Skin Benefits of Pumpkin
By Sara Solomon
Don’t kick that halloween pumpkin to the curb just. Use it in your beautifying diet! Try this high-protein, low-sugar cheesecake.
Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake
Ready in 50 minutes / Yields 4 slices
- 2 tablespoons of vegan non-hydrogenated cream cheese*
- 1/2 can (7 oz) of canned organic pumpkin*
- 2 eggs
- Dash of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 scoops of of whey protein*
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a pudding consistency is achieved.
3. Pour the cheesecake batter into a small springform pan. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool and serve. Optional: Drizzle with sugar-free, calorie-free caramel sauce.* Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrients for 1 slice: 148 Calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 123 cholesterol, 175 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 16 g protein Tofutti Cream Cheese. For a soy-free option, use 1 tablespoon of cashew butter. Farmer’s Market Organic Canned Pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling because it’s laced with sugar! Gaspari Nutrition’s MyoFuision Probiotic Whey Protein in “Cinnamon Roll”, available from bodybuilding.com Walden Farms caramel sauce
*Brands I used
Tofutti Cream Cheese. For a soy-free option, use 1 tablespoon of cashew butter.
Farmer’s Market Organic Canned Pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling because it’s laced with sugar!
Gaspari Nutrition’s MyoFuision Probiotic Whey Protein in “Cinnamon Roll”, available from bodybuilding.com
Walden Farms caramel sauce
How does pumpkin help with skin?
Low in calores (a half a cup of canned pumpkin contains just 50 calories, no fat, no cholesterol) yet sky-high in skin-saving nutrients (it boasts 380% of your daily vitamin A intake), pumpkin is the perfect food for slimming down your body and clearing up a multitude of skin concerns. That’s why you’ll see pumpkin being used in a lot of skincare products. Here’s a closer look at how this great gourd helps your skin.
Toughens it up
Beta-carotene (a carotenoid better known as vitamin A), found in the bright orange pulp of pumpkins is known to protect skin cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. There is tremendous buzz surrounding beta-carotene because of its potential anti-cancer, anti-aging and immune-enhancing effects. Free radicals are the culprits responsible for causing poor skin tone and elasticity and wrinkles over time because they break down skin-plumping collagen and elastin, which can weaken over time. The long-term results of this breakdown are wrinkles. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C; another powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals.
Reduces Sunburn Risk
If you sunburn easily or have an inherited disease called erythropoietic protoporphyria, then beta-carotene can reduce the risk of sunburn. Keep in mind that beta-carotene is unlikely going to have much sunburn protective effect in most people so be sure to apply your daily sunscreen.
Pumpkin is a good source of the minerals copper and zinc. Copper plays a role in collagen, elastin and melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that determines the colour of your skin and hair, which explains why pigmentation problems may be attributed to dietary copper deficiency. Pumpkin may help fade away the brown spots left behind by acne. Zinc is thought to regulate excessive oil production in your hair follicles, which explains why increasing your intake of zinc may clear up acne. Zinc also assists in the repair of inflamed tissues, such as pimples, rashes and sunburns.
While there are many topical pumpkin prodz on the market, we say make your own! It’s almost too easy. Here are two masks for two different skin concerns. All you need to do is combine all of the ingredients together and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Pumpkin Mask for Dry Skin
- 2 teaspoon canned pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ¼ tablespoon milk
Pumpkin Mask for Acne
- 200 g pumpkin pulp
- 1 tablespoon non-fat sour cream
About the Author
Dr. Sara Solomon is a Toronto-based dentist and a well-known fitness and nutrition expert. Find more of Dr. Sara Solomon’s delicious recipes in her “Healthy Recipes” Ebook available to purchase here. Follow her [gn_fancy_link color="black" link="https://twitter.com/DrSaraSolomon"]@DrSaraSolomon[/gn_fancy_link]