Say pumpkin seeds, and many will answer, ‘Oh yes, they are good for prostate problems, right?’ And rightly so, pumpkin seeds are used regularly in addition to it. You can also enjoy pumpkin seeds for food, such as. the recipe on the next page for super easy to make pumpkin seed toast. But are they bowls for men? No, definitely not! The hormone balance in both men and women benefits from the beneficial ingredients in pumpkin seeds. Life is so much more beautiful when your hormones are in balance, so go into the kitchen to make your own food.
I would like to mention five health effects of pumpkin seeds that can benefit your hormone balance:
1. The toasts have almost no effect on your insulin levels. They contain almost no carbohydrates. Pumpkin seeds contain only 2.8 grams of carbohydrates.1 Buckwheat contains 72 grams of carbohydrates, but only 2.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams, giving it a low glycemic load (GL).
It is not possible in this short article to explain in detail why elevated insulin levels have such an effect on the hormone balance in men and women, but in short it is one of the consequences of diets high in fast carbohydrates / sugar that cause production of a lot of insulin to ‘remove’ the sugars from your bloodstream. Excess sugars often end up being stored as belly fat. And it is precisely this fat that can provide a lot of extra estrogen production.
2. Pumpkin seeds contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens or plant estrogens are found in at least three hundred plant foods. They contribute to a balanced hormone balance in both men and women. They also regulate testosterone and dehydrotestosterone, so the name phytoestrogen can be a little confusing. One of the phytoestrogens is beta-sitosterol, a substance in pumpkin seeds that can keep the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement at bay.2.3
Another phytoestrogen in pumpkin seeds is lignan. Flax seeds contain more lignan than pumpkin seeds. Flaxseed oil does not contain this hormone-bearing substance.4 Lignans are powerful antioxidants and phytoestrogenic substances.
4. Phytoestrogens are much less represented in our current food. This is mainly due to: Refining food. Most phytoestrogenic substances are in the membrane of seeds, grains, rice. Because we usually eat these ‘whites’ (white rice, white flour, white pasta …), we no longer eat these membranes. So always choose whole grains whenever possible.5
Some food is unsprayed and unsprayed food contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are produced by a plant to protect against insects and microorganisms. If this is not necessary because the plant is treated with chemical plant protection products, it makes these substances much less potent. Therefore, the amounts of protective substances are significantly higher in unsprayed food, because the plant then has to protect itself.5
5. A good reason to include phytoestrogens in your diet is also that more and more so-called xenoestrogens (synthetic estrogens from food, water, environment, etc.) are coming into our lives. These are also known as endocrine disruptors. Xenoestrogens should be (partially) kept in check by phytoestrogens. So if there are more endocrine disruptors, we need more food with phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are well studied for risk reduction in breast and prostate cancer, but their role in weight management is also regularly investigated.5.6
Lignans have a few properties that are also very important for a healthy hormone balance. These include so-called aromatase inhibitors. The zinc in pumpkin seeds also has that function. Aromatase inhibitors are substances that inhibit the production of estrogens from androgens such as testosterone.
Lignans also produce SHBG, the so-called sex hormone-binding globulin produced by the liver. About 95 to 98 percent of all sex hormones must be ‘bound’ to SHBG for a healthy hormone balance. Due to insulin resistance, obesity, thyroid problems, chronic inflammation, hepatic impairment, for example, too little SHBG may be produced.
It is also important to realize that especially ‘free testosterone’ (ie not bound) is converted to DHT (dehydrotestosterone). In women, DHT often causes complaints such as facial hair growth (hirsutism), acne or hair loss. Too much free estrogen, for example due to too little SHBG, can also cause a number of hormonal disorders in men and women. DHT is the cause of most prostate problems.1.2
Fiber for your gut health
Pumpkin seed toast contains much more fiber than ready-made white flour toasts. It is about 8.5 grams of fiber per. 100 grams. Fiber, especially such soluble fiber from seeds, is very important for your gut health. A healthy gut must convert the phytoestrogens into a ‘body’s own’ form. Only then can they positively affect your estrogen balance. In other words, eating more phytoestrogens does not help. If you actually want to convert phytoestrogens like lignans into active substances, you need a healthy gut flora.1.2
Eating more phytoestrogens automatically means more healthy fiber for a healthy gut flora and for many it is already a big step in the right direction.
The toasts contain zinc. If you do not like my zinc-rich toasts: there is also delicious pumpkin seed pasta (as a sandwich filling or base of sauces) for sale in health food stores. Or make the delicious zinc-rich crunch-to-go that I already made for the Medisch Dossier.3
5 www.orthokennis.nl/ artikels / mannen-can-lignanen-goed- brug