It should come as no surprise that sunflower and pumpkin seeds are extremely healthy edible seeds. For thousands of years, humans relied on seeds as a major part of their diets. However, few people today understand how valuable a handful of seeds can be when it comes to healthy snacks.
How A Protein-Filled Snack Benefits Your Workout
While carbohydrates may give you a quick energy boost, protein keeps you feeling full and energized for longer. They help you avoid overeating and aid in weight loss.
On the day of your workout, it would be beneficial to eat the right kind of protein in adequate amount. When you strength-train, protein helps promote muscle repair and development. Your body uses protein to effectively burn and use fat as energy, at the same time burning more calories than when you eat carbs or fats.
Other Health Benefits Of Sunflower And Pumpkin Seeds
These are just a few of the other great health benefits of sunflower and pumpkin seeds:
- ½ cup of these heart-healthy seeds contains almost the recommended daily amount of magnesium that ensures efficient pumping of the heart, healthy bones and teeth development, relaxation of the blood vessels and regular bowel function. A majority of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.
- These seeds are an excellent source of zinc that is important for strengthening the immune system, inducing quality and restful sleep, improving moods, regulating blood sugar level, maintaining healthy prostate health, and decreasing menopausal symptoms in post-menopausal women.
- The raw seeds are some of the best sources of plant-based omega 3s that are anti-inflammatory for treating acne, arthritis and other inflammatory ailments without the side effects. It also does a good job to lower LDL cholesterol levels for cardiovascular health.
- Their high content of selenium makes the seeds a suitable food for individuals suffering from thyroid disorders, which is a deficiency in this mineral.
Prepping Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
Eating seeds raw may be the quickest and easiest way to eat them, but for most people, it isn’t very palatable. Instead, try this preparation method that brings out the natural flavor of the seeds and that makes it easy for you to grab a handful for a mid-afternoon or post-workout snack.
Roasting Sunflower Seeds
- Soak your sunflower seeds in purified water overnight, so that they don’t get dried out when roasted.
- Drain off excess water and pat dry the next morning.
- In a baking pan, toss the seeds in a bit of organic extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the shells are golden brown. Stir occasionally to ensure that they roast evenly on both sides.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
- After pulling pumpkin seeds out of your pumpkin, pull the remaining pumpkin pulp off of them. Soak them in water to clean them.
- Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet. Pat them dry with paper towels.
- Drizzle your pumpkin seeds with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Toss with your hands to coat.
- Sprinkle with fennel, chili powder, or pepper if desired.
- Roast at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes.