Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are now consumed widely all over the world but are native to the Americas. The word “pepita” is consistent with this heritage, since it comes from Mexico, where the Spanish phrase “pepita de calabaza” means “little seed of squash.” Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food among many Indigenous/ First Nations tribes, who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties.
Pepitas truly pack the punch; these little seeds are antioxidant, antimicrobial and mineral powerhouses – which explains the valuable role they’ve played in natural medicine. Today Naturopathic Doctors use an evidence base to prescribe them as a part of treatment plans for conditions ranging from prostate issues, to testosterone deficiency, to parasitic infections, for skin health and frequently as whole foods based way of directly increasing mineral density in our patient’s diets.
Delicious ways to incorporate them into your diet:
- Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.
- Sprinkle on top of mixed green salads.
- Grind with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
- Add to your favorite hot or cold cereal.
- Add to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe, or sprinkle on top of muffins.
- Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.
Or try these these recipes to spice up the seeds for snacking.