Pumpkin: The Health & Beauty Benefits
No matter how old I get, my inner child will not let Halloween pass without carving at least one pumpkin. Each year is the same; I hollow the pumpkin and carve a questionable looking design with my unsteady hand. I light a candle to place inside and lay my creation on the window-sill. Viola! A pumpkin masterpiece – finished!
But what about that mountain of orange gloop left on my kitchen counter? What about the hundreds of seeds? They must be good for more than pies and seasonal coffee flavours. This year I decided to do a little research and see how pumpkin flesh and seeds can be used to benefit our health and add to our beauty regimes. Here’s what I found:
- Weight loss – both pumpkin seeds and flesh are very high in fibre, whilst containing few calories, allowing you to feel fuller for longer and therefore eat less!
- Better eyesight and skin health – one portion of pumpkin contains nearly double your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, which contributes to better eyesight as well as healthy skin and teeth.
- Boosts your immune system – pumpkin is rich in vitamin C, which will give your immune system the strength it needs to ward of colds and other germs during winter!
- Enhance your sex life – pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. Zinc is known to play a part in men’s sexual health and fertility, as well as boost sex drive.
- Reduce risks of cancer – vitamin A and vitamin C work together as an anti-oxidant team which fights against cancerous cells.
- Removes dead skin cells – anti-oxidants and enzymes found in pumpkin puree remove old skin cells, leaving your skin fresh and soft.
- Heals skin – applying pumpkin puree to damaged or dry skin will help aid the healing process and reduce risks of scarring, due to high levels of vitamin A.
- Tones skin – for sensitive skin, rub a piece of pumpkin over cleansed skin for a natural toner that will moisturise without irritating.
- Replenishes dull, dry skin – mix with your choice of natural ingredients such as honey, oats, coconut oil, or avocado for a natural face mask with the added benefit of vitamin E for moisturising and cell renewal.
Clearly pumpkin is more than just a Halloween decoration (although that is still it’s most fun feature)! Next time you’re carving a pumpkin, think twice before you throw away all of that nutritious orange gunk and let it work its magic on your health – inside and out!