It’s that time of year again! Although you’re probably busy carving your pumpkin for Halloween we suggest you keep the leftovers as pumpkins are rich in important essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for healthy and radiant skin.
- Pumpkin contains antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C to help soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production to prevent the signs of ageing
- Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover, to brighten and smooth the skin.
- Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are necessary to maintain good barrier function of the skin. They also regulate sebum, great for an oily skin.
- Zinc in pumpkin seeds is brilliant for acne sufferers. Zinc will help control the hormone level and oil production, as well as assist with healing of the skin.
- Zinc also protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal.
So enjoy your pumpkin and pumpkin seeds without counting calories, saturated fat or cholesterol while getting plenty of fibre, vitamins, nutrients and minerals!
Your skin will thank you for it
Addicted to chocolate? Don’t beat yourself up, it’s National Chocolate Week! Not forgetting your habit can actually be good for your skin!
Dark chocolate (that’s low in sugar and high in cocoa) is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish skin. Iron, calcium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E are among the many nutrients that can be obtained, along with significant antioxidant properties (flavonoids) which support the anti-aging process and aid the prevention of cellular damage. Flavonoids also protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving your complexion, and help your skin protect itself from UV damage and fight Free Radicals (although we’re not suggesting for a second that you forget about your SPF!)
As a rule, the higher the cocoa content, the more flavonoids and the greater the health benefits – dark chocolate with 40% cocoa solids contains five times more flavonoids than white chocolate and twice as many as milk chocolate.
Cocoa also helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin, and fewer wrinkles, and it has also been shown to even improve skin hydration and thickness!
Look for chocolate containing a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa or cacao. If the first ingredient is milk or sugar, the bar is not going to have 70 percent or more cocoa content. But remember, although the right dark chocolate has clear beauty benefits, you have to keep portion control in mind otherwise you’re getting a lot more than just flavonoids—you’re also getting fat, sugar and lots of calories!