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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed and Pumpkin Seeds Oil


Pumpkin seed oil is an intensely dark green oil pressed from raw or roasted pumpkin seeds with many health benefits. It has a rich and nutty flavor and is a potent source of beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and DHT blocking compounds such as beta-sitosterol and delta-7-sterine.




High quality pumpkin seed oil is often used as a salad dressing mixed with fresh lemon juice or a good apple cider vinegar. It can also be used to add flavor and nutrition to soups, sauces and many other recipes. It should not, however, be used as an oil for frying or in baking as high temperatures can damage its delicate structure.


Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed and Pumpkin Seeds Oil


1.    PROSTATE FUNCTION - Pumpkin seed oil has been used in combination with saw palmetto in two double blind human studies to effectively reduce symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Researchers have suggested that the zinc, free fatty acid, or plant sterol content of pumpkin seeds might account for their benefit in men with BPH. Studies have shown that pumpkin seed extracts can improve the function of the bladder and urethra, this might partially account for BPH symptom relief.



2.  ANTI-ARTHRITIC - Studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil is as potent as the drug indomethacin at relieving chronic rheumatoid arthritis. It is likely that this effect is due to the essential fatty acid profile, rich antioxidant content, and the synergistic effects of other minor components. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to have high levels of vitamin E, including all forms of the tocopherol family i.e. alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherol, along with the tocotrienols.



3.  Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of anti-oxidant vitamin E; contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol-gamma per 100 g (about 237% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. It prevents tissue cells from the free radical mediated oxidant injury. Thus, it helps maintain the integrity of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen-free radicals.



4.  Pumpkin kernels are also an excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. These vitamins work as co-factors for various enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism in the human body. In addition, niacin helps in the reduction of LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. Along with glutamate, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn reduces anxiety and nervous irritability.




5.  They’re high levels of easily-digestible protein helps stabilize blood sugar when eaten as a snack throughout the day.  Stable blood sugar means weight loss if you’re trying to lose.



6.  Hair Loss- Both an enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness are believed to result, at least in large part, from an overproduction of DHT. The same beta-sitosterol, delta-7-sterine and perhaps yet unidentified compounds in pumpkin seed oil that reduces DHT’s effect on the prostate cells, may also help prevent it having a negative effect on your hair follicles.



7.   Some people even recommend applying pumpkin seed oil directly to the scalp for its DHT blocking properties. If you don’t want green hair then taking raw pumpkin seed oil by the spoonful or drizzled over a salad seems much more enjoyable.



8.  They’re a good source of blood-building and energy-boosting iron




9.  CHOLESTEROL LOWERING- Pumpkin seed oil has been concurrently used with cholesterol lowering drugs and would appear to potentiate the overall lipid lowering effects. The positive effects on lowering LDL levels and increasing HDL levels are most likely due to the antioxidant and essential fatty acid content of pumpkin seed oil. Side effects of the cholesterol drug were also reduced when pumpkin seed oil was administered. Similar positive results have been found in concomitant use of pumpkin seed oil with anti-hypertensive medication. The hypotensive action is due to the EFAs and antioxidant capability of PSO.



10.        Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by your body into the far more essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA -- by an enzyme in which the vast majority of us have impaired by high insulin levels. So, while pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I believe it is essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as krill oil, as well.




11.           Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.



12.         Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.


To preserve the health benefits of the oils found in pumpkin seeds, eat them raw or roast them on a baking sheet on low heat in the oven (about 170 degrees F or 75 degrees Celsius) for 15-20 minutes. Toss with a sprinkling of sea salt and enjoy. If you haven’t tried them warm, you’re in for a real treat! Add raw pumpkin seeds to salads, dips, or ground in pesto.


(livefitandhealthylife)



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