21 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin For Skin, Hair, And Health

Make the most of the many benefits of pumpkin by following a few tips.

Reviewed by Yvonne O’ Halloran, MND
Written by Tanya Choudhary, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health
Fact-checked by Himanshi Mahajan, Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Yellow pumpkin benefits us in several significant ways! It is one of the most commonly found vegetables all over the world. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family that includes squash, cucumber, zucchini, muskmelon, and watermelon.

Pumpkins come in various shapes and sizes, with a thick and smooth outer skin and fleshy, fibrous pulp inside. The color of the skin may be white, pale green, dark green, or yellowish orange, while the pulp inside may vary from yellow to orange to red. The pumpkin plant usually grows like a creeper, a vine clinging to the ground with support provided. While the smaller ones can range anywhere from 2 to 10 lb in weight, the larger ones can weigh as much as 75 lb. While pumpkin is used in a variety of sweet and savory preparations, pumpkin flowers are also consumed for their unique taste and nutritional benefits!

Pumpkins are widely popular for their significant role in Halloween celebrations. Many households in the US and places all over the world make pumpkin pies and their local delicacies flavored with pumpkin during this time. However, the pumpkin’s benefits are not just limited to its culinary preparations and uses. It is rich in important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidative plant compounds like beta-carotene as well. These nutrients make pumpkins beneficial for our health in several important ways. Read on to know more about the several ways pumpkin benefits us so you can make the most of this humble nutrient-rich vegetable. Scroll down to learn how to add it to your diet as well!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Pumpkin

What Is It?
A nutrient-rich vegetable that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, famous for its culinary and cultural uses.

What Are Its Benefits?
It may enhance skin and hair health, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, and aid in weight loss.

Who Can Use It?
Anyone who isn’t allergic to the vegetable can consume/use it.

How Often?
It can be consumed daily in moderation.

It may cause stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. It might also cause itching, rash, and allergic reactions in some.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup (116 g) of raw pumpkin contains (1):

  • Energy: 30.2 kcal
  • Water: 106 g
  • Protein: 1.16 g
  • Fat: 0.116 g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.54 g
  • Fat: 0.58 g
  • Sugars: 3.2 g
  • Calcium: 24.4 mg
  • Iron: 0.928 mg
  • Magnesium: 13.9 mg
  • Sodium: 1.16 mg
  • Potassium: 394 mg
  • Zinc: 0.371 mg
  • Copper: 0.147 mg
  • Vitamin C: 10.4 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.058 mg
  • Niacin: 0.696 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.128 mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.346 mg

In addition to these nutrients, pumpkin contains folate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, beta carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Pumpkin Skin Benefits

The benefits of pumpkin are for all skin types, particularly environmentally damaged or sensitive skin. Here are the benefits of pumpkin for the skin.

1. Treatment of Oily Skin

Treatment of Oily Skin
Image: Shutterstock

If you have oily skin, you can try a face pack by mixing 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Apply this on a damp face and leave till it dries or up to 30 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and then rinse with cold water. After this, you can apply an appropriate moisturizer meant for your skin type.

2. Treatment of Dry Skin

Treatment of Dry Skin
Image: Shutterstock

For dry skin, mix 2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin puree with ½ teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon milk and ¼ teaspoon heavy whipping cream. Apply this evenly on your face avoiding the eye area and let it settle for 10-15 minutes. This mask exfoliates, nourishes and conditions your skin. Rinse off with warm water and apply a moisturizer meant for your skin type.

3. Anti-ageing Benefits

Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and also contains beta-carotene which helps to reverse UV damage and improve skin texture. It helps to promote the production of collagen, thus improving your skin tone and elasticity. It protects the skin from radical damage which is responsible for causing wrinkles and even skin cancer (1).

4. Treatment of Dark Spots

4. Treatment of Dark Spots
Image: Shutterstock

To fade dark spots, prepare a face pack by mixing 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil. Apply this mixture on a damp face for 30 minutes or until it dries and rinse off with lukewarm water.

5. Pumpkin Body Mask

You can prepare a refreshing body mask by mixing ½ cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree with ½ cup coconut solids and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Apply this all over your body, massaging gently. Leave this mask for about 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. This will refresh and relax your skin.

6. Treatment of Acne

Treatment of Acne
Image: Shutterstock

Pumpkin is a good source of B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, B6, and folate. Niacin improves circulation, and hence, is beneficial in treating acne. And folate helps to increase circulation, which improves cell turnover and renewal. Some research suggests that the antioxidant properties of pumpkin may also help treat acne (3).

Image: Shutterstock

Pumpkin Hair Benefits

Besides its benefits in skincare, pumpkin offers several benefits for your hair, thanks to its rich nutritional value. As we all know, hair follicles require an adequate supply of nutrients for their optimal growth and health. Pumpkin is beneficial for your hair in the following ways.

