Pumpkin: Good for Your Health and Your Skin
The fall season is upon us and pumpkin patches are sprouting all around. Your little ones may be looking for that perfect pumpkin to carve, and you may be looking for the perfect pumpkin to bake some delicious pumpkin pie. But did you know there are so much more to pumpkins than Halloween décor and holiday desserts? Pumpkins contain many health benefits that are good for the body and the skin. Below are just a few.
Pumpkins are an excellent source of minerals. These minerals include magnesium, iron, and potassium. They are also rich in copper, a nutrient that is important for collagen and elastin production for healthy skin. Zinc can also be found in pumpkins, which helps with acne and even dermatitis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamins! Pumpkins are rich in vitamins A, K, C, E, and B just to name a few, all being good for your overall health and skin. The beautiful orange color pumpkins have is due to them being full of carotenoids, one being alpha carotene which our bodies convert to a form of vitamin A. One cup of cooked mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, promoting healthy vision, immune health and skin health. Pumpkins are also a good source of vitamin C, widely known to help boost your immune system, but vitamin C also protects the skin from oxidative damage that leads to wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and skin cancer.
Pumpkins contain high levels of dietary fiber, promoting better digestion and gastrointestinal health. Just half a cup of pumpkin gives you 5 grams of fiber. In turn, good digestion promotes healthy skin and nourishment. It also helps to keep cholesterol levels in check and supports cardiovascular health and even aid in weight loss.
So how do you reap in the many health and skin benefits of pumpkin besides from a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread? It’s in the seeds! Pumpkin seeds contain many of the essential nutrients we need for good health. Roast them for a delicious snack or add as a topping to salads and vegetable dishes. Puree and freeze the pulp to put in a pumpkin smoothie. Mash it and apply it topically to your face to create your own facial mask and exfoliating treatment. Not only will your skin be soft and hydrated, you’ll have a warm and healthy complexion!
So as you carve your beautiful jack-o-lantern masterpiece this Halloween, keep the pulp and seeds and don’t toss them out. Their health and skin benefits are endless, and can be prepared or cooked in a variety of ways throughout the fall and winter season.