You Say Pumpkin, I Say Pepita
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT throw those pumpkin/pepita seeds in the trash! Those babies are Zinc and Magnesium powerhouses! Zinc: If you have a gastrointestinal disease affecting mineral absorption or retention, increase zinc in your diet. Zinc assists in physical immunity, cell division and metabolism, and protein and DNA synthesis. Magnesium: Getting enough magnesium, like calcium, maintains healthy muscle and nerve function and blood pressure. Magnesium regulates heartbeat and blood sugar levels, and supports the immune system. Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet now can help you to avoid hypertension, diabetes and heart disease as you age. Need more convincing? Here’s a study about the role of Zinc and Magnesium and treatment for depression; “Preclinical studies demonstrated antidepressant activity of zinc and magnesium in a variety of rodent tests and models of depression and suggest a causative role for zinc and magnesium deficiency in the induction of depressive-like symptoms in rodents” (Abstract).
And this is one food that when it’s roasted has more protein. They are noted for their role in prostate health. They contain chemicals called cucurbitacins which are believed to interfere with a testosterone metabolic by-product called DHT. DHT is partially responsible for hair loss and benign prostate hyperplasia (pee problems!).
So, what should you do? Eat them! Here’s a great recipe with easy directions on how to roast them.
Another one that I’m DYING to try, but will have to wait until my dairy sabbatical is over is Pepita Salad.
I will most certainly be trying this Pepita Cilantro Dressing however! I am going to say that it contains a lot of oil, and I usually add oil near the end and I DO NOT start with the recommended amount. I will also substitute mayonnaise with vegenaise. I’ll keep you posted!
So get carving and get creative!