"This year I'll get so healthy, be so fit, and feel so sexy." Sound familiar? Yeah, our new year's resolutions (and our grannies' resolutions) are similar too. But we're not here to tell you how you can stay on track with your goals or how you can achieve all your dreams this year. We're here to inspire you to usher in the new year with what might be one of the world's most underrated and healthy-but-also-freaking-delicious ingredients that will help you sneak in way more than one or two nutritional benefits per serving. Pumpkin seed oil is chock full of health and wellness, down to even the smallest serving (which, grandma Fanika notes, should never be less than a tablespoon.) In fact, adding in just a tablespoon of oil can help you hit a plethora of your daily vitamin suggestions! So what exactly can pumpkin oil offer to you besides incredible taste and a beautiful, vibrant, green color to your plates?
1. Improve sleep and reduce anxiety
Pumpkin seeds are an incredible source of tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted by the body into serotonin and then into melatonin (that's right! you get 2-for-1 with this bad boy right here!) Tryptophan has been shown to help reduce feelings of anxiety. It is also recommended for people suffering from insomnia. This year say goodbye to melatonin pills and hello to pumpkin oil drenched everything*!
*This is not a medical treatment for either insomnia or anxiety.
2. Boost heart health
Here's another 2-for-1 for you: pumpkin oil contains large quantities of unsaturated fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body and even alleviate symptoms of arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and more. Pumpkin oil is also high in natural phytoestrogens, which help to boost good cholesterol levels in the heart while reducing blood pressure (which is also helpful in relieving symptoms of menopause, headaches, and even joint pain!). Together, these two nutritional benefits contribute to strengthening the heart and raising healthy cholesterol levels while reducing the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Now we're not saying this is an end all be all solution, but we are saying that one pour of oil a day can help keep the doctor away!
3. Get thicker and lusher hair
Pumpkin oil is rich in vitamins A, E, and K, as well as fatty acids and minerals which can support the growth of healthier, stronger, and more lush hair. In addition, these substances also help to promote hair growth! So if you've got scalp problems or thin hair, why not rub a little oil on it...or better yet just pour it onto tomorrow's breakfast.
4. Did we mention it's rich in vitamins and minerals yet?
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and protects against free radicals. 100 grams of oil contains 50 milligrams of vitamin E which is 3x what is recommended an adult should consume daily. In addition to all the previously mentioned vitamins, pumpkin seed oil also contains zinc, calcium, potassium and magnesium, carotenoids and rare amino acids which leads us to...
5. Support prostate health
Consumption of pumpkin seed oil is highly recommended for men as it contains a high quantity of zinc, an essential mineral for prostate health. Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to reduce enlarged prostate, especially in the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia and can improve urinary problems.
At the end of the day, granny Fanika is no fool and that's why she uses pumpkin oil in every meal. So why not take a page from her book, it is healthier after all…
NCBI, WebMD, The Potential of Pumpkin Seed Oil as a Functional Food