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Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds

Updated on September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds

Source

Pumpkin Seeds Pack a Healthy Punch

We all know we should be eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

But not all fruits and veggies are created equal. Some, like iceberg lettuce, have very little nutrients. Others, like pumpkin and the seeds inside it, are full of nutritional value.

Here's why these seeds are good for you.

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds or Pepitas

Lower Your Cholesterol - Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, which can help lower the "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that these phytosterols can also inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer.

Increase Your Iron - Pumpkin seeds are a great source of iron, as well as minerals such as manganese, zinc, potassium and magnesium. Just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds has more than 25% of the recommended daily value for iron.

Decrease Inflammation from Arthritis - Studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acides found in pumpkin seeds and other types of food can help with the pain and inflammation of arthritis. NIH includes pumpkin seeds on the list of omega-3 foods they recommend for people with arthritis. Other studies have recommended a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help with diabetes, osteoporois, ADHD and more.

Nutritional Value of 1 ounce of Hulled Pumpkin Seeds
Calories - 153
Polyunsaturated fat - 5.9 g
Monounsaturated fat - 4.0 g
Dietary fiber - 1.1 g
Protein - 6.9 g
Iron - 4.24 mg
Calcium - 12 mg
Magnesium - 151 mg
(Source: About.com)

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

If you want to enjoy the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds, you can buy them all year long from most grocery stores. But near Halloween, it's also easy to make roasted pumpkin seeds at home with the seeds you scoop out of the pumpkins before carving. Just follow these simple directions:

1. Remove any pulp and strings from the seeds and rinse under cool water.

2. Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Alternately, you can toss the seeds in a little olive oil or vegetable oil and then place them on a baking sheet to roast.

3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds with salt and bake at 325 degrees. Stir the seeds after about 10 minutes and then continue baking until they are toasted a golden brown (about 25 minutes total).

4. Let cool and then enjoy!!

Your thoughts on the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds?

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    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hi, Lisa42. I knew pumpkin seeds were good for you, but you've sold me. They're are a wonder food. Thanks for you input.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great Hub. I can't grow my own pumpkin where I live but can buy them. Thanks for the info.

    • lisa42 profile imageAUTHOR

      lisa42 

      7 years ago from Sacramento

      Thanks for the comments!

      @Imogen - The best way to prepare fresh pumpkin seeds is to rinse and dry them first and then toast them in the oven with a little salt and oil, as noted above. I'm not sure how they would taste raw. You could also go to the trouble of cracking the shells and removing the green seed inside, but that's a lot of work!

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      I love pumpkin seeds. I did not know about their nutritional value. Love 'em even more now!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      You're so right about the ever plentiful pumpkin seed. I've planted many pumpkins this year, so I've no excuse but to roast and eat. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 

      7 years ago from Southwest England

      I have homegrown pumpkins nearly ready too. Do you know the best way to prepare pumpkin seeds from fresh pumpkins? Should you dry them first, and do they need to be cooked or roasted, or are they just nicer that way?

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for this. I planted a "giant" variety of pumpkin this year-- already have two that are basketball size-- and still smooth and yellow, so they have a long way to grow yet. I am looking forward to a lot of big pumpkin seeds.

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