Pepita seeds or pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrition and make a healthy snack choice. The greatest nutritional offerings in pepita seeds are minerals, fiber and protein, although they also contain low levels of vitamins. These seeds are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which makes them high in calories. You can purchase pepita seeds at your local market or health-food store, or you can dry your own.
A 1-cup serving of roasted pepita seeds contains 9 international units of vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin, tissues and eyes. The vitamin A found in pepita seeds is in the form of retinol, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means it is stored in the body. Even though the amount of vitamin A in pepita seeds may seem negligible, snacking on seeds throughout the day helps build up your body's stores of vitamin A.
Vitamin C works along with vitamin A as an antioxidant vitamin. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells and have been found beneficial in preventing and treating diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Unlike vitamin A, vitamin C is water-soluble and is not stored in the body. A 1-cup serving of pepita or pumpkin seeds contains 2.1 milligrams of vitamin C, and eating them can help replace the vitamin C in your body.
The family of B vitamins serve the body through helping with metabolism and the production of red blood cells. Pepita seeds contain a trace of the B vitamins niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, B-12 and B-6. The American Cancer Society reports that a deficiency of B vitamins can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, tingling sensations, hair loss, slow growth, muscle cramps and respiratory infections. B vitamins are not stored in the body and need to be replaced daily. Any intake of B vitamins, even the traces you find in pepita seeds, takes you closer to your RDI.
Vitamins K and E
The amounts of vitamins K and E in pepita seeds is so miniscule that they barely register. Any intake of these vitamins, however small, contributes to your body's overall health. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that vitamin K assists in building strong bones and in blood clotting. You need to maintain your vitamin K levels in order for your blood to clot properly when cut or wounded. If you are on blood-thinning medication, the amount of vitamin K in pepita seeds will not interfere with its ability to work properly. Vitamin E dilates blood vessels, boosts the immune system and helps cells communicate with each other. The small amounts of this vitamin in pepita seeds contribute to overall health.
- University of Alaska Cooperative Extension: Pumpkin Seeds
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, without salt
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin A
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C
- American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
- Harvard School of Public Health: Vitamin K
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E
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