Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are noted for their high amounts of zinc. Zinc is a trace element involved in a multitude of bodily functions and is part of many enzyme systems such as DNA and protein synthesis, liver detoxification and immunity. Zinc is present at higher concentrations in muscle, bone, liver and prostrate glands, suggesting its functions in these areas. Zinc is especially useful to promote men’s fertility (due to zinc-dependent DNA synthesis in spermatogenesis) and preventing prostate problems. A quarter cup (35 grams) serving of pumpkin seeds fulfills about 18 percent of your daily recommendation for zinc!
Instead of reaching for the bag of pumpkin seeds from the grocery aisle, why not try preparing fresh pumpkin seeds right from the pumpkin? Cut open a pumpkin and remove the stringy pulp. Wash thoroughly to separate the pumpkin seeds from the fibre. Arrange in a single layer on a dehydrator tray and dry for 18-24 hours at 115°C until crisp. Crack open to remove the inner seed. Store pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness.« Back to Glossary Index