Pumpkin Seeds: Nutrition Solutions | Partners In Health
Updated: May 15
A pumpkin seed is the edible seed of a pumpkin which are typically flat and asymmetrically oval, have a white outer husk, and are light green in color after the husk is removed. Some cultivars are huskless, and are grown only for their edible seed. The seeds are nutrient and calorie rich, with especially high content of fat (particularly linoleic acid and oleic acid), protein, dietary fiber, and numerous micronutrients.
Pumpkin seeds are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal snack in the United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round.
Dried, roasted pumpkin seeds are 2% water, 49% fat, 15% carbohydrates, and 30% protein. In a 100 gram reference serving, the seeds are calorie-dense (574 kcal), and a rich source (20% of the Daily Value, DV, or higher) of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. The seeds are a moderate source (10–19% DV) of riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium, and potassium. Major fatty acids in pumpkin seeds are linoleic acid and oleic acid, with palmitic acid and stearic acid in lesser amounts.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids — all of which may help keep your heart healthy. Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers. A large observational study found that eating them was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, causing problems with urination. These seeds are also a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.