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Pumpkin seed oil and health: composition, effects and use in cooking and beauty

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Pumpkin seed oil tastes great like nuts and adds a pleasant flavor to any dish. In addition, it is a generous source of antioxidants that destroy free radicals, prevent oxidative stress and slow down aging. But that’s not all.

What is pumpkin seed oil, how is it obtained and its composition

Only the bred variety is used to produce pumpkin seed oil large-fruited pumpkin, from whose seeds the oil is pressed using a gentle cold pressing technique. The pumpkin seeds must first be cleaned and dried. Only then is the pressing, followed by sedimentation and the last step of production is bottling the finished oil or other suitable containers. Thanks to cold pressing, the finished pumpkin seed oil retains the maximum amount of active ingredients.

Pumpkin seeds and the oil obtained from them contain a huge amount of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C and E, selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, as well as antioxidants, carotenoids, phenols a phytosterols, which reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The essential fatty acids contained in the oil produce prostaglandins for normal heart rhythm and blood pressure. It has anti-inflammatory effects and is also highly digestible.

DID YOU KNOW You can tell true pumpkin seed oil by its dark green to dark red color. It has a distinctive nutty taste and aroma and does not melt immediately when dropped on a plate, but remains solid.

Pumpkin seed oil and its effects on health

If you indulge in pumpkin seed oil on a regular basis, you will likely notice firmer and more supple skin, smoother and thicker hair, and stronger nails. Thanks to its antioxidant content (vitamin E), the oil slows down ageing and restores youthfulness to the skin. Some sources even report beneficial effects on the male prostate and increased sex drive.

Effects of pumpkin seed oil:

  • Due to its unsaturated fatty acid content supports healthy heart and blood vessel function.
  • Protects blood vessels from atherosclerosis.
  • Helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Favorably Acts on the entire urinary tract including the kidneys.
  • In women, it helps to relieve the unpleasant symptoms accompanying menopause by improving well-being, reducing hot flashes and headaches.
  • It can slow, stop and improve prostatic hyperplasia in men.
  • It prevents aging and benefits the appearance of skin, hair and nails when used externally.
  • Promotes hair growth.
  • Acts against skin inflammation.
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots.
  • Helps heal minor external wounds, treats acne and maintains youthful skin appearance.
  • Reduces the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy.
  • Improves nail strength and growth. Prevents them from fraying, gives them shine and strength.
  • Reduces inappetence, improves fat metabolism and has a positive effect on digestion and digestive tract functions.

More interesting facts about pumpkin seed oil:

  • It is considered a powerful natural aphrodisiac due to its high zinc content and is often referred to as the Styrian Viagra.
  • To produce 1 litre of oil, about 2.5 kg of pumpkin seeds are needed, for which 30 to 35 oil pumpkins must be harvested.
  • Daily mouth rinsing with pumpkin seed oil reduces tooth decay.
  • When dripped on a plate, pumpkin seed oil remains solid and does not melt like other oils.
  • The pumpkin, from whose seeds the oil is made, originally originated in Central America, from where it spread to Europe and Asia.
  • It is known as the “pharmacy in a nutshell” because of its high vitamin and mineral content.
  • Erich Čermák, a Viennese professor of Czech origin, was behind the breeding of the gourd.
  • The best pumpkin seed oil comes from Styria in southeastern Austria. It is protected by the brand name Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A. and is made from a special, seedless variety of pumpkin whose seeds are covered with a fine white coating.
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Use of pumpkin seed oil and possible side effects

There are no known no side and negative effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can take it without any concerns and it is also suitable for smaller children, of course in reasonable doses. There are no known drug interactions.

In rare cases, some people may be allergic to pumpkin seed oil and may experience adverse symptoms after consuming the oil or applying it to their skin. If negative symptoms are noticed, it is advisable to discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention.

When using pumpkin seed oil as a dietary supplement, it is recommended to take 2 tablespoons in the morning and evening, for children is enough 1 teaspoon in the morning and evening (about half a dose). It is also available in capsules, which provide convenient use on the go.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Store pumpkin seed oil in a bottle in a dark, cool place.

pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil is used in cold cooking to flavor and fine-tune prepared foods.

