Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and hey, now there’s even pumpkin spice Spam! Let’s admit it: We go a little crazy with the pumpkin when fall hits. But now we’ve got yet another reason to love the seasonal gourd. Introducing pumpkin seed oil, the superfood elixir with a rather impressive list of health-boosting benefits.
Scientific research now shows us the importance of having healthy fats in our diet, with health experts everywhere advising folks against the fat-free lifestyle for better heart health, more energy, and even a sharper brain. Moving with this trend, pumpkin seed oil has emerged on the market because it's rich in healthy fats, namely linoleic and oleic acid.
Linoleic and oleic acids are unsaturated fats that are known to improve cardiovascular functioning. In one animal study, pumpkin seed oil lowered cholesterol levels in mice, while also reducing fat accumulation in the liver. In another animal study, the administration of pumpkin seed oil significantly lowered blood pressure, demonstrating its antihypertensive and cardioprotective qualities.
But that’s not all. Pumpkin seed oil is also used as a natural treatment for mental health issues. One study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry showed that eating pumpkin seeds was an effective treatment for children with depression. Another study in the same journal suggested that pumpkin seeds were used effectively to treat adults with depression, potentially because they are high in tryptophan — an amino acid precursor to serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood. Fatty acid deficiency is also associated with conditions like depression, so getting more of them from pumpkin seed oil could help.
And, what offsets your mood worse than the change? In one study, pumpkin seed oil was even shown to reduce menopause symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and hot flashes. Wow!
While the mood and heart-boosting benefits are quite enough to get you on the pumpkin seed oil train, it’s also great for your hair and skin! In one study (though this was conducted on men), taking 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil per day showed to improve hair growth in those with alopecia by 40 percent compared to the placebo group. Because pumpkin seed oil is loaded with fatty acids, zinc, and antioxidants, it’s a miracle supplement for clearer skin, too!
To get pumpkin seed oil into your diet is relatively easy, however, because heating it at high temps breaks down those essential fatty acids, using it for cooking isn’t recommended. Instead, you can purchase a bottle of high-quality pumpkin seed oil, like this one from Carlyle Organic ($14.99, Amazon), and use it in salad dressings or other recipes. Pumpkin seed oil does have a strong, nutty flavor, so try some before adding it to meals!
But if you ask us, the best way to get the most of the health-boosting properties of pumpkin seed oil is to take a concentrated supplement. We love this one from NusaPure ($16.99, Amazon). As always, get a doctor’s OK before trying any new supplement. Here’s to a healthier heart, happier mind, and a radiant glow this fall!