Although you may cast out the seeds in vegetables such as acorn squash, the seeds do provide some nutritional value. Acorn squash seeds are calorie-dense, so they can be beneficial if you are trying to gain weight. Acorn squash seeds provide a blend of protein, carbohydrates and fat, so consuming them may support a variety of fitness and body composition goals.
Acorn squash seeds are calorie-dense, as a 1 oz. serving of seeds provides 126 calories. This amount of calories comprises more than 6 percent of the suggested daily intake of 2,000 calories, and is four calories fewer than 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream provides. If you are highly active, you can burn off the calories in 1 oz. of acorn squash seeds relatively easily; 13 minutes of playing basketball or 15 minutes of swimming laps can burn 126 calories.
Acorn squash seeds provide a moderate amount of fat, with each 1 oz. serving containing 5.5 g of fat. Of this fat, just 1 g comes from saturated fat, which is considered less healthy than unsaturated fat because it may adversely affect your cholesterol levels. Dietary fat is important because it provides energy for endurance activities, helps your body absorb vitamins and keeps your hair and skin healthy.
Acorn squash seeds are rich in carbohydrates, as each 1 oz. serving of seeds contains 15 g of carbohydrates. This amount of carbohydrates is just 1 g fewer than the amount in one 80-calorie slice of whole wheat bread. Carbohydrates fuel your body during exercise, so consuming carbohydrate-rich foods, such as acorn squash seeds, prior to athletic events may be beneficial. Additionally, research from the May 2011 issue of the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" suggests that combining carbohydrates with protein after exercise can improve the quality of future workouts.
Acorn squash seeds provide moderate amounts of protein, as a 1 oz. serving of the seeds contains 5 g of protein. Protein aids in the development and maintenance of muscles and other tissues throughout your body, so it's important to consume protein every day. MedlinePlus suggests eating 50 g to 65 g of protein each day.
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Vanilla Ice Cream (Breyers)
- Mayo Clinic; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- MedlinePlus; Dietary Fats Explained; May 2011
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Whole Wheat Bread (Kroger)
- "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research"; Postexercise Carbohydrate-Protein Supplementation Improves Subsequent Exercise Performance and Intracellular Signaling for Protein Synthesis; L. Ferguson-Stegall et al.; May 2011
- zia_shusha/iStock/Getty Images