Fall is here! That means pumpkin is taking over everything from our grocery stores and pantries to coffee shops and holiday gatherings. We cook with it, make our houses smell like it and even put it on our bodies – we can’t get enough of the delicious orange fruit (yes, it’s a fruit).
Which is a good thing, because the health benefits of pumpkin are equally as good as the taste and smell.
Here are just a few of the reasons we’re stocking up on pumpkin this year…
Healthy Hair & Skin
The cold weather months can be particularly harsh on your hair and skin, so this is the perfect time of the year to stock up on some fall-flavored beauty boosters like pumpkin, which is rich in vitamins, minerals and alpha and beta-carotenes that can help renew and rejuvenate your dead winter skin.
Responsible for giving fruits or vegetables their orange, yellow or red pigments, carotenoids have antioxidant properties that protect us against cell-damaging free radicals that can cause aging or degenerative diseases.
The alpha and beta-carotenes in pumpkin not only give the fruit its signature orange color, but provide valuable antioxidant powers when consumed. Carotenoids can also help protect your skin against those damaging free radicals and reverse UV damage if applied topically to your skin as a mask or scrub.
Rich in vitamin A, applying pumpkin masks directly to your skin can help soften the skin and remove dead skin cells, and the high amounts of vitamin C – which we all know are powerful antioxidants – can help repair damage caused by the harsh fall and winter elements.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of the minerals potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron, which help promote healthy skin and hair growth.
As an added bonus, pumpkin seeds are particularly high in zinc, which not only helps to rejuvenate your skin, but can actually help fight acne due to its natural immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Natural Sleep Aid
There are few things better for your overall health than getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is incredibly beneficial for maintaining a healthy immune system, keeping your skin healthy and it is particularly important for keeping that professional voice working at its best. And while we all know that turkey is the fall go-to for the natural sleep aid tryptophan, we bet you didn’t know that pumpkin seeds are also rich in the same sleep-boosting amino acid.
Another thing you might not know about tryptophan is that in addition to helping with fall-time napping, it can also help produce serotonin – the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter that boosts our mood and helps us relax.
So, pumpkin seeds are an excellent snack for busy professionals who need to relax!
Gimme Some Potassium
One cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium than a banana – which comes with a load of health benefits for our body and brain that can include improving blood pressure, healthy heart benefits, muscle restoration and balancing electrolytes after a big workout and managing stress and anxiety (which come with the holidays).
High potassium intake can lead to a reduced risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones. – Medical News Today.
Vitamin A for Healthy Eyes
One cup of cooked pumpkin (get the canned) contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is one of the best natural ways to improve your eye health and promote good vision.
Another bonus to vitamin A? Healthy skin!
In fact, vitamin A has been proven to reduce wrinkles, fade brown spots, and smooth dry, rough skin (which plagues us all in the winter – especially if you live in a dry climate).
Pumpkin Can Keep You Trim
An excellent source of fiber with one cup containing 3 grams of dietary fiber and coming in at under 50 calories – mashed pumpkin (again, the kind you get in the can the most convenient) is a great way to help you watch your weight during these indulgent holiday months. The high fiber content will not only help you feel fuller longer, but adding mashed pumpkin to your daily diet will give your body a boost of all of those beneficial vitamins and minerals.
It’s also delicious!
The Spice of Life
You know what else is delicious? Pumpkin pie spiced everything. And one of the main ingredients in our favorite seasonal blend is cinnamon, another super spice for maintaining your health in the fall and all year round.
For more fall and winter health tips to keep your body and professional voice in top form, keep following our blog all fall and winter long!
Having trouble with sore throats, sinus problems, sleep apnea or losing your voice? If you want to contact an ENT specialist, get in touch with the Colorado Voice Clinic.
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