Pumpkin and its Properties – Health and Cosmetics
Pumpkin is a fruit that is native to Latin America and consumed a lot by the Brazilian people. Its relatively cheap and it many recipes can be made with pumpkins, very tasteful dishes rich in good nutrients. As I always enjoy focusing on health matters, and I am always in search for superfoods. Foods are only considered to be superfoods when they have high nutrient content as well as having abilities to improve our health. These nutrients can contain natural phyto-chemicals that come from the food itself and in addition have other unique properties. Pumpkin fits this description perfectly. Pumpkin has been recognized for its beneficial properties and it is not only used in the kitchen, it is used also in cosmetic formulations, and as a Halloween symbol, part of the decorations.
Many years ago I was attending a trade show in Chicago and for the first time I tried a “Pumpkin Spice Latte”, and I was captivated by the taste. This recipe also had a mixture of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and other spices that work wonders for our health. I love many spice combinations, and thinking about their benefits allows me to have this drink without my diet concerns making me feel guilty.
Another interesting aspect about pumpkin is that the seeds are edible too, they are delicious especially toasted, making a great snack. Highly beneficial, the seeds contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E, acid folic and linoleic, niacin, iron, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc, selenium and powerful antioxidants. It is very important to develop a habit of consuming seeds every day. Actually the greater the variety of seeds you consume, the better the benefits for your body.
The oil that is extracted from the pumpkin seeds is known as ‘green gold’, it is very rich, intense and viscous. I have found pumpkin oil available in many supermarkets and it is delicious when used as a salad dressing. The oil is extremely healthy for us, having many nutrients that can improve our immune system, it is rich in essential fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals. As the oil is very delicate it is not advisable to use it for frying, because the heat will eliminate many of the properties. Pumpkin oil is beneficial to the cardiovascular system as it can lower blood pressure. It is also a powerful antioxidant and diuretic, which helps to kill gut parasites, reduces body inflammation, improves sleep, hydrates the skin, treats prostate and urinary tract problems, and treats arthritis. The list of benefits goes on and on.
The pumpkin has excellent benefits for cosmetics too. It is used to treat hair loss and for various other hair treatments. It is also used in face products and anti-aging body creams as well as other product segments. The reason why people are interested in pumpkin now is due to its high enzymatic concentration that permits transformation of the skin through specific treatments. Many estheticians here in the USA use pumpkin-based products to do light exfoliations on the skin. Due to its special enzymes, it exfoliates delicately giving a the skin a nice glow, and leaving the skin radiant and revitalized. It is suitable for any skin type and there are no restrictions. I want to mention also its high vitamin A content, which helps to protect the damaged skin cells from radical damage and it fights urban pollution, so helping to delay skin aging. The vitamin A is so powerful that it helps to speed up cell turnover and because of that it is recommended to always use a sun protection factor afterwards to avoid damage of the new skin. Pumpkin also helps to treat hyper pigmentation by exfoliating the skin surface gently improving skin tone. Acne prone skin will also benefit from this wonderful treatment, helping the skin find its balance.
Exfoliation done with pumpkin enzymes not only helps to remove dead skin cells but also promotes other products to be absorbed better, like anti-bacterial skin masks, anti-inflammatory serums, and facial oils that have the purpose of revitalizing, hydrating and balancing the skin as it contains zinc in its composition. It accelerates the healing process and also cleans the pores, slowing the development of acne.
Another great advantage of using products that contain pumpkin is due to the quantity of fatty acids it contains. We need fatty acids in our diets and they are essential to our health. The human body can not produce this type of fatty acid and that is why we need to include seeds like pumpkin in our diets. This type of fatty acid is excellent when used in sun protection lotions and make up products as it helps to protect the skin by shielding it against allergenic ingredients that can cause skin irritation. As we age, the barriers decrease causing us develop wrinkles rapidly, because the skin looses a lot of water during the aging process.
Do we need any more reasons to start to include pumpkin in our diets and use cosmetics that contain this ingredient? If you need a stimulus to start consuming pumpkin, many recipes can be found on the Internet, both salty or sweet dishes, you choose.
As for cosmetics based on pumpkin, here are a few products you should try: Too Cool For School Pumpkin 24K Gold Sheet Mask, Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer. You can find these products at Sephora.