How much pumpkin seed can I eat in a day?

Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack that many people enjoy eating. But how much is too much when it comes to these small green seeds? Here is a detailed look at pumpkin seed nutrition facts, potential health benefits, and recommendations for how much to eat per day.

Pumpkin Seed Nutrition Facts

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with important nutrients and minerals. Here are some of the main nutrition facts for 1 ounce (28 grams) of roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds (1):

  • Calories: 125
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Zinc: 2 mg (14% DV)
  • Iron: 1 mg (6% DV)
  • Magnesium: 37 mg (9% DV)
  • Phosphorus: 120 mg (12% DV)
  • Manganese: 0.2 mg (9% DV)
  • Copper: 0.2 mg (10% DV)
  • Vitamin K: 2 mcg (2% DV)

As you can see, pumpkin seeds provide a good amount of protein, fiber, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and copper in just a 1 ounce serving. They are also a good plant-based source of iron for vegans and vegetarians.

Potential Health Benefits

Eating pumpkin seeds in moderation may provide the following potential health benefits:

  • Prostate health: The zinc in pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate (2).
  • Relief from overactive bladder: Pumpkin seed oil supplements may help reduce symptoms of overactive bladder in men (3).
  • Improved heart health: The magnesium and monounsaturated fats in pumpkin seeds are associated with a lower risk of heart disease (4, 5).
  • Better sleep: Pumpkin seeds are a source of tryptophan, which is converted to the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin in the body (6).
  • Relief of arthritis symptoms: Pumpkin seed oil may reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis patients (7).
  • Higher antioxidant levels: Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants that protect cells from unstable molecules called free radicals (8).

That said, more research is needed to confirm some of these specific health benefits.

How Many Pumpkin Seeds Should You Eat Per Day?

There are no official recommendations for exactly how many pumpkin seeds to eat per day.

However, here are some general guidelines based on a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • 1–2 ounces (28–56 grams) per day for general health benefits.
  • Up to 4 ounces (113 grams) per day as part of a heart-healthy diet.
  • Around 3–5 ounces (85–142 grams) per day may be needed to relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

It’s best to start with a smaller amount such as 1 ounce (28 grams) per day and gradually increase to avoid digestive side effects.

Here is how much raw and roasted pumpkin seeds equal a 1 ounce serving (9):

Type Amount
Raw pumpkin seeds About 2 tablespoons
Roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds About 2 tablespoons
Roasted, shelled pumpkin seeds About 3 tablespoons

Benefits of Eating 1–2 Ounces Per Day

Eating a 1–2 ounce (28–56 gram) serving per day, or around 2 tablespoons of raw or roasted pumpkin seeds, provides the following benefits:

  • Provides a good amount of protein, magnesium, copper, manganese and other nutrients.
  • May promote heart health due to the monounsaturated fats and magnesium.
  • May relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • May improve sleep quality due to the tryptophan.

This is a good daily intake for most healthy adults to take advantage of the nutrients in pumpkin seeds. However, you may need to eat more if you have a specific health condition.

Benefits of Eating up to 4 Ounces Per Day

Consuming up to 4 ounces (113 grams) per day, or about 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, as part of a heart-healthy diet may provide benefits such as:

  • Lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure (4, 10).
  • Reducing the risk of atherosclerosis by improving artery function (11).
  • Decreasing inflammation linked to heart disease risk (12).

Aim for this higher amount if you have high cholesterol, heart disease risk factors or need to watch your heart health.

Benefits of Eating 3–5 Ounces Per Day

Eating around 3–5 ounces (85–142 grams) per day may help if you have an enlarged prostate or overactive bladder.

In studies on men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, those who took pumpkin seed oil supplements equivalent to around 3–5 ounces of pumpkin seeds per day experienced (3, 13):

  • Reduced urinary symptoms.
  • Improved quality of life.
  • Lower prostate size.

Higher daily intakes in this range appear most effective at decreasing symptoms of an overactive bladder and enlarged prostate.

Potential Side Effects

Eating too many pumpkin seeds can cause side effects in some people. Potential issues can include:

  • Digestive issues: High amounts may irritate the gastrointestinal tract or cause bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation in sensitive individuals (14).
  • Hormonal changes in men: Very high intakes above 10 ounces (283 grams) per day may negatively alter testosterone and sex hormone levels (15).
  • Allergic reactions: Pumpkin seeds can trigger allergies or reactions in people allergic to other nuts and seeds (16).

If you experience any negative side effects from eating pumpkin seeds, decrease your intake. See a healthcare professional if symptoms are severe or persistent.

Healthiest Ways to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Here are some healthy ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds in your diet:

  • Add them to oatmeal, yogurt, salads or smoothies.
  • Snack on a handful on their own.
  • Sprinkle them on avocado toast or savory dishes.
  • Use pumpkin seed butter as a spread or dip.
  • Blend them into homemade trail mixes or granola.
  • Use pumpkin seed oil for cooking or drizzling.
  • Bake into breads, muffins or other baked goods.

Look for raw or roasted pumpkin seeds with no added sugar, salt or oil. Minimally processed pumpkin seed butter, oil or flour are other healthy options.

Who Should Be Cautious With Pumpkin Seeds?

Here are some people who may need to limit their intake of pumpkin seeds or avoid them altogether:

  • Anyone with digestive issues: Start with small amounts and increase slowly to prevent flare-ups.
  • Those with hormone-sensitive conditions: Speak to your healthcare provider first, especially for conditions like breast cancer.
  • People with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Monitor symptoms, as high fiber foods like seeds can trigger IBS issues.
  • Individuals taking lithium: Pumpkin seeds may interact with lithium and decrease its absorption (17).
  • People allergic to pumpkin seeds or other nuts/seeds: Avoid eating pumpkin seeds if you have a seed or nut allergy.
  • Anyone on a low-fiber diet: Pumpkin seeds are relatively high in fiber, so talk to your healthcare provider first.

Speak with your healthcare professional before adding pumpkin seeds to your diet if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.


Pumpkin seeds can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet. General guidelines recommend 1–2 ounces (28–56 grams) per day for most healthy adults.

Higher amounts around 4 ounces (113 grams) may provide benefits for heart health, while 3–5 ounces (85–142 grams) per day may help treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate or overactive bladder in men.

However, too much can cause side effects in some. It’s best to start with small amounts and modify based on how you feel.

Add pumpkin seeds to salads, smoothies, oatmeal or snacks to take advantage of the unique nutrition profile and health benefits of these tiny green seeds.

Leave a Comment