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Pumpkin seeds vs Walnuts - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 02, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Walnut
vs
Pumpkin seed

Summary

Walnut contains more phosphorus, manganese, copper, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, and folate. It also has less sodium and a lower glycemic index.

On the other hand, pumpkin seed provides more zinc, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and fewer sugars and saturated fat.

Introduction

This article compares two widely used foods: walnut and pumpkin seeds.

What's The Actual Difference?

Walnuts belong to the genus Juglans. Walnuts are not actual botanical nuts but the edible seeds of a drupe. Pumpkin seed is the edible seed of a pumpkin or specific other squash cultivars.

They also differ in taste. Pumpkin seeds have a mild flavor, making them an excellent base for seasonings like those found in the recipes below, whereas walnuts are earthy and mild, but walnut skin might be slightly bitter. 

Nutrition

At the bottom of this page, you can find nutrition infographics of pumpkin seeds and walnut.

Calories

Both are rich in calories; however, walnuts contain more calories than pumpkin seeds. It has 654 calories per 100 g, whereas pumpkin seeds have 446 calories per 100 g.

Minerals

Walnut contains more calcium, copper, phosphorus, and sodium than pumpkin seeds.

On the other hand, pumpkin seeds have more iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc than a walnut. They fall in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of magnesium and the range of the top 7% of foods as a source of potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +78.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +276.1%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Copper +129.9%
Contains more Iron +13.7%
Contains more Magnesium +65.8%
Contains more Potassium +108.4%
Contains more Zinc +233.3%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 110% 113% 149% 39% 1% 85% 529%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 17% 125% 188% 40% 82% 3% 281% 230%
Contains more Calcium +78.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +276.1%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Copper +129.9%
Contains more Iron +13.7%
Contains more Magnesium +65.8%
Contains more Potassium +108.4%
Contains more Zinc +233.3%

Vitamins

Walnut has a higher amount of vitamins than pumpkin seeds. It has 13 times more Vitamin B6, nine times more Vitamin B1, and three times more Vitamin C than pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, and folate are also high in walnut.

Despite that, pumpkin seeds have more Vitamin A than walnuts.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Walnut
9
:
Contains more Vitamin C +333.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +902.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +188.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +293.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +917.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +1351.4%
Contains more Folate +988.9%
Contains more Vitamin A +210%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 14% 0% 5% 86% 35% 22% 35% 124% 74% 0% 7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 0% 0% 1% 9% 12% 6% 4% 9% 7% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin C +333.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +902.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +188.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +293.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +917.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +1351.4%
Contains more Folate +988.9%
Contains more Vitamin A +210%

Fats

Walnut contains three times more fats than pumpkin seeds. It has 65.21 of fat per 100g, while pumpkin seeds contain 19.4g of fat per 100g. In particular, pumpkin seeds have less saturated fats, but walnut has more mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Walnut falls in the range of the top 2% of foods as a source of fat.

Protein

Walnut contains more protein than pumpkin seeds. Walnut provides 18.55g, whereas pumpkin seeds have 15g of protein per 100g.

Cholesterol

Walnut and pumpkin seeds have no cholesterol.

Carbs

Pumpkin seeds have four times more carbohydrates than a walnut. They contain 53.75g of carbs per 100g, whereas pumpkin seeds provide 13.71g of carbs per 100g.

Walnut contains 6.7g of fiber and 7g of net carbs. Pumpkin seeds are also richer in fiber: 18.4g of fiber and 35.35g of net carbs. Walnut is considered low-carb food.

Glycemic Index

Walnut has a GI equal to 15, whereas the GI of pumpkin seeds is unknown: however, one study shows that adding pooled pumpkin seeds to mixed meals reduces postprandial glycemia [1].

Health Impact

Diabetes

Because of their unsaturated fat and fiber content, nuts are one of several foods that can help people with type 2 diabetes.

According to the study, consuming one tablespoon of walnut oil daily for three months resulted in an 8% decrease in fasting blood sugar in 100 people with type 2 diabetes [2].

Several studies have found that taking pumpkin juice or seed powder supplements reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes [3].

Cardiovascular Health

Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and fatty acids, which may benefit your heart [4].

