Pumpkins can turn your skin orange

For those working toward culinary certificates, the idea that eating too many orange foods could turn your skin orange may sound like an urban legend. However, rest assured, this condition is no tale of Halloween horror. Known as carotenemia, awareness of this condition is important for medical professionals so they do not confuse it with jaundice, according to the National Institutes of Health. Carotenemia often reveals itself in infants who are fed large amounts of carrots and pumpkins. Of course, the complication of having orange skin is that it could also be a more serious issue. Does this mean you have to surrender autumn’s delightful pumpkin offerings? Of course not, but consider how much beta carotene may be in your diet.

Pumpkins galore 
Whereas at one time pumpkins might have only found a place in seasonal pies, the vibrant orange member of the squash family has become a highlighted flavor in a wide range of fall offerings. In the world of beverages, pumpkin spice is used to flavor numerous coffee and espresso drinks, beers and cocktails. Pumpkin beers have even become a subcategory of the Beer World Cup, as more and more microbreweries have created signature seasonal offerings using this ingredient. The pumpkin quality of this field beer can vary from a subtle note to overpowering.

In food, pumpkin is of course used for pie, but also in soups, muffins and various pastries. As this ingredient becomes more popular, it’s possible for an avid pumpkin eater to enjoy food and drink featuring this pigment at any time of day.

Turning orange
Pumpkins are not the only food high in beta carotene. Carrots, orange peppers, squash and other orange foods are also loaded with the pigment. The raw juice craze has made carrot juice increasingly popular, and this can prove to be a source of much beta carotene. Consuming all of these ingredients regularly can result in the skin taking on a yellowish-orange hue, which usually begins in the hands and feet. This is because beta carotene enters the bloodstream and accumulates in those areas. While this concern is generally cosmetic, those experiencing an orange skin tone should consult a physician to ensure it is not a more serious condition.

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