Which pumpkin-seed oil is best?
Pumpkin seeds — or pepitas — are packed with nutrients that offer many health benefits, according to the American Heart Association. They are more affordable than most nuts, and there are multiple ways to consume them, including pumpkin-seed oil, which you can use to cook or as a salad dressing. A lot of people also consume pumpkin-seed oil as a supplement or use it on their skin or hair.
La Tourangelle Toasted Pumpkin-Seed Oil is one of the best oils on the market. It’s cold pressed using pumpkins from the Styrian region of Austria, famed for its high-quality pumpkins, and there are no other ingredients. It is made for both cooking and topical use.
What to know before you buy pumpkin-seed oil
Cooking with pumpkin-seed oil
Not all oils can be used on high or medium heat. Pumpkin-seed oil can only be used to cook at low temperatures, or the oil will smoke and the nutrients will begin to dissipate, says the Mayo Clinic. This will also result in a disagreeable flavor most people will not enjoy.
When cooking with pumpkin-seed oil, it is best to add it at the end for a little extra flavor. But pumpkin-seed oil makes a good salad dressing or flavor for cold dishes. It has a pleasant nutty taste, and it’s a healthy alternative to dressings loaded with saturated fat and sugar.
The health benefits of pumpkin-seed oil
Pumpkin-seed oil offers a ton of health benefits, since pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients like magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. They are also a great source of unsaturated fat, which can help with bad cholesterol. Unlike saturated fat — and especially trans fat associated with processed foods — unsaturated fat is healthy, says the Mayo Clinic, and helps with many bodily functions.
- Pumpkin-seed oil has a lot of fiber, which assists with preventing heart disease.
- Zinc helps with the metabolic process and helps keep men’s prostates healthy.
- It contains tryptophan, making it easier to fall asleep.
- It reduces blood pressure and cholesterol.
- It may promote hair growth, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Ways to consume pumpkin-seed oil
It may seem like an oil would only come in a liquid, but that is just one way to consume it. There are also supplements, which come in capsules. Some of the capsules are 100% pumpkin-seed oil, but it’s also added to formulas such as Saw Palmetto extract, which contributes to prostate health.
Many people use pumpkin-seed oil on their skin or in their hair. Certain oils are advertised more for topical use than for consumption, so look at the bottle and the suggested use. Because pumpkin-seed oil can promote hair growth, it is used in many shampoos.
What to look for in a quality pumpkin-seed oil
Pumpkin-seed oil should be greenish, but it will take on a reddish appearance in the light. The oil should be viscous and a little thick, but it should still be a liquid, not a solid. If the color or the texture do not match these descriptions, it is possible that the oil was toasted for too long or that low-quality pumpkin seeds were used.
Unless you are intentionally buying a blend of ingredients including pumpkin-seed oil, try to make sure your product is 100% pure oil.
Since supplements are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is best to buy pumpkin-seed oil from a reputable manufacturer with a lot of positive reviews and no charges of fraud levied against them. Now Foods, for instance, makes various supplements, all of them well-reviewed.
Pumpkin-seed oil FAQ
Are there negative side effects associated with eating pumpkin seeds?
A. They are safe to consume, and they’ve been used in folk medicine for centuries, according to the National Institutes of Health. One thing to note: if you are not used to consuming much fiber and you suddenly start eating a lot of pumpkin seeds, you may experience some gas, bloating or both.
Will eating pumpkin-seed oil cause you to gain weight?
A. No. It has a lot of fiber and unsaturated fatty acids, considered healthy fats that combat high cholesterol. These nutrients actually assist with weight loss, so pumpkin-seed oil can be a great thing to toss into your daily diet.
What are the best pumpkin-seed oils to buy?
Top pumpkin-seed oil
What you need to know: This is pure pumpkin-seed oil hand-made with high-quality pumpkins from the Styrian region of Austria.
What you’ll love: There are no other ingredients, only pumpkin-seed oil. The pumpkin seeds used are cold-pressed, and no genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are added. It’s great for consumption or topical use.
What you should consider: Some people will not like its smell or taste.
Top pumpkin-seed oil for the money
What you need to know: This is pumpkin-seed oil in a convenient capsule form from one of the most reputable brands in the world of supplements.
What you’ll love: Other than the soft capsule, there are no other ingredients besides the oil. It is both GMO-free and kosher. It is safe to take up to three times a day.
What you should consider: Some people will be averse to taking a supplement instead of the actual oil.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an organic oil that comes in a larger bottle than most of the other options on the market.
What you’ll love: The pumpkin seeds used for the oil were cold pressed, and it’s a certified organic product. This is a larger bottle for those who consume pumpkin-seed oil regularly. Safe for consumption or opical use.
What you should consider: It is more expensive than some other options.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Stephen Morin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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