Thank goodness for pumpkins

Fall is the season we mostly associate with rich and opulent colors: the changing of the leaves on the trees along Toronto’s sidewalks and parks, the fashion show of apples in different shades of yellow and red, and the variety of pumpkins and winter squashes coloring the produce aisles with pearly white, deep green, and shades of orange hues.

We’ve talked about all the benefits about eating apples in our previous article. With pumpkin season in full gear (think Thanksgiving and Halloween), it seemed like an excellent opportunity for us to uncover some of the good things that this fruit brings to the beauty scene.

The words pumpkin, squash or gourd are all used to describe the same fruit. The word pumpkin is derived from the old-French word pompion: it means to eat it when it’s cooked by the Sun. The word squash comes from the Native American word askutasquash, and it means eat it raw, or uncooked. The pumpkin used to make pumpkin pie is actually a squash.

The compounds that color the pumpkin’s flesh orange are called beta carotenes. When consumed via food, these compounds are converted to Vitamin A, the main player for healthy eye-sight, healthy heart, and teeth.

The deeper orange color indicates higher concentration of beta carotene.

How do the beta carotenes work?

Very simple: they engage in the detection of damaged cells. Once they find some, they will create a “washing foam” around them, and try to remove or fix what seems to be broken. And on they go, until the process is finished. Additionally, vitamin A is one of the main drivers in the mechanism for skin cell renewal and prolong the aging process.

What other good things are compacted in pumpkins and squashes?

Well, there is potassium, which regulates the proper function of nervous and muscle cells, and promotes good blood flow throughout the tissues. And there are the trace minerals, such as zinc, and copper. These minerals are good for our overall health: zinc fights the flu and protects us from the sun’s exposure (it’s the main ingredient in sun-block creams); copper is also used in the mechanism of collagen production.

One last thing to consider if you are like us, and want to slather pumpkin puree all over your face (what can we say, we love face masks): cook the pumpkin (or use the canned version), mix it up with some olive or coconut oil, and apply on your face or scalp. For additional moisture, we love to add honey and plain yogurt (and sometimes pumpkin pie spice, for that PSL smell).

Be happy, be beautiful.


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