Pumpkin Kernels

PUMPKIN KERNELS  – Nutritional Profile

Pumpkin seed kernels are one of tastiest seeds available.   Nutritionally they are a valuable part of any diet.  A 32g serving provides 74% of the recommended daily allowance for manganese, 53% for tryptophan, 48% for magnesium, 40% for phosphourus and 22% for copper.  The same serving would also provide 20% of the recommended  daily allowance for protein and all supplied with just 180 calories.

These figures are headline nutrients.  A detailed analysis of the mak up of pumpkin seed kernels shows almost 80 nutrients are found within pumpkin seed kernels.


A major beneficiary of eating pumpkin seeds is prostate health.  Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy affects men over the age of 50 where testosterone over stimulates the prostate cells causing inflammation.  Whilst not as serious as Prostate Cancer the condition can cause discomfort.  Elements of pumpkin seed oil appear to interrupt the process for producing the specific elements from testosterone that cause the inflammation of prostate cells.  Currently omega-3 fats and beta-carotenoids, both found in pumpkin seed kernels, are subject to studies to establish how well they impact the development and progress of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.

Bone density is a known problem for post menopausal women but it can also be an issue for older men and diets that include zinc are known to provide greater prevention against osteoporosis.   Bone cells are constantly being destroyed and replaced by the body and in some older adults the rate at which new cells are created slows down leading to a lowering of bone density.  Zinc is believed to be a key agent in slowing down the depletion of old bone cells thus ensuring that bone density is maintained.   Arthritis is also a condition seen to benefit from a diet including pumpkin seed kernels.  Treatment of the condition with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can result in side effects where deposits are left on the surface of joints which leads to the progression of the disease.  Those side effects are not experienced when diet is managed to include an appropriate amount of pumpkin seed kernels for treating the original inflammation.

Phytosterols are compounds, found in pumpkin seeds and they reduce levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.  The effects of these compounds are so good that they are being extracted from some foodstuffs, such as soya beans, to be added to butter replacement products at significant expense to the consumer.  Pumpkin seed kernels are the third riches source of phytosterols after pistachios and sunflower seeds.

They also have a high calorie count which makes them of great benefit when a diet to promote weight gain is required. Pumpkin seed kernels also make a good source of B-complex vitamins.  Vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin and niacin help reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood.


Pumpkin seed kernels are often called pepita, especially in the United States of America where they are typically roasted and salted and served as a seasonal dish during the autumn.  They are also widely available pre-packed at times out of season.

Pumpkin seed kernels are not known to produce the anaphylactic reactions found with other nuts such as peanuts.

They have been recognised for their health promoting properties throughout history.  North American Indians recognised a beneficial impact on kidney problems and have used them to treat parasitic infections such as tape worms.

Pumpkin seed oil important export for Austria and Slovenia.