Is It Safe To Eat Pumpkin Seed Shells?

Is it safe to eat pumpkin seed shells

Pumpkin, one of the relishing vegetables, has all its parts edible. So, yes, if you wonder if you can eat pumpkin seed shells, of course you can!

Pumpkin seed shells are equally edible and are a richer source of nutrients than their flesh and seeds. In fact, they make one amazingly nutritious and delicious snack to munch on anytime without adding to your calories. 

Before we delve into the content, let’s understand what pumpkin seed shells are and the difference between white and shelled seeds. 

What Are Whole And Shelled Pumpkin Seeds?

The major difference between the two lies in the presence or absence of an outer husk also called a shell. 

Whole pumpkin seeds: When the outer husk, the white and fibrous part of the seed, is still intact, it is called whole pumpkin seed. While these seeds are perfectly edible, some prefer removing the husk and then consume.

Shelled pumpkin seeds: When the outer husk of the seeds is removed, they are called shelled pumpkin seeds, also popular as pepitas. Once the outer husk is removed, the inner green kernel becomes visible. Such shelled seeds are easy to consume as they become soft.  

Where Can I Get Pumpkin Seed Shells?

Pumpkin seeds are readily available in the market. While some brands sell them without the hard outer covering, called a shell, in others, you can find them intact. It makes eating pumpkin seeds more skeptical. 

Here, it is important to know that there is no harm in eating these pumpkin seed shells. In fact, they add the desired crunch to these seeds, making them more interesting. 

Usually, at stores, you will find pumpkin seeds without shells (shelled pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas); however, most home brands offer them with shells. So, if you are looking for more nutrients in your pumpkin seeds, go for those with the shells. 

How Safe Is It To Eat Pumpkin Seed Shells?

Pumpkin seeds are small, green, typically oval-shaped edible parts of pumpkin that are covered with hard shells. These seeds are found inside the pumpkin’s hollow interior. 

Usually, pumpkin seeds are eaten as a snack after roasting and seasoning with salt and spices. They are also added to salads and yogurts to make the food more nutritious and healthier. Due to their versatility, pumpkin seeds are also used in baking and cooking to add flavor and taste to the food.

These seeds are a rich source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and iron. 

When the seeds are eaten along with shells, not only their nutritional value increases but the fiber content as well. It makes them easy on the digestive tract. 

The best way to enjoy pumpkin seed shells is by roasting them to make a delicious snack. Thus, besides making the seeds crunchy, they provide more nutrients, too. 

Nutritional Of Whole Pumpkin Seeds Vs Shelled Pumpkin Seeds

The major difference between the two lies in their fiber content. Since fiber is essential to make digestion easy, it is required in a good amount of food. Besides digestion, fiber also keeps the heart healthy by lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels (1). 

Whole pumpkin seeds contain a white shell and are, therefore, more fibrous than shelled pumpkin seeds (2). 

When the fiber content of the two is compared, it came to light that around 28 grams of whole pumpkin seeds have approximately 5 grams of fiber. However, in the shelled seeds, this content was only 2 grams (3). 

Is There Any Risk Of Eating Pumpkin Seed Shells?

Usually, there is no risk in consuming pumpkin seeds, provided you are eating them in an adequate amount. 

However, if a person is dealing with certain medical conditions related to digestion, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it is better to limit or avoid pumpkin seed shell consumption. 

As the whole pumpkin seeds have high fiber, it can intensify intestinal inflammation, leading to symptoms such as

  • stomach upset
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • bloating

At the same time, due to their small size, people may end up eating more than needed by the body. This overconsumption can also cause difficulty, especially if you already have some digestion concerns. 

Remember to drink enough water while consuming pumpkin seed shells so that fiber can easily move through the digestive tract. 

Can I Prepare Whole Pumpkin Seeds At Home?

Yes, it’s a relatively easy procedure.

If you have recently purchased a lot of pumpkins due to Halloween or got some from a local farm, check out the steps below to get your own whole pumpkin seeds at home-

  • Cut the pumpkin and remove the seeds from its hollow interior 
  • Rinse them thoroughly under water while gently removing the flesh from every seed with your hands.
  • Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel. 

You can consume these pumpkin seeds either raw or after roasting and seasoning with salt and spices. 

Use olive oil, coconut oil, or melted butter to roast the seeds. Add some salt and pepper to your taste, as well as other seasoning ingredients, if required. 

Take a baking sheet and spread the seeds evenly over it. Let it cook in the oven for at least 30 minutes at 300 °F. As the seeds turn slightly brown, they are ready to eat. 


Now that you have got the answer to, can you eat pumpkin seed shells, it’s high time to add this fiber-rich ingredient to your diet. However, make sure to eat these seeds mindfully and within the right amount to prevent the chances of any digestive issues. 

If you experience symptoms like stomach ache or diarrhea after consumption, it is better to avoid whole pumpkin seeds and switch to shelled ones.


  1. Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease-
  2. Pumpkin Seeds-
  3. [historical Record]: Pumpkin Seeds-

Was this article helpful?