We’ve extolled the virtues of pumpkin seeds many times, as a key ingredient in our 5 Seed Butter, we just can’t get enough. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, pumpkin seeds are more than a tasty snack. They are incredibly versatile and can be roasted, crushed, ground, and even pressed for oil. The oil has many surprising health benefits and can be taken as a supplement or used in cooking.
Originating in Mexico where pumpkins are easily cultivated, cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil, or “green gold” as some call it, has been in use since the 18th century. So why has it remained so popular and what are the benefits of pumpkin seed oil?
Benefits Of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Studies of pumpkin seed oil, also known as pepita oil, have shown that it has numerous benefits to both physical and mental health.
Lowered cholesterol - Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, these phytosterols mimic cholesterol and compete with your body’s natural cholesterol for absorption in your digestive system. In doing this they block the absorption of cholesterol and thereby lowers your cholesterol levels.
Pumpkin seeds do contain monounsaturated fats which are associated with cholesterol, however, these are the ‘good’ types of fats. This good cholesterol, also known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein), carries bad cholesterol to the liver where it is processed and flushed from your body.
Healthier hair and skin - Pumpkin seed oil has been linked to increased hair growth, particularly in men. In those who had taken 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil for a period of 24 weeks 40 percent more hair growth was documented. These same studies also indicated that hair loss was reduced.
When applied topically to the skin, the fatty acids it contains helps to hydrate and plump the skin. It also encourages cell turnover for a brighter, more youthful complexion. Some users have also reported a decrease in redness or acne thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Support for symptoms of menopause - Studies have also shown that pumpkin seed oil can reduce symptoms of menopause, mainly headaches, joint pain, and hot flashes.
Better urinary tract health -Pumpkin seed oil can reduce swelling of the prostate which as well as being painful, interferes with the flow of urine. This condition is common in men and is known as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH). When used in conjunction with palmetto oil, pumpkin seed can be an effective alternative to drug therapy for some patients.
It has also been found to help manage symptoms of overactive bladder. Consistently consuming pumpkin seed oil over 12 weeks reduced symptoms of an overactive bladder according to the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
Blood pressure and heart disease - The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study that indicated pumpkin seed oil can support the lowering of blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. This is in part due to its ability to reduce cholesterol, a known risk factor for heart health.
It’s a natural anti-inflammatory - Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamin E all of which help to reduce inflammation and protect against future inflammatory issues.
Findings from the British Journal of Psychiatry showed pumpkin oil works as a mood enhancer. The consumption of pumpkin seeds also lessened symptoms of depression in children. This is thought to be due to its high magnesium and potassium content which reduces stress and eases anxiety.
Uses And Dosage For Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil can be taken as a liquid or in capsule form. Most supplements come in doses between 100 milligrams (mg) to 2,000 mg. You can also use it in food preparation such as salad dressings and even for adding a nutty taste to smoothies or ice cream. Wherever a recipe calls for olive or vegetable oil in baking, you can safely swap this out with pumpkin seed oil.
You may also like to try creating your own nourishing moisturizer by emulsifying the oil with shea butter and coconut oil.
Pumpkin seed oil has a low smoke point of 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius). As such it is unsuitable for frying, sautéing, stir-frying, or any other high-heat cooking. A usual serving of pumpkin seed oil is around 2 teaspoons, which has approximately 80 calories and 9 grams of fat.
Always select cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil as his method of extraction ensures the maximum health benefits are maintained. In this method, the oil is extracted by putting the seeds under pressure. When extracted through heat, the oil’s natural levels of antioxidants are depleted.
Who Can Have Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is considered safe for all age groups and genders, however, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. This is due to limited evidence or studies surrounding its safe use under these circumstances.
With proper storage, pumpkin seed oil can remain potent for a lengthy period. Once open, store out of direct sunlight, preferably in the fridge, and use within its best before date, which is usually around 2 years from manufacturing.
Maximize Your Pumpkin Seed Intake With Beyond The Equator
At Beyond The Equator we have long understood the incredible health benefits of seeds and especially pumpkin seeds. These tiny but powerful superfoods are often ignored and underutilized. As a naturally allergy-friendly food source, seeds represent a great opportunity for the creation of nutritionally dense, allergen-free ingredients. This is why we have manufactured a wide range of products containing pumpkin seeds to complement your pumpkin seed oil intake.
Our 5 Seed Butters and seed flours are made in an environment completely free of the top 8 allergens. Allowing you to enjoy with confidence and create your favorite recipes without compromising on taste. Shop now and experience the Beyond The Equator difference today.