5 tips on how to use pumpkin seed oil for hair

In pumpkin seed oil is found antioxidant vitamin E a mineral zinc. Both positively affect the appearance of skin, hair and nails. They fight skin imperfections such as acne and eczema.

Pumpkin seed oil improves hair quality, prevents hair breakage, fraying and hair loss. In addition, it does not leave hair greasy like other oils. Pumpkin seed oil is also effective in caring for dry hands and healthy, strong nails.

In skin care, it is used for dry, sensitive, mature, rough and damaged skin. Pleasantly smooths and softens. Vitamin A accelerates skin regeneration.

1. Scalp massage

Mix a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and warm it slightly. Massage the oil mixture into your scalp and leave it on for at least 30 minutes or ideally overnight. Afterwards, wash your hair in the normal way.

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A mixture of 2 tablespoons of castor oil, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil can also be used to massage the scalp.

2. Hair mask

Mix 2 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil. Dilute the finished mixture with ½ cup of water. Massage the mask into the skin and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Then rinse with cold water and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

3. Hair spray

Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil, 1 cup of rose water into a spray bottle and shake. This mixture is suitable for dry hair and after showering when hair is still slightly damp. Always shake before each use.

4. Hair oil

Mix 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, 4 tablespoons of castor oil, 4 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil and a few drops of essential oil. Mix well and use on wet hair or to massage the scalp. Wash hair after 30 minutes.

5. Rinse

Mix freshly brewed chamomile or green tea with ½ tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil and pour this mixture over washed hair. Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse with water.

Pumpkin seed oil is also used to spinal and joint massages, but it is also suitable for massaging the stomach for indigestion and cramps.

pumpkin seed oil and hair
Pumpkin seed oil is used in body and hair care.

How to properly use pumpkin seed oil in the kitchen

Pumpkin seed oil is used in food preparation in cold cooking, not for cooking or baking. For example, rapeseed oil is more suitable for cooking. It can be used to flavour ready meals, especially salads and salad dressings. It is also suitable for softening creamy soups and sauces.

Pumpkin seed oil has a very mild nutty flavor and is used to prepare both savoury and sweet dishes. As it contains a large amount of unsaturated fatty acids, it is, like virgin olive oil, particularly suitable for cold cooking. Heat treatment above 120 °C leads to the deterioration of the healthy substances and harmful oxidation of the fats.

Pumpkin seed oil is suitable for example:

  • in salads and vegetable dressings,
  • for stewed vegetables and spreads,
  • to flavour meat, fish, cereals, rice, pasta or mashed potatoes,
  • to soften sauces and creamy vegetable soups,
  • sweet desserts such as pancakes, pancakes, breakfast porridge.

If you season the meat or fish with a few drops of pumpkin seed oil in the final preparation, the finished dish takes on an almost unique “sunny” color.

A few drops will give an unforgettable taste to pancakes. You can also use pumpkin seed oil to flavour other desserts – cake, cheesecake or pumpkin ice cream.

Recipes with pumpkin seed oil

Healthy pumpkin seed pesto

Ingredients:

  • 50 g pumpkin seeds
  • 10 ml pumpkin seed oil
  • a little parmesan and garlic

Procedure:

This specialty comes from Styria, Austria, which is considered the home of the finest virgin pumpkin seed oil.

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Dry roast 50 g of pumpkin seeds in a pan and let them cool. Add some parmesan cheese and garlic and blend. Add 10 ml of pumpkin seed oil and mix thoroughly. It will keep for a few days in a tightly sealed jar and stored in the fridge. The pumpkin seed and oil pesto is particularly suitable for pasta or fish.

Pumpkin soup

A few drops of pumpkin seed oil adds a delicious nutty-spicy flavor to a creamy pumpkin soup. Add the oil at the very end of preparation or right at the table. Just a few drops are enough.

Creamy risotto

It is most suited to Italian risotto with roasted pumpkin slices. It adds a delicate flavour and aroma and also turns the colour of the risotto greenish.

