10 Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Bladder benefits. Incontinence and bladder irritation is a concern for many people, especially women post-childbirth and post-menopause. Pumpkin oil strengthens the muscles that support the bladder (which can help to prevent prolapse and stress incontinence) and also soothe bladder irritation, reducing urge incontinence.
- Prostate performance. There is a strong body of evidence that shows that pumpkin seed oil can prevent prostate enlargement — a major health issue for men over 60. Not only that, but it has even been found to reverse enlargement in men who are already experiencing the discomfort of an enlarged prostate.
- Hold onto your hair. Male pattern baldness (as well as hair loss in women) is sometimes associated with overly high levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). One of the phytochemicals in pumpkin oil, beta-sitosterol, has been found to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Pumpkin oil also contains delta-7-sterol, which blocks DHT via a different mechanism. The effects of these naturally occurring chemicals have led to speculation and anecdotal evidence for pumpkin oil as a treatment for hair loss.
- Heal your digestive tract. The high fatty acid content of pumpkin oil can balance out excess inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to soothe uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms associated with an unhealthy digestive tract. This can have a secondary impact, in that you will absorb more nutrition from your food if your GI tract is functioning properly.
- Make your heart happy. Want to reduce your risk of heart disease? Pumpkin seed oil can help you accomplish that goal. According to HealthandEnergyFoods.com: “Pumpkin seed oil has high levels of phytosterols which are believed to help reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad type of cholesterol) by lowering its absorption when taken with a meal containing cholesterol.”
- Build your bones. Vitamins A and K build strong bones and help to prevent fractures and postmenopausal bone loss.
- Support your liver. Since pumpkin seed oil is a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants, consuming it can help support liver health. On top of that, using it in place of certain anti-inflammatory drugs can protect your liver from unnecessary damage. William Gamonski at LifeExtension.com explains the studies that back this up: “the indomethacin-supplemented rats experienced increased levels of liver lipid peroxidation, an indicator of liver injury, whereas the pumpkin seed oil group experienced no side effects.”
- Protect your peepers. Perfectly Pressed pumpkin seed oil contains high levels of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that has been shown to protect your eyes from UV and blue light damage.
- Nourish your brain. Pumpkin seed oil is high in essential fats, which are the primary fuel for your brain.
- Ease the symptoms of menopause. As Vivian Kelly at WeWomen.ca puts it: “Hot flashes and insomnia may be a thing of the past! Hurrah. Research now shows that postmenopausal women could get some relief with the use of pumpkin seed oil.” The natural phytoestrogens in pumpkin seed oil can help to lower your blood pressure and provide relief from symptoms like hot flashes, headaches and joint pain.
Did you know that those tasty little kernels are packed with goodness?
Unfortunately, roasting them at high temperatures destroys a lot of the nutrition inside. They’re still a good source of fiber and some vitamins and minerals, but after roasting to crunchy perfection, they’re more of a snack with some healthy qualities, than a healthy food per se.
Many of the nutritious properties of the seeds are found in the oil, though, and if it’s extracted properly the nutrients won’t be damaged or eliminated.
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