The popularity of pumpkins skyrockets once the fall season hits! The colder weather calls for a delicious warm soup and pumpkin soup is the most popular during the fall and continuing to the winter season. Let’s not forget about the creaminess of pumpkin pies that everybody loves especially during Thanksgiving dinners! And of course Halloween would not be complete without pumpkins!
But pumpkins are not just tasty or a fun decorative. They actually come with a serious punch of healthy benefits! Pumpkins come seriously loaded with a phytonutrient we call beta-carotene. It’s not just carrots that are packed with this essential nutrient, pumpkins are loaded with it too!
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid and is known for its antioxidative prowess and this form of carotenoid can be converted by the body into an essential nutrient that promotes healthy eyesight and growth. If you guessed Vitamin A then you’re right! Vitamin A is also an antioxidant which is crucial in keeping the skin and hair protected from damage. It may also be worth noting that carotenoids can prevent certain types of cancer as well as heart disease.
Pumpkins for Healthy Hair and Skin
How will the skin and hair benefit from pumpkins? The answer lies in the carotenoids contained in them. As mentioned earlier carotenoids are antioxidants. To understand better how the skin and hair benefits from these antioxidants, one has to first learn about free radicals and its damaging effects to the entire cells of the body and that’s including the cells that make up the skin and the hair. Free radicals are naturally occurring. They are ever present in the environment and even our bodies produce free radicals. The sun’s UV rays is among the top producers of free radicals and this is the reason why too much time under the sun can be damaging to both the hair and skin. Free radicals break down collagen which leads to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. The hair strands can become weakened because of free radicals.
Antioxidants Vs Free Radicals
Antioxidants is one’s best defence against the damaging effects of free radicals. They are able to neutralise free radicals before they start wreaking havoc in the body. The human body has certain enzymes that hunt down free radicals but the most potent antioxidants that effectively fight free radicals are vitamin E, beta-carotene as well as Vitamin C. Selenium may also be helpful as this trace metal is needed for the body’s antioxidant enzyme systems to function properly. These nutrients are not manufactured by the body so one must supply the body with them through diet.
So if you want a healthy body plus the welcome bonus of having to sport a healthy head of hair and a youthful and glowing skin, start taking pumpkins more seriously. They belong to your plate and not just on your porch! Carrots and leafy greens are also loaded with antioxidants!
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