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Pumpkin Power

You don’t have to wait for Halloween to enjoy the newest protein in town.

Picking a pumpkin can be one of the best things about fall—and the flesh of this squash can be delicious and vitamin-packed. But the most nutrient-dense part of the plant is actually its seeds. These petite pepitas are quickly becoming the newest superfood and trendy protein source—whether ground up in protein powders and seed butters or used in granola bars and chips.These seeds are packed with high-quality protein. “They offer 18 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for healthy muscle and tissue repair in our body,” says dietitian Megan Roosevelt, founder of Healthy Grocery Girl.Though pumpkin seeds can be a good protein choice for vegans, omnivores can enjoy their benefits too. Roosevelt notes that replacing some animal proteins with plant proteins like pumpkin seeds can help dial down chronic inflammation in the body.One thing to keep in mind: pumpkin seeds are high in calories and fat, so you can’t eat them with abandon. One-quarter cup of the kernels has 169 calories and 15 grams of fat; whole roasted seeds may be a better option if you’re watching your weight, as these contain onl …

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