It’s that time of year again – now summer definitely is over and fall has set in, many of us are preparing for the annual Halloween festivities that originated as the end-of-year harvest festival and the coming of winter.
The ‘scary’ image that Halloween has, has always been emphasized by beautifully carved and illuminated pumpkins. Though over the years, pumpkins have become increasingly known as a nutritious addition to our diets and gain more and more ground in our kitchen for many colourful soups and other dishes.
So now that everyone’s attention is already focussed on “pumpkins”, this presents a great opportunity to take a closer look at the benefits of this fruity vegetable and its seeds fort our health. Especially the product extracted from the pumpkin seeds by cold pressing – Pumpkin Seed Oil.
“Trick” or Treat with Pumpkin Seed Oil
In Halloween terms, the “Trick” refers to any threat, usually idle, of mischief done to homes or properties if no “Treat” (reward) is given. Our body is being tricked / threatened both by many environmental influences and just as much by the foods that we eat. If we fail to “Treat” ourselves properly, such as providing our body with the right nutrients, the threat of malfunction in vital organs can become very real.
Our kidneys help to ensure that those vital organs remain healthy by means of regulating transportation via the blood of substances such as oxygen, glucose, water and salt. Those substances are necessary for the body to function properly. But certainly just as important, the kidneys filter waste products from the blood (for example components of medicines and any toxic substance you may have ingested) and then removed the waste products from the body. In order to avoid waste products from accumulating in the blood in toxic amounts, this process is vital for the body. Pumpkin seed oil is an excellent contributor to healthy and well-functioning kidneys.
Each kidney contains about a million nephrons – the functional units of the kidney – each one working more or less independently. The structure of these nephrons actually produces urine in the process of removing waste and excess substances from the blood. Other important tasks of the kidneys are:
- providing the body with the right amount of water and salt,
- help maintaining blood pressure,
- contributing to strong bones,
- directing the bone marrow in the production of red blood cells,
- ensuring a correct acidity of the blood.
The adrenal glands are positioned on top of each kidney. These are separate organs making various hormones (signal substances), which play a role in various body processes, such as breakdown of nutrients, our response to stress and our blood pressure.
Various hormones are involved in the tasks of the kidneys. Some hormones (erythropoietin and renin) are produced by the kidneys themselves, while others are modified to be activated (vitamin D). The kidneys as well are being influenced by hormones which are produced elsewhere in the body.
Knowing the importance of kidneys to our body ……
These are the benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil for the Kidneys
Natural cold pressed Pumpkin Seed Oil is a perfectly balanced composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which in these abundant quantities are only to be found in natural Pumpkin Seed Oil. Besides, pumpkin seed oil is extremely rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin A, E, B1, B2, B6, C, K, P and PP, zinc, phospholipids, tocopherol, flavonoids and carotenoids, magnesium, iron, selenium and Omega 3, 6 and 9.
Pumpkin seed oil is said to help promote urinary health and heart health. Here’s what you need to know about the potential health benefits of pumpkin seed oil.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Potassium
Potassium is a mineral that is found in high quantity in pumpkin seed oil. It is an essential nutrient for our body which is, among other things, involved in blood pressure regulation and in transmission of nerve impulses. The amount of potassium in the body is regulated by the kidneys. A shortage or an excess of potassium may lead to health issues. Potassium excess is rare in healthy individuals since it’s virtually impossible to get too much potassium through food or drinks. The kidneys ensure that higher amounts than needed for the body, are expelled through urination. Reduced kidney functioning can lead to an excess of potassium. This is how Potassium influences kidney function:
Treat water retention – Historically, potassium has been used to treat water retention. Water retention occurs when excess fluid builds up inside the body. Studies suggest that a high potassium intake can help reduce water retention by increasing urine production and reducing sodium levels. Using pumpkin seed oil will increase your potassium intake.
Prevent kidney stones – Moreover, it may help prevent kidney stones. These are clumps of material that can form in concentrated urine; calcium is a common mineral found in kidney stones. Several studies show that potassium citrate lowers calcium levels in urine. Scientists also found that those who consume more potassium daily have a significantly lower risk of kidney stones. Therefore, pumpkin seed oil seems to have a positive effect on the urinary tract.
Reduce Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. A potassium-rich diet may reduce blood pressure by helping the body remove excess sodium, as high sodium levels can also elevate blood pressure. Analysis of 33 studies found that increasing potassium intake by people with high blood pressure, their blood pressure decreased (systolic pressure by 3.49 mmHg and diastolic by 1.96 mmHg). Scientists found in another study involving almost 1300 participants aged 25-64, lowered blood pressure with people whose intake of potassium was higher, compared to people whose intake was less. Also here, would adding pumpkin seed oil to your diet benefit your health.
Pumpkin Seed Oil against Incontinence
Pumpkin seed oil strengths the muscle function around the urinary tract and sphincter muscles, so it can help combat incontinence in both men and women. It can even help small children prevent from bed-wetting. This is due to a relatively high content of beta-sitosterol which is found in pumpkin seeds and several other plant species, fruits and vegetables. As a bonus benefit, beta-sitosterol has a reducing effect on inflammation.
Pumpkin Seed Oil to boost the Immune System
Zinc – There is, of course, a very good reason why treatments for the prevention and suppression of the common cold suggest zinc. Zinc is an indispensable mineral that plays an important role in a properly functioning immune system. Zinc deficiency and accompanying symptoms of depression are common in dialysis patients. Pumpkin seed oil contains large amounts of this mineral.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure or from foods, is biologically inert. This means it must be activated in order to be able to profit from its benefits, and therefore this vitamin will undergo two separate hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first hydroxylation occurs in the liver, which converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D (or “calcidiol”). The second occurs primarily in the kidney, forming the physiological active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (or “calcitriol”). The activated vitamin D is transported as a hormone through the bloodstream to all body tissues.
In the intestines, vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium, phosphate and magnesium from the food. These nutrients are especially important for healthy growth of bones, teeth and muscle tissues. Vitamin D maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal bone mineralization and to prevent involuntary contraction of muscles, leading to cramps and spasms. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodelling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D has other significant roles in the body, including reduction of inflammation as well as modulation of such processes as cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism. Here, too, pumpkin seed oil fulfils an important task for properly functioning kidneys.
Pumpkin Seed Oil in Your Diet
As pumpkin seed oil has such a tasty nutty flavour, adding it to your daily diet is very easy. Using heat methods such as frying is strongly discouraged since the smoke point of pumpkin seed oil is quite low (approximately 160° C / 320° F). Besides, by heating pumpkin seed oil would lose its flavour and, more importantly, destroy its healthy nutrients.
The good news is though … Pumpkin seed oil can be used for many “cold applications” in all kinds of delicious recipes and kitchens. Pumpkin seed oil simply is a wonderful addition, whether it is to salad dressings, cold soups, dips, marinades or pasta dishes – spice up all your home-made dishes a special taste. Fond of vegetable smoothies? An extra nutty taste is obtained by adding some pumpkin seed oil.
Other Benefits of Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil can also be beneficial in a variety of other health-related applications. For both men and women pumpkin seed oil can be of value in their specific bodily processes, and for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair.
Before the cold winter days set in irrevocably, now is the perfect time to start increasing and maintaining a healthy immunity by incorporating pumpkin seed oil into your everyday routine.
Happy Healthy Halloween