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Pumpkin Seed Health Benefits

Why You Need to Snack on Raw Pumpkin Seeds ASAP

If you're not enjoying pumpkin seeds regularly, then it's time to start incorporating these little guys into your diet. While the seeds straight from the pumpkin are delicious — after they're roasted, of course — the more concentrated nutritional value comes from raw pepita seeds, the hulled, flat, green seeds you'll see in the bulk section of your supermarket. More than adding a seasonal flair to your favorite salad or bowl of yogurt, here are all the healthy reasons you should snack on pumpkin seeds as soon as possible.

They support weight loss: Raw pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and fiber, which work to fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer. Snacking on them raw is great when you're in a bind for time, but you can also enjoy them in the form of this cilantro-pepita pesto that's a delicious dip for baby carrots or that you can easily spread on some whole-grain crackers or sliced turkey.

They improve heart health: Rich in omega-3 anti-inflammatory acids, raw pumpkin seeds are a great plant-based source of these essential fats that support a healthy heart. But studies show it might go one step further; one recent pharmacology study found that pumpkin seed oil can lower your blood pressure.

They up your energy: According to Dr. Oz, magnesium might be the most overlooked yet most important mineral essential for our body's health, since it works to sustain our energy levels. Many women have a hard time getting enough magnesium in their diets, and raw pumpkin seeds might be the answer to this nutrient debacle. Just one half-cup of raw pepita seeds offers nearly 100 percent of your recommended magnesium for the day.

They promote better sleep: Pumpkin seeds are great plant source of L-tryptophan, a compound that helps your body produce serotonin, known to improve your mood and help you sleep soundly through the night.

Source: Thinkstock
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