Princeton Longevity Center, by Karen McPartland, RD

Do you want to protect your prostate and your heart with one little seed? Then don’t throw out the seeds after your kids carve their pumpkins this Halloween!

Pumpkin seeds are flat, green seeds that contain a phytochemical which is thought to prevent and possibly control an enlarged prostate. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have disease preventive properties. The phytochemical in pumpkin seeds is called cucurbitacin. Studies have shown that this substance along with other pumpkin seed components may act on the prostate to reduce inflammation, thereby potentially relieving the urinary difficulties that develop when an enlarged prostate obstructs the bladder.

Phytosterols are another component found in pumpkin seeds. Phytosterols are found in plants and they have a chemical structure that is similar to cholesterol. When phytosterols are eaten in sufficient amounts, blood levels of harmful cholesterol may be reduced. A recent analysis showed that the phytosterol, beta-sisterol is the most prevalent plant sterol found in pumpkin seeds when compared to other seeds, grains, and legumes. So, pop in those pumpkin seeds for cholesterol lowering power!

Other healthy components of pumpkin seeds include monounsaturated fat, magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Roasted pumpkin seeds can be eaten as a snack, added to salads or cereals, and can be used to make a tasty sauce that complements chicken or fish as in this issue’s Live Well Recipe.

There are many nutritional approaches to protecting your prostate and lowering your cholesterol, so it’s important to work with a team of medical professionals who can determine what might work best for you. Every small step toward a healthier lifestyle is important and will ultimately contribute to your efforts in preventing or fighting disease.

CNN.com, HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts bolted a solar power tower to the international space station on Tuesday, completing an ambitious three-day moving process that ended with elation when the beam’s giant solar panels began to unfurl.

image0026.jpg

A rip can be seen in one of the giant new solar panels unfurled on Tuesday on the international space station.

Their joy turned to concern, however, when a rip was spotted in the second solar panel.

NASA needs to get the tower up and running to prevent malfunctioning station equipment from delaying the addition of a much-anticipated European research lab.

A massive rotary joint is supposed to make sure the solar panel wings on the right side of the space station are facing the sun. But the gear, which was installed in June, has been experiencing electrical current spikes for nearly two months.

The solar panels on the 17½-ton girder that was installed at its new location Tuesday were folded up like an accordion for the move, and the first one slowly was unfurled as the seven-hour spacewalk wrapped up, gleaming like gold in the sun.

The crew kept spacewalker Scott Parazynski and Douglas Wheelock apprised of the first solar wing’s unfurling as they floated back inside. Their reaction: “Wow, that’s great,” and “Awesome!”

“It’s a good day’s work right there,” Parazynski said. The astronauts abruptly stopped the unfurling of the second panel, however, as soon as they saw the rip on the edge of the panel. The panel was almost completely unfurled when the rip was spotted. The astronauts beamed down photos of the torn and crumpled section so NASA can analyze them and determine the extent of the damage.

At Mission Control’s request, the astronauts retracted the wing just a bit to ease the tension on it.

A spacewalking astronaut found black dust resembling metal shavings inside the motorized joint on Sunday. NASA has limited the joint’s motion to prevent the debris from causing permanent damage, but that also limits the system’s ability to generate power for the station.

Parazynski spent part of Tuesday inspecting the matching rotary joint that turns the space station’s left set of solar wings toward the sun. NASA will examine images he gathered of the perfectly running unit to compare it to the malfunctioning one.

There were no shavings inside the joint, and Parazynski said everything looked pristine.

“It’s right out of the shop, no debris whatsoever,” he said.

Parazynski and Wheelock guided astronauts inside the station as they used a robotic arm to hook up the beam to the orbiting outpost’s backbone. The spacewalkers then began installing bolts to hold the beam in place and connecting wires to provide power.

“Oh I love this job,” Parazynski said as they worked 220 miles above southeast Asia. “Beautiful view.”

Given the problems with the right rotary joint, NASA needs the power generated by the newly installed solar panels to proceed with the planned December launch of the European Space Agency’s science lab, named Columbus.

That lab and a Japanese lab set to be delivered early next year will latch onto the new Harmony module that Discovery delivered last week.

The space agency added a day to Discovery’s mission so spacewalking astronauts could conduct a detailed inspection of the troublesome joint. That work is scheduled for Thursday.

To make room for that inspection, managers canceled a shuttle thermal tile repair demonstration that was scheduled for that spacewalk. The test was added to the mission after a piece of fuel-tank foam gouged Endeavour’s belly on the last shuttle flight in August.

image0061.jpg

Astronaut Daniel Tani works on the internationa space station during a Sunday

Any repairs to the malfunctioning gear would be put off until after Discovery departs.

Discovery is now scheduled to undock from the space station on Monday and return to Earth on November