Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Learn how to eat pumpkin seeds as part of your healthful eating plan, thanks to these tips on the health benefits of pumpkin seeds, as well cooking strategies on how to use these wholesome seeds.

There is no fall vegetable more famous than pumpkins. But what about the seeds? Pumpkin seeds are found at the center of a pumpkin; once the outer shell is split open you unleash a bounty of tender seeds, ready to roast (if you prefer!), and pop in your mouth to enjoy. Pumpkin seeds have a delicious, nutty flavor, which adds a depth of taste to many dishes. And these small, rich seeds also hold up their share of the bargain nutritionally, too. Plus, when you dry or roast pumpkin seeds, they can be storied for long periods of time, making them available throughout the year.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
There are so many edible varieties of pumpkins. Just split them open, scoop out the seeds, and roast them!

Pumpkin Seed Nutrition Facts

Are pumpkin seeds good for you? Yes! The potential health benefits of pumpkin seeds are plentiful, such as helping to decrease cholesterol levels and lower heart disease risk. Pumpkin seeds are a fiber-rich protein source, plus pumpkin seeds are packed with micronutrients. They are a significant source of magnesium and zinc. Magnesium has been shown to help control blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, promote healthy bones, and decrease heart disease risk. Zinc promotes better immune and thyroid function. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of iron and vitamin K. Eating 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds provides 146 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates along with 9 grams of protein (18% of Daily Value, or DV), 23% DV of iron, 17% vitamin K, 37% DV of magnesium, 14% DV of zinc, and 42% DV of manganese. Pumpkin seed oil is also a healthful, unrefined, cold-pressed oil that is a great addition to your kitchen.

How To Make Pumpkin Seeds?

All you have to do is scoop out the pumpkin seeds, wash them, spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings as desired, and roast until they are crispy and golden. You can also enjoy raw pumpkin seeds, or prepare air fryer pumpkin seeds. You can even dry pumpkin seeds by spreading them in a thin layer on a baking sheet to sun-dry or use a dehydrator.

Check out these top 5 tips on how to eat pumpkin seeds to add the powerful nutrients these crunchy, delicious seeds have to offer.

Top 5 Tips on How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

1. Grab a Handful and Snack Away

Pumpkin seeds, with their naturally delicious nutty flavor, can serve as a great grab and go snack. Pumpkin seeds can be purchased lightly salted or in a variety of flavors. Just be sure to read the label. Flavored pumpkin seeds have the potential for being higher in sodium.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Cantaloupe Salad with Radishes and Pumpkin Seeds

2. Top Your Favorite Salads with Pumpkin Seeds

Salads are a great option for a healthy and delicious meal, so why not top one of your favorite salads with pumpkin seeds? Try this plant-based, pumpkin seed-infused salad for inspiration: Cantaloupe Salad with Radishes and Pumpkin Seeds.

Pumpkin Spice Orange Smoothie

3. Add a Handful of Pumpkin Seeds to Your Next Smoothie

Smoothies are a wonderful way to fit nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into your diet. And pumpkin seeds can add a dose of healthy fats, protein, and fiber to your cool concoction. Follow this smoothie formula to create your own smoothie, with a pinch of pumpkin seeds, today.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

4. Make Pumpkin Seeds the Highlight of Your Breakfast

Pumpkin—even at breakfast—embodies the feeling and taste of fall, and why not double down and add pumpkin seeds too? Try this easy recipe for Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats to make the most of the whole pumpkin—flesh and seeds. And make sure to check out the video for making this recipe too.

5. Make Protein-Rich Pumpkin Power Balls

With a food processor and a few simple ingredients, you can create a nutritious, delicious snack. Thanks to pumpkin seeds, these Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites are packed with fiber and are a satisfying option when you are eating on the go.

For more tips on how to use plant-based foods, check out the following:

Top 5 Ways to Use Pumpkin
Top 5 Ways to Use Quinoa
Top 5 Ways to Use Brown Rice

Check out some more of my favorite recipes using pumpkin seeds:

Green Goddess Grain Bowl
Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted Kohlrabi with Pumpkin Seeds

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