This analysis is based on 100g of Pumpkin Seeds which contains on average the following quantity of nutrients.
(100g of seed produces approx 35 -40ml of oil):
Phytosterines are also part of the oil;
Vitamins are classified into two groups; micronutrients and minerals. Vitamins are organic (carbon containing) molecules that mainly function as catalysts for reactions within the body. A catalyst is a substance that allows a chemical reaction to occur using less energy and less time than it would take under normal conditions. If these catalysts are missing, as in a vitamin deficiency, normal body functions can break down and render a person susceptible to disease. Enzymes are catalysts. The principal function of vitamins is as a coenzyme – they are needed by enzymes for the metabolic and biochemical reactions to occur. Each enzyme has one specific biochemical reaction.
The body requires vitamins in tiny amounts (hundredths of a gram in many cases) so they can help convert macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) into energy (calories). We get vitamins from these three primary sources: Foods, Beverages and our bodies — Vitamin K and some of the B vitamins are produced by bacteria within our intestines, and vitamin D is formed with the help of ultraviolet radiation, or sunshine, on the skin.
Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. These vitamins accumulate within the fat stores of the body and within the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins, when taken in large amounts, can become toxic. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the B vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins taken in excess are excreted in the urine but are sometimes associated with toxicity.
Biotin coenzymes in the metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates. It also helps in the formation of DNA and RNA. A common use of Biotin is to help reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics and as an aid in weight reduction as it helps to normalize fat metabolism.
The best known use of calcium is for maintenance of our bones and teeth. It is important for our hearts as it plays a part in muscle contractions and helps regulate heartbeat. Calcium is also important to the nervous system for nerve transmission and is necessary in cell division.
Carotenes or Carotenoids are a yellow-orange pigment. Carotene, mostly as Beta-carotene is used in many foods as a colouring additive. It can be converted into vitamin A by the body which is referred to as �provitamin A� which is known to exert antioxidant activity.
A catalyst is a substance that allows a chemical reaction to occur using less energy and less time than it would take under normal conditions. If these catalysts are missing, as in a vitamin deficiency, normal body functions can break down and render a person susceptible to disease.
Copper works as a catalyst in the formation of hemoglobin therefore making it important to all cells in the body as hemoglobin is the main compound of red blood cells. Vitamin C and copper work together to make collagen which is necessary for the healing of tissues and skin and aids in proper bone formation. It also is found in many enzymes and helps the nervous system to function as it is a conductor of electricity.
Enzymes are catalysts. They speed up specific chemical reations that may not even occur if they were not present. Enzymes are actually a type of protein.
Another form of Fluorine is Fluoride which is used in toothpaste to help prevent cavities. Fluoride is good for bones as well as our teeth as it strengthens the crystalline structure.
Folic Acid is actually another one of the B vitamins. It plays a role in the growth and reproduction of all cells as it is used in the formation of nucleic acid for RNA and DNA. Many amino acid conversions, the breakdown and utilisation of proteins, and the production of red blood cells are assisted by Folic Acid.
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are responsible for the body�s use of energy. Thyroid is necessary for cell respiration and increases oxygen consumption and general metabolism.
The main function of iron is the formation of hemoglobin which is an essential component of red blood cells. Red blood cells are very important as they carry oxygen to all the cells in the body. All cells in the body need oxygen to survive.
Lipids is another name for fats and oils. Lipids are important to our nutritional health. Fats are a form of energy and insulate and protect vital organs in the body. They are needed to transport the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) around the body and also are a vital part of cell membranes. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are an important component of lipids. Three EFAs needed biochemically by our bodied are linoleic acid (LA) linolenic acid (LNA) and arachidonic acid – all of which can be found in pumpkin seeds and oil.
Lipids are found in most foods but primarily in meats and dairy products. Foods such as nuts, seed, soybeans, olives, peanuts and avocados also are sources of EFAs.
Magnesium is a natural tranquilizer. It works in the oposite way to calcuim in that it relaxes muscles. It is often used as an antistress mineral. The body also uses magnesium for the production and transfer of energy, nerve conduction and protein synthesis.
Manganese helps to catalyze many biochemical reactions. It is used in many enzyme systems so the body can use biotin, thiamine, vitamin C and choline. It aids the metabolism and utilisation of food especially proteins, cholesterol and fatty acids. Manganese also plays a part of an enzyme (superoxide dismutase – SOD) that protects cell membranes and tissues from degeneration.
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The body uses Niacin to help release energy from carbohydrates. It is needed to form fat from carbohydrates and to process alcohol. It also regulates cholesterol.
Omega 6 is needed to prevent blood clotting, as an anti-inflammatory and to enhance the immune system.
Essential fatty acids – are important to every cell in the body for normal growth, especially of the blood vessels and nerves, and to keep the skin and other tissues youthful and supple through their lubricating quality. These nutrients are invaluable for the production and movement of energy throughout the body. They regulate the transport of oxygen and are vital in maintaining the integrity of cell structure.
