The Health Benefits of Pumpkin
By Orla, October 14, 2016
Pumpkins are popping up all over social media as people start to carve pumpkins in the run up to Halloween, but there’s more to pumpkins than spooky faces.
Pumpkins are super beneficial for your general health and your skin, hair and nails. Don’t dream of throwing out the insides of your pumpkin after you’ve carved out those festive faces, you should hold onto everything even the seeds and here’s why:
How Pumpkin Seeds Benefit The Skin
Pumpkin seeds are delicious and so, so good for you. I’d recommend toasting them lightly under the grill and adding them to salads.
Pumpkin seeds are full of vitamins A and E which are found in lots of skincare products due to their antioxidant and re-balancing properties. Pumpkins also contain minerals like magnesium and zinc, which is great for treating acne and breakouts.
Pumpkin seeds can help:
- Boost the production of new skin cells and repair damaged skin
- The zinc can increase collagen levels, attack acne and protect the skin from harsh environmental factors
- Rebalance the skin by regulating sebum levels
How Pumpkin Seeds Benefit Hair
Before investing in expensive hair care products, give pumpkin seeds a run for their money. They are known for giving the hair a healthy shine and helping to thicken up hair due to the presence of vitamin B6 which is linked to hair regrowth.
Pumpkin seeds are also believed to have a postive effect on androgen levels in the body and a lack of androgens is a primary cause of hair loss.
It’s not an immediate solution however, it could take up to 6 months of consuming pumpkin seeds everyday until you see healthier hair.
How Pumpkin Benefits Overall Health
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds alike can benefit so many areas of your health.
Vitamin C and E and beta carotene are all vital nutrients for healthy eyes and preventing degenerative damage and eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
As little as half a cup of cubed pumpkin flesh contains your recommended daily intake of vitamin A which helps the eyes to see better in dim light.
Fertility, Breastfeeding & Menopause
The oil within pumpkin seeds is rich in naturally occurring phytoestrogens which can help to relieve symptoms of the menopause such as hot flashes, headaches and high blood pressure.
The vitamin A in pumpkin which is consumed in the form of beta-carotene is really important for fertility; it promotes healthier cervical fluid which is nourishing for sperm and helps them to live longer, thus giving them more time to find the egg.
It also helps with fertilising the egg and even assists follicles to mature properly which is crucial for healthy fertility.
Another thing the vitamin A found in pumpkin is particularly helpful for is regulating the hormone synthesis process that enables milk production for breastfeeding.
Raw pumpkin seeds, just like the ones you scoop out while carving your Halloween pumpkins, contain phytosterols which naturally decrease bad cholesterol.
Improved Quality of Sleep
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes serotonin which is a feel-good sleepy hormone that helps you unwind.
Moral of the story: eat pumpkin seeds before bedtime and let the typtophan send you off to sleep.
There are actually tons of other health benefits to eating pumpkin and pumpkin seeds but these are the winning ones in our opinion. So don’t throw out those pumpkin carving leftovers, put them to good use and reap the rewards.