Pumpkin Seeds: Good Source of Lysine

Lysine is the limiting amino acid in most vegan diets. It is typically not hard for vegans to get enough lysine, but you have to eat three to four servings of high lysine foods each day. High lysine foods are legumes, seitan, quinoa, and pistachios.

The USDA lists pumpkin seeds in the same entry as other squash seeds and the entry for such seeds has listed high amounts of lysine. But I have not included them among the high lysine foods because it was not clear which seeds they are specifically talking about.

A reader decided to write the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory and ask them about their entries. It turns out that three of the “pumpkin and squash seed” entries are for pumpkin seeds only.

According to the pumpkin seeds-only entry for roasted kernels (USDA nutrient #12016), a one-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds has 360 mg of lysine, which qualifies it as a high lysine food.

I have updated the Protein article at VeganHealth.org to reflect the addition of pumpkin seeds to the list of high lysine foods.

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3 Responses to “Pumpkin Seeds: Good Source of Lysine”

  1. Oliver Says:

    Ah! yes a glorious food indeed, I roast them and blend the into a seed butter! maybe a good alternative for a vegan who has a peanut allergy?

  2. m Says:

    Are lysine supplements any good when you’re on a low carb diet?

    I was thinking it might be a good idea to add to your lysine list french beans(from USDA database) 1 cup(177g) 0.857g lysine

  3. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I doubt someone on a low-carb diet would need lysine supplements given that they are most likely getting plenty of protein. That said, their low-carb diet might be high in fat, but not protein. Generally, I don’t see a need for lysine supplements for anyone (just eat high-lysine foods) except possibly in rare cases of someone with iron deficiency that does not improve upon adding vitamin C or more iron.

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