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Pumpkin Seed Oil and Men’s Health

October 24, 2016
pumpkin

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.

Studies:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1718920

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15166807

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7784309

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809240/

Pumpkin-Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Flora Pumpkin Oil
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten (we used free range organic)
  • ¾ cup applesauce (we used apple-apricot)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (we used gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix (we used allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
  • 1 teaspoon extra cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (fresh are best)
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces
  • ¾ cup pumpkin seeds
    For the frosting and decorating:
  • 12 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar to taste
  • A little bit of rum or vanilla essence
  • Pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round pans.
  2. Add sugar and oil to a large bowl. Combine on low. Add eggs and applesauce and mix again.
  3. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, spices and cinnamon. Gently fold into egg mixture and fully combine, then fold in remaining ingredients until well blended.
  4. Pour the mixture equally into the 3 pans. Place pans side by side in the center of the oven.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Make frosting while the cake bakes, and keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
  7. When cakes are done, remove and cool in the pans on the counter for about 1 hour.
  8. Place wax paper over each pan and flip paper side down. Store in a dry place for 24 hours.
    For the frosting:
  1. Beat softened cream cheese in a bowl, add powdered sugar to taste, and a bit of rum or vanilla essence to thin. Whip at low speed for a few minutes until the mixture is blended and creamy.
  2. Invert one layer of cake. Spread frosting on top and place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Spread frosting on top of that layer and repeat with last cake layer.
  3. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Voila!
http://blog.florahealthy.com/pumpkin-seed-oil-and-mens-health/

by Flora Product Information Specialist Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP

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