The PGA Tour’s nutritionist put this surprising item at the breakfast station. Here’s why.

November 02, 2023

Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman

Have you ever put pumpkin seeds in your oatmeal? It might sound like an odd breakfast food, but in PGA Tour dining pumpkin seeds have been given a spot at the breakfast station. The most common use for them is to sprinkle them on a bowl of oatmeal, says Ryan Harmon. She’s the PGA Tour’s performance dietician, and she’s working to offer foods in player dining that best set up players for peak performance.

So, why should golfers eat pumpkin seeds?

Harmon says that they’re a good source of magnesium. If a golfer has too little magnesium, a lot of problems can occur. Not enough magnesium results in difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, muscle twitching and even irregular heartbeats, Harmon says.

“Pumpkin seeds are also rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and the mineral zinc, which supports optimal immune function,” Harmon says. “Fiber is essential in a pre-round meal because it slows the digestion of food preventing blood glucose spikes and improves satiety while on the course.”

If you don’t like pumpkin seeds, you can also get magnesium from leafy greens including spinach, and from nuts including cashews and almonds.

Though pumpkin seeds might not sound like standard breakfast fare, they’re worth trying.