Can you eat whole pumpkin seeds?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat whole pumpkin seeds?” and discuss its health benefits?

Can you eat whole pumpkin seeds?

Yes, you can eat whole pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds have a yellowish-white shell that is encircled by tiny, green seeds. When you cut into a pumpkin, you’ll discover orange, stringy flesh all around the seeds. Roasting the entire seeds, shell and all is a popular snack for many people.

The world production of pumpkins is estimated at 25.2 million tons per year. The production of pumpkins is prevalent in Asia (around 65% of world production) Europe (14%) and America (11%) (1).

Pumpkin seed shells, on the other hand, are generally safe to consume. Because of this, they contribute to the seeds’ unique crunch and supply additional nutrients. Inside the pumpkin, you’ll find healthy pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds), which you may eat as a snack or add to salads. However, the consumption of pumpkin seeds in natura without heat treatment can reduce the bioavailability of nutrients. Studies on animals have shown no toxic effects of this type of seed, with beneficial effects on metabolism, physiology, and human nutrition. Therefore, it is important to roast the seeds before eating them (1).

It’s understandable that you would be concerned about the safety of eating entire seeds that haven’t yet been separated from their hard shells.

Shelled vs. whole pumpkin seeds in terms of nutrition and advantages.

In comparison to shelled pumpkin seeds, whole seeds contain more than double the amount of fiber. Whole pumpkin seeds include around 5 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams), however, shelled seeds only have 2 grams.

According to studies, the fiber content of hulled seeds accounted to 21.1 ± 0.56 g per 100g and was observed to be higher in comparison to the hull-less seeds i.e., 7.87 ± 0.15 g per 100g and varies by 2.7-fold difference between the two (2).

Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your intestines, allowing you to digest your food more efficiently. Lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure levels may potentially minimize your chance of heart disease. As a result, whole pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber. The healthy attributes of nuts and edible seeds, especially dietary fibers and polyphenols contents, indicate that their mechanism of weight gain prevention may occur through interaction with the gut microbiota, by means of prebiotic effects. Among the etiological factors associated with obesity, the gut microbiota seems to play a significant role (4).

Zinc, magnesium, and copper are all found in abundance in these seeds. It also contains a significant amount of iron, which is necessary for healthy blood and oxygen transport and also for the immune system (3).

The dangers of eating the shells of pumpkin seeds

Despite the fact that they’re generally safe to consume, entire pumpkin seeds may represent a risk to certain individuals. Those who have digestive issues, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (IBD), should avoid or minimise entire pumpkin seeds and even shelled kinds. Excessive consumption of foods high in fiber combined with improper chewing of food enhances Phytobezoar formation, a is a dense mass of non-digestible food, seeds, leaves or other pieces that collects in the stomach or small intestine, obstructing the region, that can be amplified by the deposition of fats, salt residues and fiber (6).

Inflammation in the digestive tract is caused by fiber-rich seeds, which may increase this inflammation and induce symptoms such as stomach cramps or diarrhea. As a result of their tiny size, pumpkin seeds are simple to overeat. So even if your digestive system is OK, you should be aware of portion proportions when you consume them.

These seeds are high in fiber, so you may want to rehydrate yourself after eating them by drinking some water.

After slicing off the top, scoop out the seeds and meat using a spoon. Remove any remaining flesh from the seeds by gently rubbing them with your hands in a colander filled with cold water. Use a paper towel to finish drying them. It’s possible to eat pumpkin seeds raw, but roasting them makes them much better. As mentioned above, raw pumpkin seeds can reduce the bioavailability of nutrients (1).

Add salt, pepper, and any additional ingredients you choose to olive oil or melted butter before roasting. They may be baked at 300°F (150°C) for 30–40 minutes, or until they’re browned and crispy on the outside.

Pumpkin Seeds’ Scientifically Proven Health Benefits

Small in size, yet filled with important nutrients, pumpkin seeds are a nutritious addition to any diet. You may get a significant amount of healthy fats, magnesium, and zinc by eating only a modest bit of them. 

Because of this, pumpkin seeds have been linked to a number of health advantages. These include better cardiovascular, prostate, and cancer protection (5). You may also readily eat these seeds since they can be easily added to your diet. Health promoting impacts of pumpkin seeds on the level of blood glucose, cholesterol, immunity, liver functioning, gallbladder, disabilities of learning, prostate gland, depression, inflammation, cancer management and inhibition of parasites are established. Scientifically proven health advantages of pumpkin seeds are listed below.

Contains a Wide Range of Essential Vitamins and Minerals

“Pepita,” a Spanish word for pumpkin seeds, is another name for them. Many commercial pumpkin seeds lack a shell, unlike the firm white seeds seen in a carving pumpkin. Green, flat, and oval in shape, these seeds are devoid of shells.

Shell-free pumpkin seeds contain around 151 calories per ounce (28 grams), most of which come from fat and protein. As an example, a 28-gram (one-ounce) portion comprises the following (5):

1.7 grams of fiber per serving

5 grams of carbohydrates

7 grams of protein

13 grams of fat (6 of which are omega-6s)

Niacin (Vitamin B3) 9 % of the recommended daily intake

Amounts of phosphorus: 33% of the RDA

Manganese contributes 42% of the RDI for this mineral.

Magnesium accounts for 37% of the RDI.

Iron makes up 23% of the RDI.

Zinc contributes about 14% of the RDI.

19% of the RDI comes from copper

They’re also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and folate, as well as a slew of antioxidants. Additionally, pumpkin seeds and seed oil are packed with a variety of minerals and plant chemicals that have been demonstrated to have health-enhancing properties.

To learn more about eating whole pumpkin seeds click here

Other FAQs about Pumpkin that you may be interested in.

How to preserve uncarved pumpkins

How to preserve pumpkins


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat whole pumpkin seeds?” and we discussed its health benefits?


  1. Costa, L. L., et al. Physicochemical and rheological characterization of pan bread made with pumpkin seed flour. Int Food Res J, 2018, 25.
  2. Charaya, Ananaya, et al. Evaluation of Biochemical Composition of Hulled and Hullless Genotypes of Pumpkin Seeds Grown in Sub-Tropical India. Available at SSRN 4225296.  
  3. Weyh, Christopher, et al. The role of minerals in the optimal functioning of the immune system. Nutrients, 2022, 14, 644.  
  4. Sugizaki, Clara SA, and Maria Margareth V. Naves. Potential Prebiotic Properties of Nuts and Edible Seeds and Their Relationship to Obesity. Nutrients, 2018, 10,11.
  5. Syed, Qamar Abbas, Mafia Akram, and Rizwan Shukat. Nutritional and therapeutic importance of the pumpkin seeds. Seed, 2019, 21, 15798-15803.  
  6. Ioniță-Mîndrican, Corina-Bianca, et al. Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review. Nutrients, 2011, 14, 13.