Organic pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant-based protein sources for vegans

Organic pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant-based protein sources for vegans

The Cucurbita pepo plant, more commonly known as pumpkin, is widely cultivated around the world for its edible fruit. Different varieties of this plant exist, and they produce colorful fruits like summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and ornamental gourds. [1] But the most well-known of these varieties is the orange-colored pumpkin, which is large, round, sweet-tasting and traditionally carved into jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween.

Pumpkin is a versatile superfood that’s enjoyed by many cultures in various ways. In South America, it is candied, pureed or cut into large chunks and added to soups and stews. In Japan, pumpkin is used to make burgers and curries, while in the U.S., it is featured in a variety of dishes during Thanksgiving. A harvest symbol in many cultures, pumpkin is a festive addition to any dish not only because of its bright color, but also because of its health benefits. [2]

But while most recipes make use of pumpkin flesh, this fruit has another usable, edible and equally nutritious part: its seeds. Pumpkin seeds are not only a healthy snack and a flexible ingredient, but they’re also a great source of essential nutrients and phytonutrients. This makes them an excellent food for supporting good nutrition as well as the healthy functions of many vital organs. 

Pumpkin seeds, a nutrient powerhouse 

The seeds of plants are like a food storage and contain all the starting materials a developing plant needs. Hence, it’s not surprising that edible seeds are packed with nutrients. [3] Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are flat, oval-shaped and enclosed in hard white shells that are usually discarded before the seeds are sold. Inside their shells, the seeds are green in color and are bursting with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, a 100-gram (g) serving of dried, unsalted pumpkin seeds provide the following: [4]

  • Protein, 49% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Dietary fiber, 16% of the DV
  • Monounsaturated fats (omega-9), 14.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6), 20.9 g
  • Vitamin A, 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin), 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin), 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 3% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 11% of the DV
  • Vitamin B9 (folate), 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin C, 3% of the DV
  • Vitamin K, 64% of the DV
  • Calcium, 4% of the DV
  • Copper, 69% of the DV
  • Iron, 83% of the DV
  • Magnesium, 134% of the DV
  • Manganese, 151% of the DV
  • Phosphorus, 117% of the DV
  • Potassium, 23% of the DV
  • Selenium, 8% of the DV
  • Zinc, 50% of the DV

Pumpkin seeds are an exceptionally rich source of protein. According to a Tanzanian study published in the journal Scientific African, they contain all 9 essential amino acids, namely, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. [5] Although some people contend that pumpkin seeds have slightly lower amounts of lysine and threonine than other sources, they are still, technically, a complete protein. [6]

And while low in lysine and threonine, pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan. This amino acid is used by your body to form vitamin B3, a necessary component for energy production and DNA synthesis, and two important hormones: melatonin and serotonin. [7] Melatonin is produced by your brain in response to darkness and helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. [8] Serotonin, on the other hand, helps regulate your appetite, mood, pain perception and sleep. Together with zinc and magnesium, which are also important for melatonin and serotonin production, the tryptophan in pumpkin seeds can support healthy sleep patterns and naturally uplift your mood. [9][10]

The Tanzanian study also reports that pumpkin seed protein is highly digestible, making the superfood an excellent source of bioavailable amino acids. This means that your body can easily utilize the amino acids you get from pumpkin seeds for various purposes. According to studies, the human body has a hard time digesting most plant-based proteins because their structures resist the actions of digestive enzymes. [11]

Like most nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds also contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid. Fortunately, this problem can easily be resolved by soaking pumpkin seeds in water. Once activated, the sprouting process helps neutralize phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors in pumpkin seeds. [12] You can then dry or roast the seeds and enjoy them as a snack or incorporate them into various recipes.  

Another thing pumpkin seeds have going for them is their abundance of other essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. The health benefits these nutrients provide in conjunction with potent phytonutrients are what make pumpkin seeds one of the best plant-based protein sources on the planet. 