7. Promotes Hair Growth

Pumpkin is a rich source of minerals including alpha-carotene, potassium and zinc. Potassium helps in keeping hair healthy and improving re-growth. Zinc helps maintain collagen and thus plays an important role in promoting healthy hair. Pumpkin seed oil is also known to stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation(4), (5).

8. Great Conditioner for Dry Hair

If you have dry hair, you can prepare a simple hair conditioner using pumpkin. All you need to do is mix 2 cups of chopped and cooked pumpkin with 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon yogurt. Make a puree with the mixture of pumpkin and yogurt in a food processor or blender. Then add coconut oil and honey to make a smooth mixture. Apply it to damp shampooed hair, wear a plastic shower cap and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly and style as usual.

Health Benefits of Pumpkins

This brightly colored, “cheerful looking” vegetable is rich in plenty of nutrients, making it a very valuable vegetable from a health perspective. It is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants such as xanthin, carotenoids and lutein. It is also a good source of B complex vitamins like folate, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamine. Mineral wise, it is rich in iron, copper, potassium, calcium and phosphorus(6) The health benefits of pumpkin include:

9. Low in Calories

Pumpkin is a very low calorie vegetable. 100 grams of pumpkin provide only 26 calories (1). Most dieticians recommend pumpkin in their weight reduction programs.

protip_icon Trivia
Pumpkins are native to North America and were domesticated for food as early as 7,000 to 5,500 BCE.

10. Rich Source of Beta Carotene

The distinctive bright orange color of pumpkin indicates that it is a rich source of beta carotene. People who eat a diet rich in beta carotene are less likely to develop cancer. Beta-Cryptoxanthin and carotenoids in pumpkin decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers and reduce inflammation (7), (8).

11. Reduces Asthma Attacks

The antioxidant properties of pumpkin protect the respiratory system from infections, reducing asthma attacks (9).

12. Rich Source of Potassium

Potassium is an important mineral required for proper functioning of the heart and muscles. One serving of pumpkin provides around 334 mg of potassium, making it one of the highest sources of potassium (6). You can add pumpkin to your post workout snack or meal for the extra potassium boost.

13. Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases

Pumpkin helps to get rid of build-up of arterial deposits, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes. The high amount of antioxidants in pumpkin also prevents atherosclerosisi  XBuildup of fats in and on the arterial walls, slowing down blood flow, eventually leading to a heart attack. (hardening of arteries). It minimizes the risk of high blood pressure. Pumpkin also has a high amount of phytosterol, which is very similar to human cholesterol. It normalizes the cholesterol to a healthy level (10).

14. Boosts Immune System

Pumpkin provides ample amounts of magnesium for maintaining muscle function and boosting the immune system. It boosts the immunity system by increasing the production of white blood cells in the body. This builds a resistance to various kinds of infections like cold, flu and fever (11).

15. May Prevent Peptic Ulcer

Pumpkin is an amazing detoxifying food. It is an innate diuretici  XDrugs or agents used to eliminate excess water and sodium through the kidneys to relieve the pressure exerted on the veins and arteries. , which is useful for flushing out toxins and wastes from the body. The medicinal properties of pumpkin calm the gastrointestinal tracti  XIt refers to our digestive system that includes all major organs like the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum, and anus. to prevent peptic ulcer (12).

16. Rich Source of Fiber

Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A  (6). This aids in digestion and prevents constipation. It also keeps the stomach full for longer periods of time.

17. Reduces Stress and Depression

Lack of tryptophan in the body often leads to depression. Pumpkin is rich in L-tryptophan, an amino-acid which reduces depression and stress. Research also touts pumpkin as a natural antidepressant (13 ). The sedative properties of pumpkin may even help in treating insomniai  XA sleep disorder that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep or have an uninterrupted sleep schedule. .

18. Rich Source of Vitamin A

Pumpkin is an excellent source of Vitamin A (6). This nutrient is required to keep the eye healthy, maintain good vision and improve eyesight. Zeaxanthin in pumpkin also helps filter UV rays in the retina of the eyes. This protects from the age-related macular diseasesi  XEye disease that affects the retina due to aging and can blur the central vision. It is incurable and requires surgery. in the elderly (14).

19. Prevents Inflammatory Diseases

Regular consumption of pumpkin also reduces the risk of developing inflammatory diseases (15). It also may help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritisi  XA chronic inflammatory disorder where a compromised immune system attacks its own cells, causing extreme joint pain. , though more research is warranted in this regard.

20. Protects Against Prostate Cancer

The high content of carotenoids and zinc in pumpkin protects against prostate cancer. It prevents the enlargement of prostate and over stimulation of the male hormones that cause prostate problems (15), (16).

