Seriously good for you - Pumpkin Seeds


Zen Hands LogoThis often thrown out superfood is one of the best kept secrets there is.

Often labeled as Pepitas or in Chinese medicine as Nan Gua Zi, the seeds of a humble pumpkin are just packed to the roof with beneficial oils, minerals and other good properties.

This isn't that much of a surprise actually, like a lot of seeds, nature packs in a lot of goodness into them in an effort to help the little sprout and Pumpkin seedsseedling grow strong through it's early days whilst it's roots are immature.


Pumpkin seeds are:

  • Packed with energy to keep you feeling great throughout your day. This energy is mainly from mono-unsaturated fatty acids
  • Help keep your cholesterol down. The mono-unsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols keep your bad cholesterol (LDL) down.
  • Rich in cucurbitin, an amino acid with anti-parasitic properties.
  • They are packed with protein with 100g of seeds contributing 30g of protein.
  • They are depression fighters - an excellent source of brain's feel-good amino acids like tryptophan which is converted to serotonin and niacin. Important components of B group vitamins.
  • An excellent source of glutamate, another brain neurochemical that helps the brain dealing with stress and anxiety.
  • Very good source of the antioxidant vitamin E which prevents oxidative damage to skin and other cells. Approx. 35mg per 100g which is about double of our typical daily needs.
  • Excellent source of B group vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, and B-6.
  • Incredibly rich source of manganese with approx. 4500 mg per 100 g. This an important co-facto for developing resistance against infections and improving brain's cognitive functions.
  • Fight prostate damage by cutting down harmful hormonal effects on it's cells. Peppita extracts are often found in prostate cancer supplements.
  • Rich in Zinc which has a positive effect on bone density opposing osteoarthritis which has been linked to it's low levels.
  • Good for protecting and restoring bladder and urinary functions. Research shows that oil contained in the seeds can be of great help.


Tamari spiced Pepitas

Found inside most pumpkins these seeds can simply be scooped out with a spoon. If done with a little care this process will separate the seeds from the stringy vessels that attach them however they will mostly disappear in cooking.

  • Pop them in a lightly greased pan with a little oil and parsley.
  • As they begin to sizzle add a splash of Tamari or Soy Sauce and continue to sizzle on low heat until the sauce has thickened or even caramelised. be careful as it will suddenly burn once caramelised.
  • Take off heat and allow to cool tossing frequently if you wish to have them dry.

Enjoy alone or with other nuts in a trail mix, sprinkled over sandwiches and salads.

  • Alternatively, omit the tamari or soy sauces and continue stirring whilst sizzling till dry.

Sprinkle on your porridge along with fruit and other seeds for a power packed breakfast.

Sprinkle on your cold or warm salads to give them the extra goodness and energy

Should you have concerns about your digestion or other ailments please raise it at your next shiatsu consultation where I am happy to answer any questions.











Updated 10/7/2014

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