I love pumpkins as much as the next person.
They make amazing pies and breads and side dishes.
But pumpkins are particularly useful for something far greater: they are powerhouses of nutrition.
And the nutrition is packed into a tiny, delicious package: the pumpkin seed!
You see, pumpkin seed protein is extremely high in protein and contains a wonderful combination of nutrients, fatty acids, and amino acids.
That protein means it makes a great supplement to any diet to help you achieve a higher protein macro-nutrient ratio.
And while I believe firmly that the vast majority of your protein should come from animal sources, plant based protein is also important and useful and can help you make up the difference if you find it hard to stomach as much animal-based protein or are very limited in your budget.
Research continues to show that mid-higher protein diets provide many health benefits and help maintain a healthy weight, which is (of course!) individual to each person.
Pumpkin seeds may also help balance insulin levels, making them an ideal snack for women with PCOS.
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, in fact their one of nature’s best sources, and the high levels of zinc are also important for proper system function.
Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan which helps our bodies produce more serotonin. Combine that with the magnesium and you’ve got a virtual happy-pill in a yummy little capsule.
Pumpkin seeds are high in ALA (which converts to DHA and EPA in the body) and is an important Omega 3 fatty acid.
As with protein, it’s important to get most of your Omega 3’s from meat based sources (like wild-caught salmon) as those are much more bio available to us for a variety of reasons. However, I find that including plant-based Omega 3’s in the form of some flax seeds and pumpkin seeds is very helpful for many women.
The high fiber content in pumpkin seeds aids digestion and may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties!
There’s a lot to love about pumpkin seeds, but I find that few people actually think about them as a snack. I see a lot of people reaching for almonds or cashews even though pumpkin seeds have them beat in many ways!
But the key with any new supplement is how to take it. Here are my suggestions for the best brand to buy and the best sources of these important nutrients.
Pumpkin Protein Powder
Made with only organic pumpkin seeds, this powder is a perfect supplement to your morning shake or smoothie. If you are into drinking your proteins, this is a great option. Pumpkin protein is also a MUCH better choice than whey protein, pea protein or many of the other vegan proteins on the market for those with sensitive stomachs or who are working to improve gut health.
I love organic, raw pumpkin seeds for snacking on. They’re also great roasted with salt or even a little bit of honey or cinnamon. But honestly, I just munch on these when I’m feeling hungry and in between meals. They are really filling with all that protein, fat, and fiber.
I love butters of all kinds. If you’ve read my post on all the best butters (find it here) you probably already know that. And pumpkin butter is no different. It doesn’t exactly taste like pumpkins! But it does taste smooth, creamy, and goes great in baked goods, smoothies, and mixed with different flavors.
I hope you guys enjoy some pumpkin protein this week! Hope you love it! Leave me a comment and let me know how you like to eat yours, any product or brand recommendations or recipes!