A SIBO-Friendly Snack or Treat
A nutrient-dense snack or treat, these energy bites are a super simple answer to your sugar cravings! The taste resembles a chocolate chip cookie, but the preparation is way less work. Packed with magnesium & zinc, but free from grains, these are a SIBO-friendly snack that can be enjoyed by those who have successfully reintroduced chocolate into their diet.
Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of manganese, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Those last two- magnesium and zinc- are common nutrient deficiencies experienced by individuals living in the US.
Magnesium plays an important role in the formation of bones and teeth, the action of nerves, the utilization of glucose (sugar), and in synthesizing fats and proteins. It plays a role in over 300 different enzyme systems! That’s a lot!
Many Americans do not consume enough magnesium. Especially those who consume a standard american diet (SAD) without adequate whole grains. Additionally, for individuals following grain-free diets such as paleo or SCD who do not eat many leafy green vegetables, it can be difficult to obtain adequate magnesium. To make matters worse, many individuals who follow these diets have digestive disorders. Individuals with digestive disorders are more likely to experience malabsorption which is a risk factor for magnesium deficiency.
The good news is that just 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds supplies nearly 50% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium! The RDA represents the average level of adequate intake needed for most healthy individuals.
You may have heard of people taking zinc supplements when they are sick. Well next time, just pop in some pumpkin seeds since they are a rich source of zinc! 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds supplies about 20% of the RDA for zinc. The reason zinc is believed to help with illness is that it is supportive for the immune system.
Zinc is also a nutrient that I think about in individuals experiencing infertility, especially males. This is because it is important for reducing oxidative stress, in the synthesis of testosterone, and in the process of sperm maturation.
Other conditions in which zinc deficiency could be playing an important role include mood issues, acne, foot fungus, facial rashes, and canker sores.
So go ahead, enjoy some Pumpkin Seed Energy Bites to get your magnesium and zinc!
- ¼ cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand or sub unsweetened cacao nibs for lower sugar)
- ¼ cup raw walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons shelled hemp hearts/seeds
- 2 tablespoons unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal
- 2 teaspoons clover honey or pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse a few times until seeds are chopped up.
- Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls (makes approximately 9 balls). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.