Home » Pumpkin seed protein has 1 advantage over other plant-based options, dietitians say

Pumpkin seed protein has 1 advantage over other plant-based options, dietitians say

by Today

Full of all kinds of heart- and gut-healthy nutrients, it’s easy to forget that pumpkin seeds are also a major source of plant-based protein.

Pumpkin seed protein has been popping up in products like protein powders, bars and shakes more and more over the last few years, says Natalie Rizzo, registered dietitian and TODAY.com nutrition editor.

It’s often marketed towards people who are avoiding whey, soy or nut-based protein products because it’s “an allergy friendly protein,” she says.

There aren’t as many peer-reviewed studies about pumpkin seed protein benefits as there are for options like whey or soy protein shakes, powders, and bars, Rizzo says, because it’s a newer addition to the market. But we know pumpkin seeds are a healthy option for many reasons.

“Because it’s coming from pumpkin seeds, (pumpkin seed protein products are) rich in protein, minerals and fiber,” Theresa Gentile, a registered dietitian in New York City and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells TODAY.com.

“It’s a good plant-based choice for someone who doesn’t want to have whey protein or casein protein in something like a protein bar,” she adds.

If you’re thinking of trying out pumpkin seed protein, here’s what dietitians want you to know.

Pumpkin seed protein benefits

Essential amino acids

All protein is made up of amino acids. There are nine amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own, which means we need to get them from food.

Pumpkin seed protein contains all nine of those essential amino acids, the experts say. But because a few of those amino acids are present in smaller amounts, it’s not technically considered a complete protein, which is generally the case for all plant-based proteins.

Pumpkin seeds have 8.5 grams of protein per ounce serving, compared to 10 to 20 grams per serving in pumpkin seed protein powder.

“It has lots of good quality protein, but it’s pretty low in two of those amino acids: methionine and tryptophan,” Gentile says.

As long as…

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