A pepita (from Spanish pepita de calabaza, “little seed of squash”) is a flat, dark green, edible seed of a pumpkin. The seeds are a good source of protein and the essential minerals iron as well as zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. The seeds also provide essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Some studies have found pumpkin seeds to prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and to regulate cholesterol levels in the body. Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities. Native American tribes were among the first people to notice the beneficial aspects of pumpkin seeds. They used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.