Pumpkin & Kale
We've all enjoyed the effects of munching on kale and pumpkin pie during the holidays, but it turns out that these two foods are also pretty helpful all year round.
Pumpkin is super-high in two crucially important carotenoids that help eradicate free radicals in the lens of the eye, possibly helping to prevent the formation of cataracts and lessening the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem that typically causes blindness.
Meanwhile, the erupting popularity of kale in every form, from chips to salads, has good reason. "This dark, leafy green is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, including vitamins K, A, C, & E, as well as magnesium, fiber, calcium, and omega-3 fats," says Snyder. Which means they’re great for the body as well as the skin.
Dr Perricone enthuses, "Carotenoids help block sunlight-induced inflammation in the skin, which leads to wrinkles, can cause skin cancer, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, in part because of their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties." Perricone does note that unlike food sources, supplemental carotenoids such as alpha- and beta-carotene do not produce consistently positive results against cardiovascular disease.
In addition, he says that "the lutein and zeaxanthin abundant in spinach, kale, and collard greens exert protective antioxidant effects in the retina, and, accordingly, they appear to help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, and prostatic changes."
Illustrations by Gabriela Alford
Pumpkin & Kale