Can You Eat Pumpkin Seed Shells?

You must be aware that Pumpkin seeds found inside the whole pumpkins can make for a tasty and nutritious snack.

However, pumpkin seeds are usually made available to us without their outer hard shell removed. So, should you remove the shell and discard it before using the inner softer part of pumpkin seeds? Or use the seeds with the shells? Let’s find out…

Is it safe to eat pumpkin seed shells?

Pumpkin seeds are small and green in color. They are surrounded by a whitish-yellow hard shell. The shells of these seeds are safe to eat and cause no adverse effect on your health. In fact, they can provide a crunchy texture to the seeds and also provide more nutrients.

When you carve open a pumpkin, you will find these seeds surrounded by the orange flesh of the vegetable. The seeds taste great when roasted. You can also add them to any dish to improve the crunchy texture. Now, let’s have a look at the benefits you can derive by eating pumpkin seeds with their shells.

What are the health benefits of pumpkin seed shells?

  • Pumpkin seeds contain several essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper. Iron in these seed shells is vital for the formation of hemoglobin and improving oxygen transport to tissues. When you remove the shell of these seeds, some of these nutrients are lost. This is why; it is advisable to keep intact the shell of the seeds while roasting them so that you can enjoy maximum benefits from the nutrients present in them. [1]
  • It has been found that one ounce or 28 grams of pumpkin seeds with shells pose a high fiber content that the seeds from which the shell has been removed. The fibers in these shells can offer numerous benefits for improving your digestion. It can reduce bloating, flatulence, and bloating and also provide relief from constipation. Fiber can also improve the health of your heart and reduce the risk of heart attacks, and high cholesterol. [2]
  • The shells of pumpkin seeds have an extremely low carbohydrate content. This means they are safe to eat even for patients with diabetes. Eating the low-carb, fiber-rich pumpkin seed shells can improve the carbohydrate metabolism thereby enhancing glycemic control in patients with diabetes. This can help to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as neuralgias and cataracts. [3]

Conclusion

Pumpkin seed shells are safe to eat and can provide more nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fibers than the shelled seeds. Hence, it is advisable to eat pumpkin seeds with their shells so that you can enjoy the benefits of nutrients.

To enjoy pumpkin seeds with shells, you can scoop them out from a whole pumpkin and roast them for a scrumptious snack.

References:

  1. Abbaspour N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J Res Med Sci. 2014;19(2):164–174.
  2. Soliman GA. Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1155. Published 2019 May 23. doi:10.3390/nu11051155
  3. “FoodData Central Search Results.” FoodData Central. Accessed January 24, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/360425/nutrients.