Another Way to Enjoy Pumpkin: Heart Healthy Oil!

We love winter and healthy winter vegetables. One of our favorites is pumpkin.

We love the nutritious seeds that are available year-round in the supermarket. We’re fans of pumpkin in soups, both chunky and creamy. There are so many savory dishes from chili to souffle, and we are always sharing more! And that is before we get to the many desserts. And, while so many of us think pie is off-limit when we have blood sugar concerns, we have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe we come back to year after year!

Today, we’re looking at a part of the pumpkin we’ve never touched on before: pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a heart-healthy oil. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients! Cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil is made from crushing the seeds and is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. The oil can help prevent and reverse hair loss, ease menopause, treat overactive bladder, improve prostate health and aid heart health. Studies have proven that it can lower cholesterol. One study also linked pumpkin seed oil to better mental health and lower levels of depression in children. It might be a mood elevator. But, it was only one study, and it was only children.

Pumpkin seed oil has a nutty flavor that makes it great for salad dressings and a topping oil on dishes; it’s also good in desserts. A tablespoon serving has 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. Because it is so high in fat and calories, it can cause weight gain if you don’t pay attention to serving size. It’s a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Pumpkin seed oil has a low smoke point, 320 degrees Fahrenheit. That means it’s not a great cooking oil. It’s an excellent addition to a dish but can’t replace whatever fat you would use for cooking. You should also store it more carefully than other oils, with the lid tightly sealed in a dark, cool cupboard. It will last for two years. It can be bought as a supplement. But when it’s tasty and just one ingredient, we’d rather eat it!   

An important thing to note is that it can lower blood pressure. If that is a concern for you, you should speak to your doctor before adding it to your doctor, especially if you take blood pressure medication.

Banner image: Lovefood Art via Pexels
December 02, 2020

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