12 Jun 2024

Top seven pumpkin seeds benefits: Nutrition and uses

author Ashley Owen
You’ve probably heard that pumpkin seeds are good for you. But why exactly is that? In this article, we’re going into more detail on the benefits of pumpkin seeds for our health and wellness. We’ve also got some great recommendations for delicious and simple ways to add the ingredient to your diet. Whether tucking into whole seeds or baking with pumpkin seed powder, it’s a tasty and convenient choice for boosting wellbeing.

Pepitas: the perfect snack

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are (unsurprisingly!) the edible seeds of pumpkins. Found inside a cream-coloured outer husk, the seeds are flat, oval, and a beautiful dark green hue. Although they’ve recently become popular among health food enthusiasts, people have known about the benefits of pumpkin seeds for millennia. Indeed, ancient cultures like the Aztecs and the Mayans used them as both food and medicine.(1)

Though you can tuck into pumpkin seeds raw, it’s more common to have them roasted. Similarly, while the outer shell is edible, you’re more likely to find hulled pumpkin seeds in the shops. In addition to plain and salted varieties, it’s possible to roast pumpkin seeds with all kinds of herbs and spices. So, one of the many benefits of pumpkin seeds is that you can choose the perfect pepitas for different recipes. For extra convenience and versatility, you also have the option of using pumpkin seed powder, which we’ll talk about below.

Of course, this variety is far from the only reason to love pumpkin seeds! Here are seven more pumpkin seed benefits to get excited about.

1. Pumpkin seeds are bursting with key minerals

They may be small, but pumpkin seeds are chock-full of important minerals that keep our bodies fit and well. For starters, they are a fabulous natural source of magnesium. This mineral helps over 300 enzymes carry out chemical reactions in the body, playing a vital role in everything from bone health to muscle function.(2) Making it easier to get enough magnesium in your diet is therefore one of the key benefits of pumpkin seeds.

But magnesium is far from the only mineral in these crunchy seeds. They’re also rich in copper, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and iron. Each of these makes an essential contribution to our wellbeing. For example, iron is necessary for creating haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. Meanwhile, zinc supports immune function, wound healing, cell growth, and the synthesis of DNA. This means that eating pumpkin seeds benefits us in all kinds of different ways purely because of their mineral content.

What’s more, many of these minerals are ones that the body cannot manufacture by itself. Instead, we have to obtain them through our diet. And sprinkling a spoonful of pepitas or pumpkin seed powder onto your plate is a great way to do that. As such, one of the main benefits of pumpkin seeds is helping to overcome mineral deficiencies in your diet.

2. Pumpkin seeds are high in fibre and protein

The nutritional benefits of pumpkin seeds extend beyond minerals alone. They’re also an excellent source of fibre, which has numerous positive effects on our wellbeing. First, fibre can do wonders for your digestive health. It nourishes the good bacteria in your gut, resulting in a more diverse and flourishing microbiome. As well as benefiting digestion, this supports brain health and the functioning of the immune system. Moreover, research has found that eating a high-fibre diet may reduce the risk of several chronic health conditions. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer.(3)

And then there’s the protein in pumpkin seeds. Protein is vital for building and repairing tissues in the body, providing structure to cells, transporting nutrients, and much more. Pumpkin seeds contain all nine essential amino acids.(4) Our bodies can’t make these on their own, so we have to get them from our food. Adding whole pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed powder to your meals could therefore help ensure that you consume enough of these crucial nutrients. That’s one of the benefits of pumpkin seeds that supports our health in a wealth of ways.

As a bonus, swapping animal protein for plant-based protein (like pumpkin seeds protein) could have several advantages for your health. For instance, research suggests that nutritious plant-based diets can lower your risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.(5) All of which means that pumpkin seed protein powder is a fabulous choice for promoting muscle repair and growth healthily.