antioxidant nutrients (for example, the phenolic acids described earlier). Instead, the unique diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds is most likely responsible for this effect.