The Power of Pumpkin
The Power of Pumpkin: Thinking past the pieIt’s how you know fall is upon us, and it revolves around that first smell of Pumpkin Latte. It’s when you revel in the crunching of leaves, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, the chili, the touchdowns, the boots and scarves, the shortening days and crisp mornings. It’s when you share recipes for pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin martinis and pumpkin s’mores and pumpkin-scented underwear drawer potpourri. If there is one thing it is nearly impossible for any American to avoid this time of year, its pumpkins. This is the time of year when it becomes iconic. Between Halloween, harvest decorations, and Thanksgiving pie, it’s the season’s symbol. But this round squash derivative holds much more value than spooking neighborhood kids or spicing your latte. From seeds to the rind, pumpkins are not only a delicious treat but a healthy one too. The rest of the year, pumpkins tend to take a backseat. We forget about the brightly colored squash after the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone and the jack’o lanterns turn into mush on the front porch. But maybe we shouldn’t… The pumpkin has a lot of incredible natural health benefits, and it’s good for much more than just pie. Pumpkin’s health benefits:
- The seasonal fall favorite is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant (also responsible for the orange color) which is converted into vitamin A in the body.
- One cup of cooked pumpkin will deliver 100% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A which assists in good vision, fertility, and hormone production.
- Pumpkin is also great to eat for lowering blood pressure and protecting overall health because it contains fiber, vitamin C, and potassium which all support heart health and boost immunity.
- Don’t forget the seeds! They are packed with protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover, to brighten and smooth the skin.
- Pumpkin contains antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C to help soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production to prevent the signs of aging.
- Zinc in pumpkin seeds is brilliant for acne sufferers. Zinc will help control the hormone level and oil production, as well as assist with healing of the skin.
- Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are necessary to maintain good barrier function of the skin. They also regulate sebum, great for an oily skin.
- The molecular structure of pumpkin is small and therefore can penetrate deeper into the skin when used topically. This is amazing for treating a dull complexion, aging skin and pigmentation.
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