It’s that time of year when pumpkins and apples are stacked high on roadside farm stands and cinnamon drenched desserts are on every menu. Turns out that all these three iconic symols of autumn are packed with health and beauty benefits.
Pumpkin– Inside and Out
One cup of cooked pumpkin has three grams of fiber, zero cholesterol and sodium, 100% of vitamin A and 20% of vitamin C, and 10% of potassium, copper, manganese, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6– and all for just 50 calories.
Most of the pumpkin we eat in the US comes from cans. It retains most of its nutritional payload and is much easier to use. Just make sure that you purchase plain canned pumpkin not canned pumpkin pie filling which is packed with sugar. Added sweetners and fat ( butter and cream) can be a common problem in pumpkin recipes like pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin Alfredo sauce, and pumpkin risotto. Rather than obscure a healthy ingredient, try adding a few tablspoons of canned pumpkin to your almond milk smoothie, whole grain pancakes, or buttermilk waffles.
And when you carve up your pumpkin for Halloween, make sure you save and roast the seeds. They are packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging phytosterols that reduce the “bad” cholesterol
Pumpkin in Your Skin Care
Pumpkin pulp and seeds deserve a place in your family menus. But wait, there is more good news. Pumpkin pulp is loaded with enzymes and Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, pumpkin can offer powerful anti-aging antioxidants. In addition they act as natrual exfoliants that clarify the skin leaving it soft and glowing. You can buy products enriched with pumpkin, but I love to make my own. Whenever I use pumpkin in a recipe, I save a few tablespoons for a beauty treatment.
1.Pumpkin Mask for Dry Skin
Mix two tablespoons of pumpkin pulp with 2 teaspoons of honey. Rub a bit into the skin, then let it dry for 30 minutes. RInse off with warm water and enjoy fresh, smooth skin
2. Pumpkin Body Scrub
Combine three tablespoons of pumpkin pulp, one tablespoon olive oil with two tablespoon granulated sugar. Gently massage into the body , then rinse off in a warm shower. You get mild exfolition from the pumpkin and the grains of sugar as well as the glycolic acid in the sugar. Yet its a gentle exfoliation that delivers for all skin types.
Next week– health and beauty benefits of cinnamon