I recently was introduced to Austrian Pumpkin Seeds (a.k.a Styrian pumpkinseed) and instantly fell in love with them and had to share! When eaten in the right amounts, these tiny seeds are packed full of an abundant amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids and fiber that nourish your body, satiate your appetite and keep you healthy.
What’s The Difference:
The three main differences between them are:
• North American pumpkin seeds have a white shell where as Austrian pumpkin seeds do not have a shell, due to a natural mutation 150 years ago, they are shell-less.
• North American pumpkin seeds need to be refrigerated while the Austrian pumpkin seeds do not, they are able to be stay in a cool dark place as their oils are rich and prevent it from drying and going rancid
• Austrian pumpkin seeds are darker in colour due to high levels of chlorophyll where as North American pumpkin seeds are lighter in colour.
5 Healthy Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
• Happy Hearts: Studies have shown that the phytonutrients in this shell-less seed oil has positive impacts lowering cholesterol, heart rates, and blood pressure.¹
• Powerful antioxidants: Styrain pumpkinseeds are high in Omega 6 (Linoleic acid ), Omega 9 (Oleic acid), Omega 3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids), vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol), zinc and manganese which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and protect our cells free radicals damage. ²
• Improves mood, sleep and brain function: Pumpkin seeds high in protein and essential amino acid tryptophan ³(protein building block) that your body converts to neurotransmitter serotonin (our mood regulator) and hormone melatonin (our sleep hormone). Studies show that increasing the consumption of foods rich in tryptophan improves depression, anxiety, and irritability.4 Pumpkinseeds are also high in zinc which is vital for thinking and memory skills.
• Supports immune function: Prone to colds or infections? A zinc deficiency may be to blame. Zinc is used in the production of white blood cells which help us fight infections. When we are deficient in zinc, our white blood cells don’t function optimally and negatively impacts our immune system. Neutrophils, phagocytosis, and antibody production are affected by zinc.5
• Beauty friendly: Essential fatty acids play help maintain the oil production and moisture levels of your skin and amongst other vitamins like vitamin A, K and B; essential amino acids, iron and magnesium, pumpkin seeds can improve the health of hair . 6 7
There are many ways to add this super seed into your diet so you can reap their benefits. You can toss them into a salad, you can add them to a smoothie, or you can bake with them (check out this kid approved energy ball recipe by Jamie Oliver).
I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Sumbul Zafar, R.H.N.