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Pumpkin Seeds and Nutritional Value

Pumpkin seeds offer a nutritious, sweet, somewhat soft and chewy snack or food additive. Some pumpkin seeds have hulls, while others do not. Like most gourds, they contain the best flavor when they are in season during the fall months. If stored in airtight containers, they will keep for several months, but they may lose their best nutritional value after a couple months. Pumpkin seeds provide the following nutrients in a single serving manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, tryptophan, iron, copper, vitamin K, zinc, and protein. Pumpkins are low in fat and sodium, and are considered an ancient power food.

Historical Health Benefits

Historically, Native Americans used pumpkin seeds as both a food and for medicinal purposes. Their primary use as a parasite remedy is well documented in Native American history. This was well documented that during the late 1800s to early 1900s, the United States pharmacopoeia listed pumpkin seeds as an official medicine for the treatment of parasites. Native Americans used the seeds for kidney problems. In the late 1800s, herbal doctors used pumpkin seeds regularly to treat urinary and gastric illness, and as a parasite remedy. Worldwide, pumpkin seeds have been used as both a food and common medicine.

Current Medical Findings

Current medical resources regularly list medicinal uses for pumpkin seeds, such as to promote prostate health in men and as a bone density and arthritis aide. Additionally, medical sources often list medicinal purposes for the seed such as parasite remedy, mild diuretic and laxative, stomach cancer deterrent and as a pulmonary ailment and irritable bladder aide. Present studies in Asia, Africa and Russia continue to research their benefits in the treatment of parasites, depression and kidney stones.


All Images © Twin Silos Farm/Terry Neutz Hayden