Small changes can make a huge difference when it comes to your overall health. According to one psychologist, enjoying a certain snack might even be able to ease stress and anxiety.
Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and board-certified nutritionist, says pumpkin seeds are a real brain supercharger.
“Food is a big piece [of anxiety],” Beurkins said. “And, unfortunately, food and nutrients don’t get talked about enough.”
While no snack can totally cure your anxiety and certainly shouldn’t be used as a replacement for other treatments, healthy snacking habits can serve as an holistic approach.
But why pumpkin seeds?
Anthony's Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Grab this anxiety-fighting food instead of salty, sugary snacks.
Well, they’re simply chock-full of minerals and nutrients that are good for your brain. Pumpkin seeds provide magnesium, which can help regulate the sympathetic nervous system and omega-3s that help reduce stress and promote emotional balance. They also contain iron which will help resolve any deficiencies in that area—another contributor to anxiety.
Research has also shown that the zinc concentration in pumpkin seeds can help balance copper levels that might lead to anxiety. According to Beurkens, you don’t have to toast them either. You’ll get the same benefits whether you blend them into a smoothie, add them to granola, or bake them in your bread.
So, as it’s now prime pumpkin season, be sure to save those seeds and make some delicious (and brain-healthy) snacks!