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Pumpkin Seeds: A Healthy Snack?

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I love this time of the year, which our family celebrates with many traditions. We love dressing up for Halloween in themed costumes, look forward to annual pumpkin festival gatherings, choose perfect pumpkins for carving our festive Jack-o'-lanterns and are careful to collect the cream-colored seeds inside the pumpkins. Another family tradition of ours is to clean and roast the pumpkin seeds.

It is not easy work -- rinsing, separating them from the pulp, and laying them out to dry -- but when we smell that roasted, nutty smell coming from the oven, the effort seems worth it. When they are finally light golden brown in color, I know they are ready. Yes, another fun tradition, tasting the warm and salty seeds.

I have always thought that pumpkin seeds were a healthy snack but are they really?

Pumpkin seeds are edible kernels that are high in health benefiting antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, such as iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc. They are a source of high quality protein that includes all of the essential amino acids. They have also been suggested as possible treatments and preventions of many health issues.

As a versatile ingredient, they can be seasoned and baked for snacking or used in cooking and baking with many different recipes.

As I continued to research, I discovered something that I didn’t know. “According to Self Nutrition Data, 1 cup of dried, unsalted pumpkin seeds has 747 calories, with 530 of those calories from the 63 g of fat found in every cup. Even a single ounce meets 20 percent of the minimum daily requirement for fat.” (livestrong.com)

EEKKK! That scared me more than the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.
Still, as I continued my research, site after site listed the numerous health benefits of eating these crunchy little morsels.

So my conclusion is yes, pumpkin seeds are a good health source but for those of you who watch your calories, limit your amount of snacking.

Edited by Malu Banuelos

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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