Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are a nutritious, tasty snack. The flat, tiny, and oval-shaped seeds are white in the pumpkin but are often green in the stores. Have you ever wondered why?
Pumpkin seeds are green in the store because they don’t have shells. In the fresh pumpkin, you’ll find white seeds because they still have the outer shells. The shell has been removed from those in the store, so you have the seed itself. The green color is here because of protochlorophyll pigment.
Read on and learn whether you can eat pumpkin seeds when they’re green or white, with their possible benefits and downsides.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Supposed to Be Green?
Unshelled pumpkins should be green. The green part is the inner, delectable part of the seeds. Typically, many processors remove the outer white part and package only the edible green part.
However, if you find the white, coated pumpkin seeds, they’re also edible. In fact, they add the distinctive crunch of the seeds and offer more nutrients. But many people with digestive issues avoid the whole seeds as the high fiber content may trigger symptoms, including diarrhea and pain.
How Do You Eat Green Pumpkin Seeds?
You can eat pumpkin seeds raw, but they taste more delicious roasted. To roast them, toss them in melted butter or olive oil, plus pepper, salt, and other seasonings you’d like. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at 300 degrees F for between 30 and 40 minutes. You should ensure they are crunchy and brown.
Moreover, you can add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salad, chia pudding, soups, muffins, whole-grain dishes, or granola bars to attain health and nutritional benefits.
Should You Soak Pumpkin Seeds Before Eating?
It is recommended to soak the pumpkin seeds. Seeds and nuts have enzymes that hinder them from sprouting prematurely. But the enzymes can make the seeds challenging to digest, and hence soaking comes in handy. When you soak them in salty water, you will strip off the enzymes and ensure the seeds are easy to digest.
Besides, soaking increases vitamin absorption in the body and ensures gluten becomes easier to digest.
To soak the seeds, use 1/2 tablespoon salt for each cup of seeds and two cups of water. Put the seeds in a bowl, add salt, and cover with water. Then, cover the bowl with a paper towel and let it sit in a warm place like the kitchen countertop for a few hours.
How Much Pumpkin Seeds to Eat Daily?
According to the American Heart Association, you should eat a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds daily, as part of your overall healthy diet. The amount offers you a good amount of healthy fats, proteins, fiber, selenium, zinc, and 42% of recommended daily intake of magnesium. 
Moreover, it’s recommended to take about 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds twice daily if you’re suffering from Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Finally, you should take a few pumpkin seeds before bed if you have sleeping troubles to improve your sleep. The seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.
Green Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Facts
An ounce (about a quarter cup) of raw pumpkins contains 151 calories:
- 1.7 grams fiber
- 5 grams carbs
- 7 grams protein
- 13 grams fat (6 of which are omega-6s)
- 50% RDI manganese
- 42% RDI magnesium
- 33% RDI phosphorus
- 23% RDI iron
- 18% RDI vitamin K
- 14% RDI zinc
Moreover, pumpkin seeds also contain potassium, antioxidants, and folate.
Green Pumpkin Seeds Benefits
Since the seeds are a good source of magnesium, calcium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, they can help enhance heart, bone, and other bodily function health.
The fatty acids can also help manage Diabetes type II. Moreover, the seeds tryptophan and glutamate can enhance your overall wellbeing and lower oxidative stress.
The zinc and other nutrients in the seeds can improve liver and prenatal health, while their fiber can enhance digestion and help in weight loss. Besides, the high vitamin E content in pumpkin seeds will help strengthen the immune system, and the beta-carotene can promote skin and eye health.
Is Pumpkin Seeds Good for Hair?
Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, a unique amino acid that promotes hair growth. They are also full of fatty acids, phytoestrogens, and vitamin E that can help treat pattern baldness. You can consume a handful of pumpkin seeds or apply their oil on your scalp daily to achieve the results.