Pancakes and ice cream sundaes

Just drizzle a few drops of pumpkin seed oil on sweet desserts and the peanut miracle is complete. If the kids stain their darker colored clothes with the oil, let it dry in the sun, the sun’s rays will strip away the natural pigment and the stains will disappear.

Summer refreshing salad with pumpkin seed oil

Ingredients:

  • Mixed romaine lettuce and rocket
  • roasted pumpkin
  • cherry tomatoes
  • goat cheese
  • pumpkin seed oil
  • lime juice

Procedure:

Mix romaine lettuce leaves with arugula, roasted squash, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese, drizzle with a little pumpkin seed oil mixed with lime juice and serve with rye bread! A delicious and balanced dinner is on the table in minutes.

Pumpkin ice cream with pumpkin oil

Ingredients:

  • 330 ml whole milk
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 250 ml 33% whipping cream
  • 125 ml pumpkin seed oil
For shreds with pumpkin seeds:
  • 130 g pumpkin seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 55 g butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon juice

Procedure:

Heat the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and add a ladleful of warm milk and sugar. This will keep the yolks from curdling. Return the warmed egg yolks and milk to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken.

Pour the cream into another bowl and strain the mixture from the saucepan through a fine sieve. Stir and incorporate the pumpkin seed oil with a whisk. Set aside to cool, then pour into an ice cream maker. Stir, transfer to a freezer-proof container and place in the freezer.

For the “pumpkin shards,” mix pumpkin seeds with salt and baking soda. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Put the sugar, butter, lemon juice and 60 ml of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the sugar is golden amber in colour. Remove, stir in the seed mixture and quickly pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the topping with a rubber spatula.

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Let cool at room temperature and when cool, break into shards, decorate ice cream and serve.

pumpkin ice cream
Pumpkin ice cream will delight you with its delicate taste and pleasant summer refreshment.

Pumpkin cheesecake

Ingredients:

On the body:
  • 150 g honey gingerbread
  • 50 g walnuts or pecans
  • 50 g butter
For the filling:
  • 300 g pumpkin puree
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 125 g cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or the pulp of ½ vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice
  • 35 g cornstarch
To finish:
  • 30 g pecans or walnuts
  • pumpkin seed oil

Procedure:

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Cook the pumpkin puree. Wash, peel (if necessary) and cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, spread them on a baking tray and bake until tender. Blend and leave to cool. Do not turn off the oven.

Grease an 18 to 20 cm diameter cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.

Mix the gingerbread and nuts and stir to combine. Melt the butter, pour it over the mixture and make a crumble, which you press into the bottom of the cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Leave aside to cool.

In the meantime, turn the oven down to 120 °C and place a baking dish filled with water in the bottom. Whisk the pumpkin puree with the ricotta, cream cheese, honey, vanilla, spices and cornstarch. Beat the egg into the mixture last.

Pour the filling over the pre-baked cake and place in the oven. Bake for about 60 minutes. The edges should be firm and the centre slightly shaky. Let cool in the open oven and then place in the refrigerator for 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Decorate the cooled cheesecake with the prepared nuts and drizzle with pumpkin seed oil.

Pumpkin cheesecake with walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 250 g of plain flour
  • 240 ml oil
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 360 grams of pumpkin puree
  • 80 grams of walnuts
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • a few drops of pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Procedure:

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Cook the pumpkin puree according to the recipe above. Grease a bundt tin with butter. In a large bowl, mix together the plain flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and sugar. Stir in the dry mixture, pumpkin puree, lemon juice and a few drops of pumpkin seed oil into the liquid mixture. Stir in the nuts last. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. If you stick a skewer into the baked bundt cake and pull it out, no bits of batter should stick to it.

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Final summary: Pumpkin seed oil promotes health, beauty and youth

Why keep a bottle of quality pumpkin seed oil in your pantry or beauty cabinet?

  • It works against skin inflammation, reduces age spots and helps heal minor external wounds.
  • It promotes heart and vascular health and has a positive effect on digestion.
  • It slows aging, improves the appearance of skin, hair and nails.
  • Supports the treatment of enlarged prostate in men and in women alleviates the negative manifestations during menopause.
  • It adds a specific taste to the finished dishes and also a lot of valuable vitamins, minerals and other substances.
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