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Pumpkin Seeds

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Pumpkin Seeds Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 5.2 g
Calories: 559 kcal
Protein: 30.2 g
Carbohydrate: 10.7 g
Dietary fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 1.4 g
Fat: 49.1 g
Saturated fat: 8.7 g
Monounsaturated fat: 16.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 21 g
Vitamin C: 1.9 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 5 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 58 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 2.2 mg
Vitamin K: 7.3 μg
Calcium: 46 mg
Iron: 8.8 mg
Magnesium: 592 mg
Phosphorus: 1233 mg
Potassium: 809 mg
Sodium: 7 mg
Zinc: 7.8 mg

The pumpkin is a cultivar of the squash plant, most commonly seen in the US and UK around Halloween for decorative purposes. However, as we saw in the pumpkin article, this plant is far more than simply a decoration. The pumpkin seeds that pumpkin contains not only taste fantastic roasted, they are a great topping to any number of dishes, from savoury soups and salads to sweeter granola. With a mighty nutritional punch, a lot of antioxidant benefits, and possible health applications for treating diabetes and helping sleep, pumpkin seeds are not a food you can miss out on.

As we saw with pumpkin, pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. 100g of dried pumpkin seeds contains 559 calories, 60% of your Daily Value (DV) of protein, 21g of polyunsaturated fat and 16g of monounsaturated fat (‘good’ fats), and only 9g of saturated fat (‘bad’ fat). Like many nuts and seeds, there is a trade-off between high amounts of calories and a fantastic nutritional profile that helps you balance the negative effects of a diet high in sugar and saturated fat.

In addition, pumpkin seeds contain significant amounts of essential nutrients. 100g contains 148% DV of magnesium, 52% of zinc, 48% DV of iron, and 23% DV of potassium. With these essential nutrients being so vital for everything from cardiovascular to sexual health, and deficiencies being one of the primary reasons behind feelings of tiredness and lack of motivation, pumpkin seeds are one great way to get back on track with your life.

There are two main health benefits aside from the nutritional element that pumpkin seeds bring to the table. First, pumpkin seeds have a list of proven antioxidant effects, which means that they protect on a broad scale from cell and DNA damage. One study that demonstrated the antioxidant and anti-arthritic potential of pumpkins makes clear the point that being a potent antioxidant can lead to a lot of concrete health benefits!

Pumpkin seeds also may have some value as a treatment for diabetes. Firstly, pumpkin and flax seed mixture manages some of the effects of diabetes such as high fat levels. Beyond that, however, pumpkin seeds have been shown to help with treating some of the complications of diabetes: diabetic nephropathy and benign prostatic hyperplasia, making pumpkin seeds an interesting option for those with the disease or with the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes (obesity and so on). Finally, pumpkin seeds have one last interesting benefit: they are high in tryptophan, which can be converted by the body into melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’, ensuring a restful night’s sleep when eaten a few hours before bed.