National Healthy Snack Month, Day 5 – Pumpkin Seeds
Our mission to swap out junk food snacks for heathy snacks during National HEALTHY Snack Month continues. For March 5th we are suggesting you pass by the Snicker’s bar (yeah, I know how great they taste and the feeling of that fast sugar buzz) and grab a bag of pumpkin seeds instead. I actually had to force myself to do that today while in Trader Joe’s.
Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food among many Native American tribes, who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties. In South America, the popularity of pumpkin seeds has been traced at least as far back as the Aztec cultures of 1300-1500 AD.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Most natural unprocessed foods provide anti-oxidant support but pumpkin seeds deliver anti-oxidants in a unique way. For example, they contain vitamin E but unlike many other foods containing vitamin E, they contain it in a wide variety of forms: Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol. Pumpkin seeds contain a diverse mixture of antioxidants may provide antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food. Pumpkin seeds to be a very good source of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and copper and a good source of the minerals zinc and iron.
Research indicates eating pumpkin seeds can be useful in the prevention or treatment of diabetes. They are also known for their anti-microbial activity including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
I’ve seen quite a few articles about various health benefits of pumpkin seeds. I would love to go into them all, but my goal here is just to encourage as many people as I can to take the challenge this March during National Healthy Snack Month and reach for healthy snacks instead of sweets, pastries or greasy snacks. It doesn’t take much learning on our parts to decide whether the bag of cheese puffs or the bag of pumpkin seeds will do our body more good!
I’ve posted some links below for storage containers that might help you pack along some of these healthy foods.