21. Rich Source of Vitamin K

Pumpkin is one of the best sources of Vitamin K. It contains around 40% of the daily recommended dose. Vitamin K is very beneficial for the growth of bones and heart health. Vitamin C in pumpkin is needed for proper growth and repair of the tissues in the body. One serving of pumpkins provides 20% of the daily recommended dosage (6).

protip_icon Trivia
Native Americans traditionally used pumpkins to treat intestinal worms and urinary ailments. American doctors adopted this remedy as an anthelmintic in the early 19th century.

How to Select and Store?

Selection: Pumpkins are available in various shapes, sizes and colors. They can grow up to 100 pounds but the smallest ones with tender flesh are most suitable for consuming. The first step is to check the stem of the pumpkin. Squeeze the stem to ensure that it is solid and firmly attached. A soft stem indicates that the pumpkin is not fresh and will not last long. Examine the entire pumpkin for soft spots and if you find any soft spot, move on to the next one. The stem gives character to the pumpkin. Hence, it should not be lifted by its stem as it is more likely to break.

As far as the color is concerned, it should be uniform. Patches of green indicate that the pumpkin was not ripe when picked and is not likely to ripen further. The shape of the pumpkin depends upon your personal preference.

Select those pumpkins which are free from blemishes, bruises and dents as these might cause the pumpkins to rot quickly. Look closely at the bottom of the pumpkin for molds and pinholes. Molds on the pumpkin indicate that it is already rotting while the pinholes indicate that the insects have started to eat the pumpkin and it is not likely to last long. The pumpkins should be small and heavy for their size as they have tender and more flavorful flesh.

  • Storage: Pumpkins should be kept in a cool, dark, dry and well ventilated place, preferably an attic or spare room at a temperature of 45 to 60 degrees F. Pumpkins can last up to a month and can be refrigerated for up to 3 months. Cooked pumpkin can be stored for up to 16 months in frozen or canned form.

To increase their shelf life, the skin of the pumpkins should be washed in a chlorine solution prepared by adding a tablespoon of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. This will disinfect the skin and discourage the formation of molds and rot. Dry immediately to prevent spoilage. If any mold is visible, wipe it off with vegetable oil.

Tips for Usage (Cooking / Eating):

Pumpkins can be a great addition to both savory dishes and desserts since there are numerous ways of cooking these squashes. Pumpkins are needed to be cut into chunks before proceeding to prepare them. Since they have tough skins, they need to be cut with a strong knife. Pumpkin should be kept on a thick tea towel and then cut into halves. If the skin is extremely thick, the knife should be hammered in with a rolling pin. After cutting the first side, the pumpkin should be turned around to cut the other side until it is split into two. The seeds should be scooped out and the pumpkin can be cut into quarters. You can cut the pumpkins into chunks or wedges depending upon the requirement of the recipe. The skin should be peeled off until you want to roast it.

Pumpkins can be used in various ways, some of which are given below.

1. Pumpkins should always be cooked at medium temperatures because high temperatures can cause their flesh to become stringy. In case your pumpkin becomes stringy while cooking, you can beat the pulp with an electric mixer on high speed for about 10 seconds and then switch to low speed for about 60 seconds. Strings should be wrapped around the beaters to facilitate easy removal.

2. Cooked mashed pumpkins can be used in cake and muffin recipes to impart moisture and texture. Shelled pumpkin seeds can be a healthy alternative to pine nuts in many recipes.

3. For making pumpkin pies, you can either use homemade pureed pumpkin or canned ones. It is advisable to bake rather than steam or boil pumpkin in order to alleviate excess moisture. It should be mashed and drained through cheesecloth before being used in pies.

Pumpkin pies are one of America’s favorite dishes. In a YouGov survey involving 1,055 adults in the United States, 35% of people planning to celebrate Thanksgiving stated that they prefer pumpkin pie. About 37% of the respondents celebrating Thanksgiving day make their pie from scratch, while 32% mentioned that their pies are usually homemade but incorporate some store-bought shortcuts. The rest 26% opt for store-bought pies.

4. Roasted pumpkin is a delicious vegetarian dish for any occasion. For this purpose, preheat the oven at 210 degrees. Cut a half fresh pumpkin into desired sized pieces. Place the pumpkin on a baking dish with some oil drizzled on top and mix with a metal spoon to coat well. Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary over the pumpkin and place it in the oven. Take the dish out after half an hour, mix the pumpkin and place it in the oven for another half an hour or till it becomes soft and brown.

5. Pumpkin seeds known as pepitas can be roasted and enjoyed as snacks. You can prepare a sweet and salty snack using these seeds. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spread out the seeds on a baking sheet and bake until dry for about 50 to 60 minutes. Now increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Taking out the dish, toss the seeds with butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Now return the seeds to the baking sheet, tossing occasionally until golden brown for 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Pumpkin seed oil is an important by-product of pumpkin seeds. This oil can be mixed with other oils for cooking, salad dressings and other purposes due to its strong flavor and color.

