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Pumpkin seeds are the healthiest seeds to eat: dietitians

They’re squashing this longtime debate.

Two NYC-based dietitians have declared pumpkin the healthiest seed, thanks to their zinc, iron, protein, and fiber content.

“Pumpkin seeds are truly a super seed because they benefit the body in so many ways,” Samantha Cassetty and Natalie Rizzo wrote Thursday on Today.com.


"Pumpkin seeds are truly a super seed because they benefit the body in so many ways," explained Samantha Cassetty and Natalie Rizzo.
“Pumpkin seeds are truly a super seed because they benefit the body in so many ways,” explained Samantha Cassetty and Natalie Rizzo. Adobe Stock

The pair noted that 1 ounce of unsalted pumpkin seeds contains 160 calories, 8 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber.

Cassetty and Rizzo emphasized that pumpkin seeds supply 18% of the daily value of zinc, 13% of the daily value of iron, and 37% of the daily target for magnesium in just one serving.


1 ounce of unsalted pumpkin seeds contains 160 calories, 8 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber.
1 ounce of unsalted pumpkin seeds contains 160 calories, 8 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber. sriba3 – stock.adobe.com

Zinc supports our immune system and helps wounds heal. Iron is needed to produce healthy red blood cells and fuel immune cells. Magnesium, meanwhile, plays a key role in maintaining heart health and brain function.

“Pumpkin seeds are also prized for their plant sterol content,” Cassetty and Rizzo added. “These naturally occurring compounds mimic cholesterol, so they compete with cholesterol for absorption, which may help lower your cholesterol levels.”

In ranking pumpkin the top seed in March, registered dietitian Jillian Kubala praised its “nutty, subtly sweet taste” and magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron content.

1 ounce of pumpkin seeds provides 40% of the daily value of copper, which helps the body produce energy, build red blood cells, and form connective tissue.

“Pumpkin seeds are low in carbs yet high in plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats, making them a good choice for those following plant-based or low-carb eating patterns,” Kubala wrote for Health.com.

Honorable mentions go to chia seeds for their fiber, sunflower seeds for their wealth of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, sesame seeds for their abundance of magnesium, flax seeds for their heart benefits, and hemp seeds for their protein content.

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