Powerful, Popular Pumpkin

Happy pumpkin power season! In the past few years, the mighty pumpkin has enjoyed a surge of popularity. It seems we’ve all managed to get beyond this fabulous fruit’s tough exterior and come to love the sometimes stringy, sometimes gooey insides. Forget the pumpkin latte. These days, we can get any and everything pumpkin, from kumbucha to yogurt to greenies for the dog!

Many of these pumpkin-flavored goodies (or oh goodness-ies, depending on where you stand) are full of sugar, artificial flavor and general ickiness that will run your body down. But if you go back to the basics and eat foods made with straight-up pumpkin puree, you’ll get an amazing dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids. And the combination of all that translates to better skin, hair and nails.

Here’s the run-down:

Vitamin C – Improves skin elasticity and tone and protects from free-radicals that cause cancer and wrinkles.

Carotenoids (alpha & beta carotene among them) – Reverses UV-damage and freshens skin texture.

Minerals (copper, magnesium, potassium, maganese, zinc & iron, among others) – Maintains collagen, fights acne, promotes hair growth and cell turnover.

B Vitamins – Improves circulation for faster cell turnover

And all of that’s just what you get from eating pumpkin! If you want to give wearing pumpkin a try—and we suggest you do!—it can offer your complexion and hair a visible boost. It’s easy to make a mask for your hair or face, mixing pumpkin and a few everyday ingredients. (We recommend using the scooped insides of raw pumpkin, ground in a blender, or homemade puree. Commercially canned puree works, but it will have less of those magical enzymes and nutrients.)

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Pumpkin Polishing Face Mask

1/4 cup of pumpkin

1/2 cup of sugar (brown or white)

3 tablespoons of raw honey or yogurt

Parched Pumpkin Hair Mask

1/2 cup of pumpkin

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Apply for 10-20 minutes. (While you’re waiting, maybe snack on some some cubed, raw pumpkin? It’s delicious sprinkled with cinnamon!) Now you and your shiny new cells are ready to conquer the holidays, while radiating pumpkin positivity!