There is no doubt that pumpkin seeds pack a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits. However, the question on our minds today is: Are pumpkin seeds keto friendly? Much like everything else on the keto diet, there are some seeds and nuts that are prohibited from the menu, while others are allowed.
In this article, we take a closer look at this delicious snack and find out whether or not you can eat pumpkin seeds on a keto diet.
A Quick Recap Of The Keto Diet
There is no doubt that you have already heard about the keto diet, which is currently the hottest weight loss diet on the planet, but for those of you who are fairly new to the diet, here is a quick recap:
To put it simply, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan. The goal of the diet is to shift your body into ketosis, a natural metabolic state. While in this state, the liver produces ketones, a chemical that helps to break down fats, which in turn is used as the body’s primary source of energy. The success of this diet relies mainly on the number of carbs you consume per day and, of course, maintaining your state of ketosis. By altering your lifestyle and investing in high-quality natural keto weight loss pills, you can rev up your ketone production and start melting away excess fat.
The Nutritional Value Of Pumpkin Seeds
The only way to tell if pumpkin seeds are safe to eat on a keto diet is by looking at their nutritional value. Much like nuts, pumpkin seeds are the embryo of the plant, meaning that they contain all the necessary nutrients needed for the plant to sprout and flourish.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. They are like tiny nutritional bullets that offer a wide range of medicinal and health benefits. Just a quarter cup of seeds amounts to almost 50% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. In addition to that, they also offer one-third of the recommended daily intake of iron.
A ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds (without the husk) contains:
- 187 Calories
- 6.15g Total Carbohydrates
- 1.35g Dietary Fiber
- 4.8g Net Carbs
- 15.83g Fat
- 3g Saturated Fat
- 4.78g Monounsaturated Fat
- 7.2g Polyunsaturated Fat
- 8.48g Protein
- 17.7mcg Vitamin K
- 4.14mg Iron
- 184.5mg Magnesium
- 2.575mg Copper
- 1.05mg Manganese
Based on these figures, pumpkin seeds are quite low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, which means that are safe to eat on a keto diet.
How Many Pumpkin Seeds Can I Eat On A Keto Diet?
While pumpkin seeds are a suitable snack for the keto diet, as with everything else, moderation is key. It is best to stick to a ¼ cup serving if you are planning on snacking on these heavenly treats, anything above that will send your ketone production plummeting. A full cup serving of pumpkin seeds may not look like a lot but it contains a whopping 34g of carbs, which is more than half of the amount you need to keep your body in a state of ketosis.
The Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds For Keto Flu
So now that we know pumpkin seeds are keto friendly, what are the other health benefits? As mentioned previously, pumpkin seeds are filled with all the good stuff. They may be small but they certainly step up to the plate when it comes to medicinal and health properties. The best thing of all is that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to get hold of, and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.
Pumpkin seeds are very rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids, the plant pigments responsible for giving pumpkins their bright orange and yellow color. The high levels of antioxidants are beneficial for protecting your cells against oxidative damage, or otherwise known as harmful free radicals.
#2 Blood Sugar Levels
One of the many reasons why pumpkin seeds are great for the keto diet is because of its high magnesium content. Magnesium helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and relieve muscle cramps, making these tiny nutrient bullets the perfect weapon against the dreaded keto flu.
#3 Digestive Health
Adjusting to your new keto lifestyle can cause a minor shift in your digestive health. Constipation and diarrhea are two of the most common side effects of the keto diet. The high content of insoluble fiber found in pumpkin seeds helps to regulate bowel movements and promote a healthier gut.
#4 Improved Sleep
Another common symptom of the keto flu is difficulty sleeping. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps to promote sleep. However, you would need to consume over 7 ounces of seeds to achieve the full effects of the tryptophan. The good news is that the zinc content found in these seeds also helps to convert tryptophan into serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin, the hormone which is responsible for regulating sleep cycles.
How To Use Pumpkin Seeds On A Keto Diet
The beauty of pumpkin seeds is that they can be used in so many ways. They can add crunch to your favorite keto salad or they can be eaten on their own as a quick snack, the possibilities are endless. One of the best ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds is to roast them and sprinkle them over a dish of butternut squash or fresh avocado. Here’s how to do it:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds The Keto Way
- 3 tbsp melted ghee
- 2 cups of pumpkin seeds (rinsed)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Cracked black pepper to taste
Handy tip: When you are ready to whip up a dish of roasted pumpkin or your jack-o’-lantern is complete, scoop out the seeds and freeze them for this delicious recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the seeds in a strainer and rinse them until all of the pulp is washed off.
- Once the seeds have been cleaned, place them in a bowl and add the melted ghee, garlic, cayenne, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Mix well until all the seeds are coated.
- Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the coated seeds into the sheet or pan.
- Roast the seeds for about 20 minutes before turning them over. Roast for another 10 minutes or until each side of the seeds is golden brown.
These can be served as an appetizer or over any kind of vegetables you like. The roasted pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge.
The Bottom Line
Pumpkin seeds make a wonderful keto snack but just remember that they should be eaten in moderation. If you have just started out on the diet and experience a few symptoms of the keto flu, try adding some pumpkin seeds to the menu. The magnesium content will do wonders for your blood sugar levels and help alleviate some of the insomnia you may be experiencing. Overall, pumpkin seeds are a great way to bust your hunger and keep your ketone production at the optimal level.