A Pumpkin isn’t just for decorating your front porch. Pumpkins are a low-calorie food packed with nutrients. In addition to being a rich source of vitamins and minerals, pumpkin may be beneficial for prostate health and improving HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Both canned and fresh pumpkins are healthy options, as are the seeds. Just steer clear of canned pumpkin with added ingredients, such as salt or sugar.

Health Benefits:

  • Reduction of arthritis inflammation and heart disease
  • Prevention of osteoporosis in men due to the high zinc content – 71% RDA – in pumpkin seeds
  • Stress and irritability reduction because the amino acid tryptophan in pumpkin seeds gets converts to an anti-stress chemical in the brain
  • Inhibition of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men or BPH
  • Anti-oxidant protection from free radicals due to the beta-carotene conversion into vitamin A
  • Support of good vision, eye and skin health, and a strong immune system due to the 246% Vitamin A in one serving
  • Improvement in postmenopausal women’s issues taking pumpkin seed oil
  • Increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and decrease in blood pressure, hot flashes headaches and joint pain

Beta-Carotene

Pumpkins are orange in color because of the antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene may help reduce cell damage in the body and improve immune function. It is also thought to reduce your chances of developing heart disease, cataracts and macular degeneration. This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body, an important nutrient for eye health.

Try the Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of health unsaturated fats. The seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 may help prevent cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including hypertension and high cholesterol.  The seeds are a good source of fiber and contain the mineral zinc.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Some new research suggests this oil may have some significant health benefits. One recent study found that postmenopausal women who took 2 g of pumpkin seed oil daily for 12 weeks had reduced diastolic blood pressure and less menopausal symptoms and increased HDL cholesterol levels. It has also shown some positive results with the treatment of benign prostate hypertrophy, BPH.

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