Pressed from antioxidant-rich pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil provides a concentrated dose of various health benefits. Although it provides an excellent ingredient in the kitchen, avoid cooking pumpkin seed oil, as doing so may destroy some of its beneficial properties. Look for pumpkin seed oil in liquid or capsule form at a pharmacy, natural health center or specialty food store. Always talk to your doctor before using pumpkin seed oil to assist in treating any health condition.
Harold McGee, author of the book “On Food and Cooking,” states that pumpkin seed oil provides a healthy salad dressing, noting that it’s a prime source of omega-3 fatty acids, including linoleic acid and oleic acid. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may help lower inflammation, as well as your chances of suffering from certain chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Commonly used in central Europe as a salad dressing, pumpkin seed oil may be used alone or in combination with other healthy vegetable oils, such as olive oil.
Possessing a dark green color and rich, nutty flavor, pumpkin seed oil adds an exotic appearance and boost of flavor to many cooked dishes. Chef Clyde Serda, author of “Just the Cook” recommends using this oil when you fix asparagus. Rather than dip the asparagus in the pumpkin seed oil prior to roasting, which affects the quality of the oil, Chef Serda states that you should simply drizzle it over the asparagus just before serving the vegetable. Other dishes that might benefit from pumpkin seed oil’s rich flavor include squash soup, vegetable stir fries and even vanilla ice cream.
In certain instances, pumpkin seed oil may be a natural treatment for specific prostate problems when used in conjunction with conventional medicine. Elise Marie Collins, author of “An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods,” notes that studies indicate pumpkin seed oil relieves various symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Also called BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostates generally develop as men age and may lead to problems such as repeated urinary tract infections and bladder stones, according to the Mayo Clinic, so don’t attempt to treat this potentially serious condition solely with pumpkin seed oil. Talk to your doctor about using pumpkin seed oil alone or in combination with other natural remedies, such as saw palmetto, for relieving certain symptoms of BPH.
- “On Food and Cooking”; Harold McGee; 2004
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- “Just the Cook”; Chef Clyde Serda; 2006
- “An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods”; Elise Marie Collins; 2010
- MayoClinic.com: Prostate Gland Enlargement Complications