A new study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design reports that compounds known as cucurbitacins can help combat cancer--and pumpkin seeds are loaded with them. These compounds have been shown to kill various types of cancer cells and also have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Pumpkin seeds are just as beneficial for men, too. Pumpkin seed oil has been used to manage benign prostate hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate). In addition to the oily parts of the seeds, other phytochemicals may also help treat the condition. These compounds can also be found in flaxseeds, saw palmetto berries and soy.
In another new study, German scientists found that eating pumpkin seeds lowered the risk of breast cancer by 23 percent in postmenopausal women. The study involved comparing dietary data from 2,884 women who developed breast cancer and 5,509 healthy women. The study also found that eating sunflower seeds and soybeans lowered risk.
Don't like munching pumpkin seeds? Try pumpkin seed oil dribbled on cereal or salad or pumpkin seed meal in your smoothies. Braver? try pumpkin seed butter: which looks "interesting," but I like it! Not as adventurous? A nice, fresh dressing recipe follows as well:
2tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/2c pumpkin seed oil (don't be afraid, it is green but tastes great, slightly nutty)
Garlic and salt to taste