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.

Comments

2 Responses to “Halloween Health Advice”

  1. yg on November 19th, 2007 12:17 pm

    Thank you for very valuable information.

  2. Joyce on November 19th, 2007 12:56 pm

    You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure to have people like you, coming to our BLOG. Our biggest aim is to share interesting and often cutting edge information.

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