The Dietitian-Recommended Seed I’ve Been Adding to My Salads to Increase Protein

Getty / Enrique Díaz / 7cero

I try to eat one ginormous salad once a day, and lately I’ve been following this expert’s tip. Registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, author of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, suggested eating more pumpkin seeds. Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory acids, raw pumpkin seeds are also jam-packed with hunger-satiating protein and fiber to help you feel fuller longer. A three-tablespoon serving offers nine grams of protein and two grams of fiber for just 150 calories.

So I picked up a bag of raw pumpkin seeds at my local Trader Joe’s (my favorite place to buy nuts and seeds!), and I’ve been sprinkling them like fairy dust on anything I think of, mainly salads, but also on oatmeal, and adding them to smoothies and baked goods.

After a few weeks of including pumpkin seeds in my diet, I’ve definitely noticed a difference. When I eat them on my lunchtime salad, I feel satiated for longer. I’ve also been enjoying some almond milk yogurt after dinner with frozen blueberries and raw pumpkin seeds, and found that I sleep well and feel energized for my early morning CrossFit workouts.

Pumpkin seeds are definitely not as popular in my world as chia, sunflower, flax, and hemp seeds, but now I’m a convert. I even started talking them up to a stranger in the Trader Joe’s aisle when picking up my second bag – she picked up a bag, too!

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