Pantothenic acid activates the adrenal glands, is needed in the syntheses of cholesterol to manufacture Vitamin D and is essential in producing, transporting and releasing energy from fats.
Phosphorus key function is in the makeup of our bones and teeth. It is present in every cell of our body as it is involved in most biochemical reactions, including utilisation of carbohydrates and fats for energy production, protein synthesis for growth and repair of all tissues and cells.
Potassium is a mineral that is needed in cellular and electrical function. It is a blood mineral called an ‘electrolyte’ which means it can carry a tiny electrical charge. Other blood minerals are sodium and chloride. Potassium is important as it is used in the metabolism of energy and carbohydrates and in cellular biochemical reactions. It helps control blood pressure and balances water in blood and tissues and also assists in nerve impulses which affect muscle contractions including regulating our heartbeat.
A protein is a molecule that is made with Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen. Proteins contain 22 amino acids.
Vitamin B6 is very important as many amino acid reactions depend on it to to help make, take apart and transform one amino acid into another and also to produce other vitamins like Niacin. It is also important in the central nervous system, in red blood cell production and in the brain where it is needed to make serotonin, an important antidepressant neurotransmitter.
The Recommended Daily Allowance is to be used as a guide only. There are many factors that can influence the amount of any one nutrient that an individual needs for their body to maintain health or function optimally. If anyone thinks they are not functioning optimally and have a nutrient deficiency it is always best to consult a medical practitioner.
The function of selenium is closely related with vitamin E as an antioxidant, which promotes the body’s ability to utilise oxygen and also delays the rate of oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is vital for the preservation and elasticity of all skin tissues.
PHYTOSTEROLS What Is It? Plant sterols and plant stanols are collectively known as phytosterols. Plant sterols are plant compounds with chemical structures similar to that of cholesterol. Especially high sterol levels are found in rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, and soybeans. In a more concentrated form, these substances are called plant stanols. Structurally these compounds are chemically similar to cholesterol. However, unlike cholesterol derived from animal sources–which absorbs easily and raises the body’s own cholesterol levels–phytosterols are present only at very low levels in the body because they are difficult to absorb. Interestingly, phytosterols so closely resemble cholesterol that they can actually block food-based cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream. The result is that both phytosterols and dietary cholesterol end up excreted in waste matter.
Because of their ability to block dietary cholesterol absorption, phytosterols can help lower your cholesterol levels. In the last few years, clinical research has also discovered other effects, including reducing symptoms of an enlarged prostate, improving the control of blood sugar among people with diabetes, and reducing inflammation among patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Because much of this research is still in a preliminary phase, nutritionally oriented physicians are currently recommending phytosterols only for prostate disorders and cholesterol-lowering.
Specifically, phytosterols may help to:
Most of the sulphur in our bodies is as part of other compounds such as the amino acids proteins are made of. As proteins have many functions in the body, sulphur contributes to enzyme reactions, protein synthesis, formation of collagen, maintenance of the skin, hair, nails, and regulating carbohydrate metabolism.
Tryglycerides are a type of lipid. They are composed of 3 fatty acids and a glycerol molecule.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. It is beneficial to our eyes as it helps maintain the health of the cornea, the eye covering and also helps us to see at night. If there is a deficiency of Vitamin A “night blindness” can occur. Vitamin A also assist the cells in our body to grow, heal, maintain structural integrity of cells and acts as an antioxidant by neutralising free radicals (unstable molecules). Due to the healing affects on cells, the maintenance of healthy functioning of the mucos linings in our bodies and the stimulation of T-helper cell activity, Vitamin A has been shown as beneficial to prevent the development of cancer.
Vitamin B1 is needed to process carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Every cell of the body requires vitamin B1 to form the fuel the body runs on. Nerve cells require vitamin B1 in order to function normally.
Vitamin B2 is needed to process amino acids and fats, activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and help convert carbohydrates into the fuel the body runs on. Under some conditions, vitamin B2 can act as an antioxidant.
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient as it has many functions and has to be obtained by the food we eat. One of the many functions of Vitamin C is in the formation and maintenance of collagen, which is found in our skin, bones, teeth and capillary walls just to name a few. Collagen helps in wound healing and maintaining healthy blood vessels, obviously affecting our whole body. Vitamin C is used as a coenzyme, to aid the metabolism of many other vitamins, to stimulate adrenal function and as an antioxidant.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes and can assist with wound healing and reducing the oxidation affects preventing the breakdown of other nutrients. Vitamin E is associated with wound and scar healing and because of the antioxidant effects may retard the aging process.
More than 100 enzymes need zinc and it is probably involved in more functions in the body than any other mineral. Zinc is used for healing and maintenance of tissues, the immune system, carbohydrate metabolism and also in the synthesis of DNA. It is often used to aid the healing process after surgery or burns, in skin diseases and also is well known as helpful to male prostate problems.