Animal studies have also revealed that pumpkin seed oil may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important risk factors for heart disease [5].

According to research, eating nuts may be beneficial to those who have cardiovascular issues. Consuming walnuts has been shown in one study to help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure [6]. Another study found that walnuts can help lower LDL cholesterol, a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease [7].

Cancer

Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fats and antioxidants, which help prevent several diseases, including cancer. Besides, walnuts are also high in 18-carbon α-linolenic acid, which may prevent or inhibit the growth of cancer cells [8].

According to a large observational study, eating pumpkin seeds was linked to a lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women [9].

Other research suggests that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play an essential role in preventing and treating breast cancer [10].

Gut Health

Eating walnuts can be beneficial to your gut health and the health of your microbiota. A daily intake of 43 grams of walnuts can increase beneficial bacteria, including those that produce butyrate, a fat that promotes gut health [11].

Brain Health

Walnuts contain amino acids and powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. According to several studies, including walnuts in your diet may improve cognitive function and lower your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's [12].

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30055778/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28115966/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16758316/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15510909/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10753555/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21677123/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24500935/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25336096/
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996909000453
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22591208/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29470389/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32093220/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 02, 2022

Infographic

Walnut vs Pumpkin seed infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Walnut Pumpkin seed
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Walnut Pumpkin seed Opinion
Net carbs 7.01g 35.35g Pumpkin seed
Protein 15.23g 18.55g Pumpkin seed
Fats 65.21g 19.4g Walnut
Carbs 13.71g 53.75g Pumpkin seed
Calories 654kcal 446kcal Walnut
Starch 0.06g g Walnut
Fructose 0.09g g Walnut
Sugar 2.61g g Pumpkin seed
Fiber 6.7g 18.4g Pumpkin seed
Calcium 98mg 55mg Walnut
Iron 2.91mg 3.31mg Pumpkin seed
Magnesium 158mg 262mg Pumpkin seed
Phosphorus 346mg 92mg Walnut
Potassium 441mg 919mg Pumpkin seed
Sodium 2mg 18mg Walnut
Zinc 3.09mg 10.3mg Pumpkin seed
Copper 1.586mg 0.69mg Walnut
Vitamin A 20IU 62IU Pumpkin seed
Vitamin E 0.7mg mg Walnut
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 1.3mg 0.3mg Walnut
Vitamin B1 0.341mg 0.034mg Walnut
Vitamin B2 0.15mg 0.052mg Walnut
Vitamin B3 1.125mg 0.286mg Walnut
Vitamin B5 0.57mg 0.056mg Walnut
Vitamin B6 0.537mg 0.037mg Walnut
Folate 98µg 9µg Walnut
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 2.7µg µg Walnut
Tryptophan 0.17mg 0.326mg Pumpkin seed
Threonine 0.596mg 0.683mg Pumpkin seed
Isoleucine 0.625mg 0.956mg Pumpkin seed
Leucine 1.17mg 1.572mg Pumpkin seed
Lysine 0.424mg 1.386mg Pumpkin seed
Methionine 0.236mg 0.417mg Pumpkin seed
Phenylalanine 0.711mg 0.924mg Pumpkin seed
Valine 0.753mg 1.491mg Pumpkin seed
Histidine 0.391mg 0.515mg Pumpkin seed
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 6.126g 3.67g Pumpkin seed
Monounsaturated Fat 8.933g 6.032g Walnut
Polyunsaturated fat 47.174g 8.844g Walnut

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Walnut Pumpkin seed
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
33
Walnut
4
Pumpkin seed
Mineral Summary Score
131
Walnut
120
Pumpkin seed

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
91%
Walnut
111%
Pumpkin seed
Carbohydrates
14%
Walnut
54%
Pumpkin seed
Fats
301%
Walnut
90%
Pumpkin seed

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Walnut
Walnut contains less Sodium (difference - 16mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Walnut
Walnut is lower in glycemic index (difference - 0)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Walnut
Walnut is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Pumpkin seed
Pumpkin seed is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.61g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Pumpkin seed
Pumpkin seed is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.456g)
Which food is cheaper?
Pumpkin seed
Pumpkin seed is cheaper (difference - $2.8)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Walnut - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
  2. Pumpkin seed - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170188/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.