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The Powerful Benefits of Pumpkin for Healthy Skin and Hair

October 7, 2013

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Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to indulge in everything pumpkin. Good thing this signature fall vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene—just to name a few. Among its numerous health benefits, pumpkin also helps promote glowing skin and healthy hair.

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your skin and hair, then applying pumpkin treatments or adding it to your diet can help. Here’s why:

Vitamin C:  Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C, which helps protect skin from free radical damage, such as wrinkles and even skin cancer.  Eating vitamin C rich foods also helps promote collagen production, which over time can improve skin tone and elasticity.

Carotenoids: Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and other carotenoids are the protective antioxidants that are also responsible for giving pumpkins their bright orange hue. Eating foods that are a good source of carotenoids can help to reverse UV damage and improve skin texture.

Minerals: Potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron are just a few of the minerals found in pumpkin. Potassium helps promote healthy hair and regrowth. Pumpkins are also rich in copper and zinc, which play a big part in healthy skin and hair. Zinc helps protect cell membranes, maintain collagen, fight acne, and promotes skin renewal. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and easy to add into your diet.  Try sprinkling them in soups, salads, or adding them to yogurt and oatmeal.

B Vitamins: Pumpkin is a good source of most of the B vitamins, including niacin, riboflavin, B6 and folate.  Niacin helps treat acne and improve circulation.  Folate also helps to improve circulation, which increases cell turn over and renewal.

Besides consumption, pumpkin can also be applied topically in the forms of peels, masks, creams, and conditioners to promote healthy skin and hair. Pumpkin is widely used in facials in combination with other soothing ingredients like honey and lemon to help brighten skin and treat a dull complexion.  Try this simple pumpkin hair conditioner for a simple way to restore dry hair:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup of yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

How has pumpkin helped improve your hair and skin?

About the author

Alexis D’Alba is as a contributing writer to Wellness Today and a 2012 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She enjoys spinning and kick-boxing classes, and loves experimenting with different smoothie recipes in her Vitamix blender.