Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are very nutritious, so included with this recipe and listed below are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.

Most of the evidence we've seen about pumpkin seeds and prevention or treatment of diabetes has come from animal studies. For this reason, we consider research in this area to be preliminary. However, recent studies on laboratory animals have shown the ability of ground pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil to improve insulin regulation in diabetic animals and to prevent some unwanted consequences of diabetes on kidney function. Decrease in oxidative stress has played a key role in many studies that show benefits of pumpkin seeds for diabetic animals.

Antimicrobial Benefits
Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits. The lignans in pumpkin seeds (including pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol) have also been shown to have antimicrobial—and especially anti-viral— properties. Impact of pumpkin seed proteins and pumpkin seed phytonutrients like lignans on the activity of a messaging molecule called interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) is likely to be involved in the antimicrobial benefits associated with this food.

Cancer-Related Benefits
Because oxidative stress is known to play a role in the development of some cancers, and pumpkin seeds are unique in their composition of antioxidant nutrients, it's not surprising to find some preliminary evidence of decreased cancer risk in association with pumpkin seed intake. However, the antioxidant content of pumpkin seeds has not been the focus of preliminary research in this cancer area. Instead, the research has focused on lignans. Only breast cancer and prostate cancer seem to have received much attention in the research world in connection with pumpkin seed intake, and much of that attention has been limited to the lignan content of pumpkin seeds. To some extent, this same focus on lignans has occurred in research on prostate cancer as well. For these reasons, we cannot describe the cancer-related benefits of pumpkin seeds as being well-documented in the research, even though pumpkin seeds may eventually be shown to have important health benefits in this area.

• After cutting open the pumpkin and scooping out the seeds, thoroughly wash the seeds in cold water until all of the pumpkin guts are gone.
• Boil the seeds in salted water for 10 minutes.
• Pat the seeds dry and lay them on a cookie sheet with a little bit of olive oil. Lightly salt them with sea salt.
• Roast the seeds for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.
• Remove the seeds from the oven and stir them adding a little more sea salt. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, making sure you don't burn the inside of the seeds. (You can check this by tasting one.)
• Remove from oven and enjoy!