Don’t Forget the Pumpkin

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It’s good for your body – inside and out!

While most of us may long for grandma’s pumpkin pie this time of year, we may not have stopped to consider the many health benefits of this gourd-like squash. Pumpkin not only packs a nutritional punch for healthy skin when consumed, but also offers skincare benefits when applied topically. First, let’s look at the health perks of eating pumpkin:

* One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your RDA for Vitamin A – critical to vision, especially in the dark.

* It’s diet friendly – one cup contains just 49 calories and 3 grams of fiber.

* Pumpkin is rich in antioxidant beta carotene and may help ward off cancer.

* Free radical neutralizing carotenoids may help keep skin wrinkle free.

* A cup of pumpkin contains 564 mg of potassium – compared to a banana’s 422 mg. Potassium balances electrolytes and helps muscles optimally function, making potassium rich foods ideal after workouts.

* Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin C, containing almost 20% of a woman’s daily recommendation.

Now that you know some of pumpkin’s health perks in the diet, what about application to the skin? Pumpkin contains enzymes that can offer exfoliation benefits – ideal this time of year when dull, dry skin can be a problem. These natural enzymes can dissolve away dead skin cells, leaving skin radiant. Try this simple recipe for smooth skin just in time for Thanksgiving company:

Pumpkin Facial Mask

2 tsp. canned pumpkin

½ tsp. honey

¼ tsp. milk.

Instructions: Combine ingredients. Apply to skin and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and apply moisturizer.

So make pumpkin a focus of your holiday festivities this year, and be a hostess with skin that glows!

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