A Fall Trick for Beautiful Skin: Pumpkin

Dr. Janet Zand

October 29, 2021

 
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Did you know that pumpkin is really good for your skin? It’s true!

This fall-time food is chock full of nutrients that are great for skin texture and elasticity. And pumpkin is so easy to find right now that it’s the perfect time to add it to your diet.

In a minute, I’ll give you some easy (and delicious!) ideas about how to do that. First, I want to quickly explain how pumpkin helps your skin...

One big benefit is that pumpkin can actually help protect your skin from damaging UV rays. How? Well, pumpkin is high in carotenoids like beta-carotene. And studies show that carotenoids can absorb UV light and prevent sun damage.

Also, pumpkin is full of antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and more. And these antioxidants help stop free radicals from forming. As you may know, free radicals break down your skin's collagen, resulting in wrinkling, fine lines, and loose, saggy skin. So the antioxidant boost from pumpkin is great for protecting your collagen.

And not only does pumpkin have nutrients that protect your collagen, it also has nutrients that help your body make more collagen naturally. Like vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin in collagen production.

So as you can see, pumpkin is loaded with skin benefits. Now let’s talk about some ways to add it to your diet this fall...

Easy and delicious ways to eat more

Before we get to recipes, a quick word of warning: Lots of pumpkin-based foods and recipes are loaded with sugar, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and most kinds of pumpkin bread.

And as you probably know, all that sugar is NOT good for your skin. Also, many of those sugar-laden foods contain very little pumpkin relative to the other ingredients, like flour, heavy cream, and so on. So they’re not very skin-friendly.

The good news is that there are plenty of other options that are fast, easy, and delicious. Here are a few to try:

Quick Pumpkin Smoothie

This is a fast and easy recipe -- everything just goes into the blender! Here’s what to do...

1. In the blender, add 1 cup of cubed pumpkin, 1/2 cup diced carrot, 1/4  cup diced apple.

2. Blend until smooth.

3. Add 1 tsp lemon juice, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp monk fruit sweetener, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Blend until incorporated.

4. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

There’s also this 30-minute pumpkin soup that’s dairy-free, low-carb and full of fall spices.

And these low-carb pumpkin cream cheese muffins that are only 4 net grams of carbs.

So try incorporating pumpkin into your diet today. You can even branch out into similar types of squash, like kabocha, which has many of the same vitamins and nutrients. (I think it tastes like a sweet potato crossed with pumpkin.)

And let me know how it goes!

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