Loaded with nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, zinc and protein, pumpkin seeds can truly be called a food powerhouse. They contain plant substances known as phytosterols as well as free radical scavenging antioxidants. The advantage of pumpkin seeds is that they do not require cold storage, they are very light in weight, so you can always take them with you as a snack. One quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost half of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. This element is involved in a wide range of vital physiological functions, including the creation of adenosine triphosphate – the energy molecules of the body, the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the formation of teeth, the relaxation of blood vessels, the proper functioning of the intestines. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains over 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important for our body: immunity, cell division and growth, sleep, mood, eyes and skin health, insulin regulation, male sexual function. Many people are deficient in zinc due to mineral-depleted soils, drug side effects. Zinc deficiency is manifested in chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight infants. Raw seeds and nuts, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid). We all need this acid, but it must be converted by the body into omega-3s. Animal studies show that pumpkin seeds help improve insulin regulation and prevent diabetic complications by reducing oxidative stress. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens. Studies show that it contributes to a significant increase in “good” cholesterol and a decrease in blood pressure, headaches, joint pain and other symptoms of menopause in women.