7. You can prepare a delicious soup by combining pumpkin and leek. All you need to do is heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Then add leeks, celery and garlic, cook until they become soft, for about 25 minutes. Stir in 1 ¾ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Ladle the soup into a blender and blend until it is smooth. Pour it in a bowl and top with rosemary.

8. Pumpkin chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips. Heat about 1 ½ inches of peanut oil in a soup pot over medium to high heat. Gently add the pumpkin slices and sauté for 3 minutes or until they turn golden. The chips on being ready will begin to float on the top. Carefully remove the chips from the oil with the help of a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined platter. Season them with salt and serve.

9. Sautéed pumpkins is a delicious dish for autumn. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large skillet and add about 1 ½ pounds of seeded, peeled and cut pumpkin chunks. Then stir pieces to coat well. Cover the skillet, cook until the pumpkin chunks turn soft, mixing occasionally. Now uncover the skillet and sauté for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden brown and fork-tender. The sautéed pumpkin can be seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with maple syrup. It should be served warm.

10. You can prepare the delicious pumpkin bread by combining canned pumpkin puree with whole wheat flour. For this purpose, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat two loaf pans with cooking spray. Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk egg whites, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Add this pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the batter into the prepared pans and smoothen the top. Bake the loaves until their tops turn golden brown for about 50-60 minutes. Turn the loaves out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Your pumpkin bread is ready.

Infographic: 7 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is used to prepare various sweet and savory dishes, and their flowers are eaten worldwide for their taste and nutritional benefits. But not only the flowers but the vegetable also has various health benefits apart from being tasty. Read the infographic below to learn some of the amazing benefits of pumpkin.

7 amazing benefits of pumpkin (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Pumpkin is an excellent food choice for those following a low-fat, gluten-free, or vegan diet. It can reduce skin oiliness, exhibit anti-aging effects, and help treat dark spots and acne. It also conditions hair and promotes hair growth. It may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and aid in weight loss as well. You can include pumpkins in various dishes for baking and use their seeds too. Regular intake can offer important benefits.

Do leave us a comment if you like this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you eat too much pumpkin?

The intake of too much pumpkin may increase the amount of water and salt in the body, which are expelled through urine (17).

Can I eat raw pumpkin?

Yes, pumpkin can be eaten raw.

Is pumpkin OK for diabetes?

Pumpkin exhibits anti-diabetic properties that help lower blood sugar levels. The trigonelline and nicotinic acid in pumpkin have shown diabetes-preventing effects (18).

Is pumpkin good for the liver?

Pumpkin seeds can reduce oxidative stress and help prevent liver damage (19).

Key Takeaways

  • Eating pumpkin will help you improve your skin health because it is rich in antioxidants.
  • Pumpkins have potassium, which helps regrow your hair.
  • It is enriched with fiber and can help you improve your digestive system.
  • Include it in your diet to lose weight, as pumpkin contains only 26 calories in 100 grams.

Uncover the top 10 health benefits of pumpkin in this enlightening video. Explore its nutritional facts and learn about the amazing benefits of pumpkin seeds.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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    2. Physicochemical Properties of Pumpkin Seed Oil & Therapy of Inflammatory Facial Acne Vulgaris
    3. Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial
    4. Beneficial effects of pumpkin seed oil as a topical hair growth promoting agent in a mice model
    5. Physicochemical nutritional and functional properties of Cucurbita moschata
    6. Pumpkin raw
    7. Total carotenoid content α-carotene and β-carotene of landrace pumpkins (Cucurbita moschata Duch): A preliminary study
    8. β-Cryptoxanthin supplementation prevents cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation oxidative damage and squamous metaplasia in ferrets
    10. Antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of pumpkin seed oil
    11. The effects of methanolic chloroform and ethylacetate extracts of the Cucurbita pepo L. on the delay type hypersensitivity and antibody production
    12. Pumpkin Oil–Based Nanostructured Lipid Carrier System for Antiulcer Effect in NSAID-Induced Gastric Ulcer Model in Rats
    13. Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression
    14. Lutein and Zeaxanthin Isomers in Eye Health and Disease
    15. Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: an updated review
    16. Pumpkin Seed Extracts Inhibit Proliferation and Induce Autophagy in PC-3 Androgen Insensitive Prostate Cancer Cells
    17. Physico-chemical studies and evaluation of diuretic activity of Cucurbita maxima
    18. Anti-diabetic effects of pumpkin and its components trigonelline and nicotinic acid on Goto-Kakizaki rats
    19. Pumpkin seed oil alleviates oxidative stress and liver damage induced by sodium nitrate in adult rats: biochemical and histological approach
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