Nuts and seeds have long been linked to improved heart health. However, one fall seed stands proud among the rest. According to this National Institutes of Health study, pumpkin seeds are a natural treasure trove of phytosterols. These plant-based chemicals inhibit intestinal cholesterol absorption, which means they reduce plasma total and lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
The study sources 16 published human studies that monitored the effects of phytosterols on 590 subjects. The study concluded that phytosterol therapy was able to lower plasma cholesterol levels by an average 10-percent reduction with a total 13-percent reduction of LDL cholesterol levels.