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L'pumpkin seed oilit is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of the plant of the same name (Pumpkin, better defined Curcubita maxima).
In local kitchens,pumpkin seed oilit is usually introduced following research on the beneficial properties of this vegetable oil; in some geographic regions of the world, thepumpkin seed oilrepresents a highly sought after culinary reality: just think that Australia is very popularorganic pumpkin seed oilwhile in countries of the Old Continent such as Hungary and Croatia, thepumpkin seed oilhas received protection from the European Union through the trademarkIGP(Protected Geographical Indication).
As stated, in Italy, the interest inpumpkin seed oilit does not seem to be purely culinary: the interest on the part of our country is growing for the beneficial properties ofpumpkin oil which is particularly sought after in the phytotherapeutic field.
Pumpkin Seed Oil - Nutritional properties
The chemical composition of thepumpkin seed oilvaries in relation to the variety and botanical species from which the seeds are obtained, with the chemical composition the nutritional properties also vary, which are also influenced, among other things, by cultural techniques and the peculiarities of the territory.
Rich in unsaturated fatty acids
Generally speaking, it can be said that thepumpkin seed oilhas a clear predominance of unsaturated fatty acids which, depending on the species (chemical composition), can range from 73.1 to 80.5 percent. Among the unsaturated fatty acids, the most abundant are oleic and linoleic acid, while the levels of linolenic acid are particularly low, therefore thepumpkin seed oilin short supply in terms of "omega three".
As for the percentage of saturated fatty acids (those that raise cholesterol) such as myristic acid and palmitic acid, the percentage ranges from 12.8 to 18.7 percent.
Rich in Vitamin E
Among the micronutrients we report a strong presence of vitamin E, in detail from 27.1 to 75.1 mcg of alpha-tocopherol per gram of oil, from 74.9 to 492.8 mcg of gamma-tocopherol per gram of oil. From 35.3 - 1109.7 mcg of delta-tocopherol per gram of oil.
With these characteristics, thepumpkin seed oilit can be compared to vegetable oils such as soybean and peanut oils but it has an extra gear thanks to its light lipid-lowering effect and in terms of prevention against atherosclerotic diseases. These properties are enhanced by the abundant amount of phytosterols.
Pumpkin Seed Oil - Phytotherapeutic properties
If the nutritional properties have not highlighted particular contributions in terms of micronutrients, to popularize the 'pumpkin oilin Italy it is its phytotherapeutic properties.
The phytotherapeutic properties ascribed topumpkin seed oilhave their roots in the abundant quantity of betasterols, substances structurally similar to androgens and estrogens. These are lipophilic compounds useful for lowering cholesterol levels, improving symptoms in women following menopause and relieving the symptoms of prostatic hypertrophy. These properties are attributable not only to the oil obtained but also to them pumpkin seeds.