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Could the Fall Pumpkin Craze be Beneficial for Atopic Eczema?

Fall is finally upon us, as are the many fall trends we love to partake in. Pumpkin picking, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie…there is definitely a trend emerging! Pumpkins are an unavoidable part of fall, and a reason to rejoice for lovers of the bright, orange fruit. (Yes, it technically is a fruit!)

With all of the pumpkins around us, it may be possible to wonder if jumping into the fall pumpkin bonanza could actually be beneficial for your atopic eczema. The answer to this question isn’t completely clear, but it does seem plausible that enjoying this fun seasonal treat could help your symptoms!

Pumpkins–part of an anti-inflammatory diet

Since atopic eczema may be considered an inflammatory condition, many individuals have reported success with following an “anti-inflammatory” diet, filled with foods that suppress or avoid inflammatory pathways.1 Fatty meats, dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, and certain dark vegetables are excluded from the diet, while colorful fruits and veggies, cold-water fish, flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil, and pumpkin seeds are common staples.

Colorful pumpkins certainly fall into the fresh fruit category, but it is important to be careful what kind of pumpkin treats we’re eating. While a fresh pumpkin picked at your local farm or at the grocery store and its seeds can be a great treat, processed pumpkin additives can have lurking processing ingredients and sugars that can exacerbate eczema symptoms!

Pumpkin seeds–a hidden superfood

Don’t just stop at the pumpkin flavor or the fruit itself, remember the seeds as well. Pumpkin seeds can be an incredible, nutritious, and potentially symptom-reducing snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, selenium, and essential fatty acids, among many other healthy vitamins and minerals that keep our skin looking the best it can. Specifically, though, the zinc, selenium, and essential fatty acids in pumpkin seeds play large roles in skin and wound healing, acne prevention, connective collagen maintenance, protection from environmental stressors and damage, and promoting healthy skin moisture to combat dry and rough patches that can accompany papules.2

Vitamin E is also present in pumpkin seeds and acts as an antioxidant. It is also directly related to aiding skin conditions such as atopic eczema and psoriasis. Pumpkin oil contains even more concentrated amounts of vitamin E as well! Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to have properties similar to some anti-inflammatory medications, and could also play a role in fighting depression since they contain high levels of tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin).

While many of these benefits may only work to an extent, they nonetheless could help reign in symptoms of atopic eczema, while keeping our bodies healthy and well nourished. Let us know if seasonal pumpkins affect your atopic eczema at all, or how you enjoy the fall!

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