Fall is pumpkin season! Visiting the pumpkin patch, making pies and of course, carving your Halloween pumpkin. But don’t throw away the seeds! These little gems are packed with nutrients and antioxidants which have many health benefits, including benefits for your brain.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, copper and iron, all of which are key minerals for brain health.
Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for a well-functioning nervous system. It supports brain development, memory and learning. Low magnesium levels may increase health issues related to neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, migraine, epilepsy, anxiety and depression. 
Zinc: Zinc plays a critical role in regulating communication between brain cells that impact brain development, memory and learning. Zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia and depression. 
Copper: Copper plays an important role in brain function and development, and is required for essential enzymes that help supply energy to the brain. It is important to keep a proper balance of copper. Both too little or too much can cause brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Menkes, or Wilson’s disease. 
Iron: Iron proteins play a key role in normal brain function and development. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, headaches and anxiety, and is a widely known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development. , 
How to Eat More Pumpkin Seeds
You can get your own pumpkin seeds from hollowing out a pumpkin. But an easier way to work them into your diet is to simply buy them at your local grocery or health food store. Here are some simple ways to eat more pumpkin seeds:
- Eat them alone as a snack
- Add them to salads
- Mix them into your yogurt or smoothies
- Sprinkle them onto almost anything for some extra flavour and crunch (i.e. oatmeal, cereal, stir-fries, tacos and desserts)