The cold-pressed oil that’s derived from pumpkin seeds has an enthusiastic following among both wellness and natural beauty seekers. Pumpkin seed oil can work wonders for both inner and outer beauty, thanks to its rich vitamin A and E, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, zinc, tryptophan and a host of potent antioxidants.
While many people equate pumpkins and pumpkin seeds with the fall, it’s time to start thinking about them for year-round use, particularly when it comes to that highly beneficial oil.
It’s a handy ingredient to have around and use on an everyday basis to improve your metabolic and physiological health, along with your looks – the possibilities for use are practically endless, and it offers a very long list of benefits as well.
10 Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
1. Supporting Prostate Health
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important food for men’s health, and research suggests that both the oil and the seeds themselves may be particularly beneficial for the prostate. That’s, at least in part, due to the high levels of zinc in both (the prostate contains the body’s highest concentrations of it).
Pumpkin seed oil may, in fact, be one of the best things you can consume for prostate health. It’s been extensively studied and is known to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, particularly in the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or age-related prostate enlargement.
In research out of Hungary, patients with BPH who took pumpkin seed oil daily for two months found improvement in night urination in 66% of participants, and 86% experienced improvement with urination difficulties. A decrease in the size of the prostate was also found in one-third of the patients.
2. Reducing Inflammation
By replacing foods high in saturated fats with foods that contain healthy unsaturated fats, this naturally has a positive impact on the amount of inflammation in the body. Pumpkin seed oil can be an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet which has been found to decrease the risk of numerous chronic illnesses and diseases, as well as to fight pain from many of those conditions, like arthritis.
In fact, the high fatty acid content in pumpkin seed oil is known to aid in lubricating the joints, which can in turn help to relieve pain. Studies have shown regular doses to be even more effective than an anti-inflammatory medication known as indomethacin for reducing arthritic pain.
However, unlike the drug, the oil didn’t elevate liver lipid peroxide levels – something that can even lead to the worsening of arthritis symptoms.
Reducing inflammation has many other positive effects too – a 2015 study out of the Netherlands showed that by replacing pumpkin seed oil in the diet of those who were suffering from atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in artery walls) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the effects of these conditions on the participants were notably reduced.
3. Improved Bladder Function
Pumpkin seed oil is an ingredient that’s often included in products designed to alleviate urinary incontinence and bladder issues. In older men, urinary incontinence is frequently linked to an enlarged prostate, and it’s believed that the oil’s ability to block the androgen hormone DHT, may relieve the problem.
A study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2014, suggested that the oil may effectively treat urinary disorders, and especially an overactive bladder, which indicates that pumpkin seed oil may be essential for maintaining a healthy excretory system as we age.
4. Fighting Male Hair Loss
Men get to enjoy another great benefit specifically just for them in that pumpkin seed oil is known to help fight hair loss. Hair loss is linked to an increase in an androgen hormone known as diHydroxy Testosterone, which means that by managing hormones through a healthy diet, you can actually spot or even reverse the process.
You can thank its high levels of zinc once again for this much-wanted effect as the mineral is known to help balance hormones, therefore encouraging hair growth rather than a loss.
This isn’t just talk either. A 2014 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine discovered that men who took pumpkin seed oil daily over the course of 24 weeks enjoyed an increase of hair by an average of 40%.
5. Improved Heart Health
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants which all offer benefits for heart health. As mentioned, its anti-inflammatory properties and phytoestrogens are both known for supporting the heart, including increasing “good,” HDL cholesterol.
Additionally, through a process believed to involve the production of nitric oxide, the oil has been shown to exhibit cardioprotective and antihypertensive effects, which, in layman’s terms, means that it can protect you from heart attacks and heart disease.