Are pumpkin seeds low FODMAP?
Even after fall is over, and the pumpkin patches are covered with winter snow, that doesn’t mean pumpkins have to be off the menu. In fact, pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are a delicious and nutritious snack. However, if you are following a low FODMAP eating plan, you may be wondering if pumpkin seeds are safe to eat. Let’s take a look at the healthy benefits of pumpkin seeds, and how you can add them to your low FODMAP lifestyle.
Pumpkin seed nutrition and preparation
Pumpkin seeds are rich in many nutrients including protein, fiber, magnesium, and zinc. Each tablespoon of pumpkin seeds contains the following nutritional profile:
- 45 calories
- ~ 100 milligrams phosphorus
- ~ 47 milligrams magnesium
- ~.65 milligrams zinc
- ~.85 grams carbohydrate
- ~.5 grams fiber
- ~ 2.5 grams protein
This seed is perfect for many diet types including vegan, vegetarian, and low carbohydrate lifestyles, to name a few. And the antioxidant content of pumpkin seeds makes it a great addition to any plant-based lifestyle.
Pumpkin seeds are usually consumed rinsed and roasted. You can drizzle a bit of olive oil on the seeds after the rinsed seeds have been patted dry. Then sprinkle on the seasoning of your choice before roasting. If you like to keep it simple, then just sprinkle on a bit of sea salt. But if you are looking for a bit of extra flavor, then try a low FODMAP seasoning like Casa de Sante’s Mexican seasoning mix. Finally, to roast the pumpkin seeds, spread them out in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you purchase raw organic pumpkin seeds in the store, then you will have to lightly roast at home. This will involve baking them in a single layer on a pan at 160-170 degrees Celsius for about 15 to 20 minutes. More than 20 minutes of roasting in this way will cause unwanted changes in fat structure of the seeds. In turn, this could negatively impact the healthy unsaturated fat content of the seeds.
How to enjoy pumpkin seeds
Once roasted, you can enjoy pumpkin seeds in many ways. You can either eat them alone as a snack or sprinkle them on salad for extra crunch and nutrition. You can also add roasted pumpkin seeds to hot or cold cereal, sautéed vegetables, or your favorite baked goods recipe like muffins or granola. Finally, you can also ground up pumpkin seeds and add to dips or burgers for extra protein and nutrients.
Pumpkin seeds and FODMAPs
When it comes to FODMAPs, fortunately pumpkin seeds are low FODMAP safe. However, according to Monash University, you must not consume more than 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds a day to stay low FODMAP. Therefore, if you decide to add pumpkin seeds to your daily routine, be sure to have your measuring spoon on hand.
Take home message
If you are craving something salty and crunchy but want to stay on track with your low FODMAP lifestyle, then set aside the chips and grab some pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a healthy choice that are safe to eat on a low FODMAP eating plan in a snack serving. As an added bonus, they provide a variety of nutrients important for overall health. And even if it’s not pumpkin harvest time, you can find roasted pumpkin seeds in your local health store. They are usually already roasted in store, but you can still lightly coat the seeds with olive oil spray if you choose to add your favorite seasoning. For more information on low FODMAP friendly foods, check out the Casa de Sante website today.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com