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whfoods pumpkin seeds

Whfoods pumpkin seeds

The World’s Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that can change your life.

Pumpkin seeds have been studied with respect to several health-related components. These components include: (1) alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acids; (2) carotenoids and other antioxidant phytonutrients; (3) cholesterol-lowering phytosterols; and (4) a group of not fully indentified substances that can bind to androgen receptors.

Since the risk of prostate cancer is lower in men consuming larger amounts of carotenoids in their diet, the carotenoids in pumpkin seeds may be helpful in this regard. So might the omega-3 fat found in pumpkin seeds, although the mechanism of action here has not been carefully studied. Although both of these factors might be related to prostate health, the primary research emphasis has been on factors in pumpkin seeds that can help block the effects of testosterone and prevent testosterone from triggering too much cell growth in the prostate. These testosterone-blocking substances are believed to bind onto androgen receptors in the prostate cells and compete with DHT (dihydrotestosterone) for activation of the receptors. We haven’t seen any research linking this same series of events to the female reproductive system.

Pumpkin seeds can be a rich source of several antioxidant minerals, including manganese and zinc. When you combine this feature of the seeds together with their omega-3 fat content, and their cholesterol-lowering phytosterols, you get a food that has very good potential for cardiovascular support. This category of benefit appears to be the major one alongside of the potential prostate benefits described above.

For more information on this topic, see:

  • Pumpkin seeds

al-Zuhair H, Abd el-Fattah AA, Abd el Latif HA. Efficacy of Simvastatin and Pumpkin-Seed Oil in the Management of Dietary-Induced Hypercholesterolemia. Pharmacol Res. 1997;35(5): 403-8.

Binns CW, LJ LJ, Lee AH. The Relationship Between Dietary Carotenoids and Prostate Cancer Risk in Southeast Chinese Men. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(Suppl):S117.

Bracher F. . Urologe A. 1997;36(1): 10-7.

Diaz Obregon D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zuniga V. . Rev Gastroenterol Peru. 2004;24(4): 323-7.

Fahim AT, Abd-el Fattah AA, Agha AM, et al. Effect of Pumpkin-Seed Oil on the Level of Free Radical Scavengers Induced During Adjuvant-Arthritis in Rats. Pharmacol Res. 1995;31(1):73-9.

Friederich M, Theurer C, Schiebel-Schlosser G. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2000;7(4): 200-4.

Gossell-Williams M, Davis A, O’Connor N. Inhibition of Testosterone-Induced Hyperplasia of the Prostate of Sprague-Dawley Rats by Pumpkin Seed Oil. J Med Food. 2006;9(2):284-6. Nkosi CZ, Opoku AR, Terblanche SE. Antioxidative Effects of Pumpkin Seed (Cucurbita Pepo) Protein Isolate in CCl4-Induced Liver Injury in Low-Protein Fed Rats. Phytother Res. 2006 Aug 14;

Ristic-Medic D, Ristic G, Tepsic V. . Med Pregl. 2003;56 Suppl 1:19-25.

Schleich S, Papaioannou M, Baniahmad A, et al. Extracts From Pygeum Africanum and Other Ethnobotanical Species With Antiandrogenic Activity. Planta Med. 2006;72(9): 807-13.

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Whfoods pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc, and the World Health Organization recommends their consumption as a good way of obtaining this nutrient. If you want to maximize the amount of zinc that you will be getting from your pumpkin seeds, we recommend that you consider purchasing them in unshelled form. Although recent studies have shown there to be little zinc in the shell itself (the shell is also called the seed coat or husk), there is a very thin layer directly beneath the shell called the endosperm envelope, and it is often pressed up very tightly against the shell. Zinc is especially concentrated in this endosperm envelope. Because it can be tricky to separate the endosperm envelope from the shell, eating the entire pumpkin seed—shell and all—will ensure that all of the zinc-containing portions of the seed will be consumed. Whole roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds contain about 10 milligrams of zinc per 3.5 ounces, and shelled roasted pumpkin seeds (which are often referred to pumpkin seed kernels) contain about 7-8 milligrams. So even though the difference is not huge, and even though the seed kernels remain a good source of zinc, you’ll be able to increase your zinc intake if you consume the unshelled version.

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