Fall is back! Leaves, pumpkins, food, and family are all associated with autumn, and increasingly, so is men’s health. Starting in September with Prostate Cancer Awareness month and peaking in Movember, fall is as much about men’s reproductive health as it is about all things pumpkin-spiced.
Pumpkin, interestingly, is also about more than Halloween jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving pie. It is, coincidentally, a very good tool for men’s health! In addition, pumpkin seed oil has many health benefits including helping the joints and the heart—but it is most famous for helping with health issues unique to men. Most notably, it may help reduce a man’s risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that commonly affects men over 50.
For best results, organic high-quality pumpkin seed oil should be unrefined, minimally processed, pressed and stored at cold temperatures, and bottled in dark glass. The seeds can be pressed raw or roasted and the oil has a rich nutty flavor and intense hue. The color is dichromatic, usually dark green, but often reflecting hints of dark red. The color of the oil reflects the pigments of the antioxidants, including carotenoids, present in the oil.
Other compounds in the oil include healthy fatty acids, and unique DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blockers. Prostate enlargement and male baldness are believed to be related to an overproduction of DHT so DHT-blocking compounds are very useful for men! The DHT blockers in pumpkin oil include a phytosterol called beta-sitosterol, and a mild steroid called delta-7-sterine. The large amount of beta-sitosterol in the oil stops nice Mr. Jekyll testosterone from turning into evil Mr. Hyde DHT, helping to reduce effects such as prostate gland enlargement, male pattern hair loss, and problematic or painful urination. In at least one study, pumpkin seed oil supplementation reduced the symptoms and pain from symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia without negative side effects.
Taking pumpkin seed oil reduces joint inflammation for sufferers of arthritis as much as some arthritis medications, and provides huge amounts of phytosterols that lower absorption of LDL cholesterol from meals, and without side effects! So how do we get more of this wonder oil? Flora makes two delicious Pumpkin Oils. Although this tasty oil can be taken right off the spoon, the trick to preparing food with it is breaking the frying habit. Finally, pumpkin seed oil should be added as a finishing touch to heated dishes like soups, or used cold in dips, desserts, and the like.
The smoking point is around 325 °F, and damage can be done from any direct contact with heat from sautéing or broiling even below that temperature. Therefore, in order to enjoy Flora Pumpkin Oil in this Carrot-Pumpkin cake, we created a recipe that bakes at 300 °F. Enjoy the taste of fall! Find Flora’s Organic Oils here: CA/US/US.
by Flora Product Information Specialist Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP