Go green on Halloween – get some beauty benefits out of your pumpkin
Today is suitably cold, windy and rainy enough to evoke the atmosphere of a ghoulish Halloween.
No doubt you’ll already have a superbly-designed pumpkin atop your window shelf, porch or dining table. If you haven’t got to that stage yet, or you’ve had the foresight to keep its innards until someone can give you a suitable purpose for it, then STOP PRESS!
Wasting the insides of your pumpkin is not only bad news for the environment, it’s bad news for you too – there is so much to be had from the inside of it, all of which will contribute to a healthy, glowing you.
Separate the seeds from the mulch (or, if applicable, have your children do it – they’ll find it fun!), rinse them and put to one side to dry out. Once you’ve finished with the rest of the pumpkin return to the seeds.
Make sure they’re dry and then place them on a flat roasting dish on top of some greaseproof paper. Put in a medium-heat oven for an hour, turning them over regularly. Et voila – you now have a tasty, and healthy, treat. Add to home-made bread, muesli, cookies, or indeed anything that requires a crunch. Or simply keep to snack on.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc and anti-oxidants. These will soothe your skin from within, creating a healthy and youthful glow. They also contain omega-3s which are healthy for the heart, and high levels of tryptophan which helps induce sleep – vital to keep your skin in optimum condition! The levels of zinc in them also make them an important foodstuff for men; zinc helps with male sexual function and may also protect men from prostrate problems, including cancer.
Use the flesh in a variety of foods – from soup to pumpkin pies or risotto. For any recipe that requires any type of squash in fact can be substituted with pumpkin. Even a regular sandwich filler if full-scale recipes are not for you! Full of anti-oxidants such as vitamin A and E it is also a great ingredient for skin health. These vitamins are known to stave off free radicals, which contribute to the ageing process.
If the taste of pumpkin is not for you then you can still reap rewards for your skin. Pumpkin has anti-inflammatory properties so rubbing the flesh on to blemished or red skin can help to soothe it and ease these problems. It can also help aid a youthful glow as some of the nutrients will be absorbed if applied topically. The texture of the flesh makes it a great filler for home made face masks, too. Mix with honey and oats to help slough or dead skin cells and soften the surface of your skin.
Finally, keep up your eco-credentials by tossing the discarded jack-o-latern in the compost bin!
Finally, have fun. Happy Halloweeeeen!
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