Pumpkin seeds are the edible kernels of the pumpkin fruit with a chewy texture and nutty flavor. The pumpkin is a field vegetable crop of the gourd family native to the Americas with a variety of species grown across North, South and Central America. A mature fruit can contain up to 500 seeds in its hollow cavity interspersed in stringy network. After removed from the fruit and shelled or purchased raw, pumpkin seeds should be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator or fridge to maintain freshness. They are excellent enjoyed as a snack or in savory dishes and contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:
- Excellent source of zinc, which is important in immune function and wound healing.
- Excellent source of magnesium. This mineral is important for nerve and muscle function, and also plays a role in the formation of strong bones and teeth.
- Good source of plant-based iron, which is essential for the healthy functioning of red blood cells.
- Excellent source of potassium, which is important for many body functions such as fluid balance and regulating blood pressure.
Nutritional Value of 1/4 cup (60 mL) of Pumpkin Seeds:
- 196 calories
- 4 g carbohydrate
- 11 g protein
- 17 g fat
- 2 g fibre
- 55% of daily zinc needs
- 75% of daily magnesium intake
- 15% of daily recommended iron requirements
Did you know?
Pumpkin seeds are known as “pepita” in Spanish meaning “little seeds of squash.”