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Add Pumpkin Seeds to Meals to Increase Protein and Fiber

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

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.

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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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