Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds

why eat pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds are a good source of many minerals and ‘healthy’ fats.

They are the ‘eggs’ that contain all of the nutrients needed to nourish the growth of a new plant, therefore it’s not surprising that they are so good for us.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds, otherwise known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds (sometimes incased in a yellow-white husk), they have a chewy texture, with a sweet, nutty flavour.

Nutritional content

Nutritionally pumpkin seeds contain fibre, iron, manganese, magnesium, omega-3, omega-6, phosphorus, phytosterols, potassium, protein and zinc, to name but a few.

Associated health benefits

Studies suggest pumpkin seeds have various health benefits. These include, lowering cholesterol levels, relieving symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and preventing the formation of kidney stones.

It is however, important to remember that health and wellbeing is not associated with one particular food, or group of foods.

Pumpkin seeds can be very beneficial as part of a healthy balanced diet, however more scientific studies need to be carried out to confirm specific health claims.

Serving size

A serving is roughly 1 tablespoon (10 grams).

Pumpkin seeds are high in calories, therefore limit your serving to a small amount each day.

Suggestions for adding to your diet

You can add pumpkin seeds to a wide variety of dishes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sprinkle on top of roasted vegetables
  • Mix through leafy salads
  • Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing
  • Add them to homemade beef or chicken burgers
  • Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your cereal or porridge
  • Include in your baking recipes, for example oatmeal cookies
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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Oliver March 1, 2008 at 2:27 am

Does the shell or Husk of the pumpkins seed have any calories?
I have read that the shell or husk is indigestible and that only the kernels have calories?
But then when I go to online calorie counters it appears that the shell or husk does have calories.
Please let me know if this is true.

What about squash seeds?



Melanie March 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Hi Laura,

The nutritional data appears unclear about this. I had a look on a number of different nutritional analysis programs to try to answer your questions.

The most popular edible varieties of pumpkin seeds are:
- shine skin (creamy-yellow)
- lady nail (creamy-yellow)
- snow white (white color)
- pepitas, shelled or hull-less kernels (light or dark green color)

1oz of pumpkin, or squash seed kernels have 148kcals, and 1.1 g fibre. While 1oz of whole pumpkin, or squash seeds have 126kcals, 0 fibre.

I suspect that the variation in calorie, and fibre content is more to do with different varieties of seed, than whether the hull has been removed or not.

Either way, it seems there really isn’t an awful lot of difference in the nutritional content.


tracy roscoe April 2, 2009 at 2:07 am

I love pumpkin seeds and i have them in everything, i always buy the hovis bread with pumkin seeds and i add them to my cereal with activita yogurt and honey poured on. Also i buy pumpkin seed biscuits from tesco.
the only thing about them, is i seem to be on the toilet more often with loose bowels is that good sign or bad sign.


Melanie April 4, 2009 at 12:56 am

Hi Tracy,
Have you notice your bowel movements have become more loose since eating foods containing pumpkin seeds?

It’s quite normal to see seeds in your bowel movements, so this is not a bad sign.

It’s difficult to say whether the seeds are causing your bowel movements to be looser, or if it’s something else without actually seeing a food diary from you.


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