The science-backed benefits of organic pumpkin seeds* 

Two of the biggest recipients of pumpkin seeds’ health-supporting benefits are your heart and your liver. Pumpkin seeds contain plant sterols (phytosterols) like beta-sitosterol and squalene, which are known to support healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. [13][14][15] Because phytosterols are structurally similar to human cholesterol, they can competitively block cholesterol absorption in the intestine, which can support a healthy heart. [16]

Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of magnesium, an essential mineral involved in normal blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. [17] According to a study published in the journal Hypertension, supplementing with magnesium or eating magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [18]

Pumpkin seeds are also rich in healthy fats, particularly the omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Aside from supporting healthy cardiovascular function, ALA has also been found to support optimal liver function by helping you maintain a balanced composition of fats in the liver. [19]

As an excellent source of iron and zinc, pumpkin seeds are considered one of the best foods for supporting a healthy immune system. Research shows that iron is an essential component of healthy immune responses because it supports the normal functions of your innate and adaptive immune cells. [20] Meanwhile, zinc further supports a healthy immune system, thanks to its natural role in immune cell signaling. [21]

Another benefit provided by zinc is it can support prostate health in men. Not only is zinc necessary for normal prostate function, but it also helps maintain normal balance between testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. [22] The fact that the prostate gland contains higher levels of zinc than any other tissue in the body is further evidence of the mineral’s vital role in prostate health. [23]

When it comes to maintaining optimal digestive function, the high fiber content of pumpkin seeds comes in handy. Dietary fiber is known to support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements – an action that helps keep your digestive system healthy. [24] The American Heart Association recommends eating pumpkin seeds with their shells if you need more fiber, as the shells contain nearly twice the amount of fiber found in naked seeds. [25]

Aside from supporting your gut health, the fiber in pumpkin seeds can also support a sensible weight management plan. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, insoluble fiber can help you reduce your food intake by making you feel full for longer. [26] Because pumpkin seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, eating them as part of a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly can support sensible weight management goals. [27]

When it comes to phytonutrients, pumpkin seeds boast of having plenty of bioactive components. These include carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene; phenolic acids like gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid; and flavonols like quercetin, myricetin, rutin and kaempferol. [28] Many of these compounds have shown potent antioxidant properties in numerous studies. Together with vitamins A, C and E, which are also powerful antioxidants, these phytonutrients in pumpkin seeds can protect your cells from oxidative stress, which has been linked to serious health problems. [29]

To recap, here are 9 incredible health benefits of pumpkin seeds:*

  • Abundant source of plant-based protein and antioxidants
  • Support healthy heart function
  • Support healthy immune function
  • Support healthy liver function
  • Support healthy digestive function
  • Support optimal prostate health
  • Support sensible weight management plans
  • Support healthy sleep patterns
  • Naturally uplift mood 

Where to get gluten-free, lab-verified organic pumpkin seed protein powder 

Nutritious pumpkin seeds are a great addition to a healthy diet. When ground into a fine powder, this versatile ingredient becomes much easier to incorporate into your daily routine. You can now enjoy the nutritional goodness of this amazing superfood in a variety of ways with Groovy Bee® Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Plant-Based Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder

You can use our premium vegan pumpkin seed protein powder to make healthy snacks and dishes like protein bars, pasta, delicious baked goods and desserts. You can also add it to your favorite shakes, smoothies, juices, breakfast cereal and granola recipes. Rich in highly digestible protein, which the body needs to maintain optimal strength and endurance, Groovy Bee® Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Plant-Based Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder is perfect for physically active individuals or those looking to boost their protein intake.

A high-quality protein source, our pumpkin seed protein powder provides 15.6 g of pure plant-based protein per serving. It also contains an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber to support the healthy functions of your vital organs. Made from lab-verified raw organic pumpkin seeds, Groovy Bee® Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Plant-Based Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder is one of the cleanest plant-based protein powders you’ll find on the market.

Groovy Bee® Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Plant-Based Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder is non-China, non-GMO, non-irradiated and certified Kosher and organic. It also does not contain gluten or any chemical additives. Like all the products offered by the Health Ranger Store, our organic pumpkin seed protein powder is also meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

Optimize your health and protein intake with nutritious and delicious pumpkin seed protein powder!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.