Our skin is almost always a reflection of our internal health, and so our diets can have a great impact on how the skin looks on the surface.
When we feed our bodies, not only do we obtain energy and the macro- and micro-nutrients needed for good health on a general level, we are also feeding and energising the cells of our skin. This approach of nourishing the skin from both the outside as well as the inside will always have the greatest impact over just one of these alone.
There are countless foods and plant extracts which are widely known to be great for the skin. Citrus fruits, for example, are commonly accepted for their high vitamin C content, which we understand have several excellent benefits on the skin like brightening, collagen induction, and antioxidant protection. However, there are also a wide array of foods which are incredibly beneficial for skin but have not yet developed the reputation for it.
One of these unassuming yet powerful skin boosters is pumpkin. This is because pumpkin, in addition to most other yellow or orange coloured foods, contains high levels of Beta-Carotene. This brightly-coloured pigment is part of the carotenoid family, and is converted into vitamin A in the body. As we know, vitamin A is one of the most beneficial substances for the prevention of ageing, but also general cellular health. Here are five additional ways in which the humble pumpkin; including its skin, flesh, pulp, seeds, and oil can improve the look, feel, and function of the skin.
1. Blue light filtration.
Beta-Carotene isn’t the only carotenoid in pumpkin. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are thought to filter blue light and to protect the skin from environmental damage.
2. Antioxidant protection.
The aforementioned carotenoids protect the skin from cellular damage by neutralising free radicals.
3. Inflammation reduction.
Pumpkin contains tocopherol, otherwise known as vitamin E. This has been used for decades in topical anti-inflammatory solutions as it reduces the concentration of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) which plays a large role in the inflammatory response. Pumpkin also contains zinc, which also shares anti-inflammatory properties.
While we may think of citrus as a go-to for ascorbic acid (vitamin C) pumpkin also contains this in droves. Not only is vitamin C a great antioxidant, it aids in diminishing pigmentation, cellular turnover, and collagen production.
5. Happy digestion.
Pumpkin contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are important for healthy digestion, stable gut microbiome, and water retention. Skin is closely linked with gut health, so healthy digestion is essential for great skin.