GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- Pumpkin spice is in the air as the Fall 2019 season is in full swing! The popular flavor has Americans raving this year more than ever.
What if I could tell you that on top of enjoying ‘pumpkin spice’, it benefits your health?
Yes, that’s right! Pumpkin spice is good for you. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin-flavored donuts. I am talking about the spice itself.
They are very, very high in antioxidants. It’s usually used in place of salt to add flavor,said Tara Wind, Registered Dietitian.
What does pumpkin spice actually consist of?
There are many different variations, however here are the 5 most common ingredients:
The popular flavor combo can be found just about anywhere this time of year!
Special edition foods are released during the Fall with their unique “pumpkin” flavoring, enticing purchases.
The five spices are known to benefit your health in a number of different ways.
A common spice known as Cinnamomum, it is made from the inner bark of evergreen trees. Once ground up, the spice is commonly used to help your body relieve sore muscles by decreasing inflammation.
Cinnamon is also loaded with antioxidants and can help your body fight infections.
Like cinnamon, nutmeg contains is rich in antioxidants.
According to WebMD, antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells.
But, what does that mean? Put simply, antioxidants protect your cells from damage!
Additionally, nutmeg is a good aid for indigestion and enhancement of blood circulation.
According to HealthLine, ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold.
Similar to the two previous pumpkin spice ingredients, ginger contains antioxidants and is used to help decrease inflammation in the body.
Ginger is very good and very high in antioxidants. You can eat it dry in the form of a spice or you can actually grate it over your food,said Wind, during a phone interview.
Cloves contain several different vitamins and are also rich in antioxidants.
The buds help to keep blood sugar in check and help block the growth of bacteria.
Allspice has been used in medicine to help relieve indigestion. They contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and help eliminate fungi.
Though these spices are unlikely to cause harm when consumed in small quantities, consuming them in high doses may cause adverse side effects.
Unfortunately, the lattes and baked goods do not fall onto the list of health benefits in this article. However, they can be good for the soul every once and a while.
The spice is that makes pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages good for your health. Different pumpkin or pumpkin-pie flavored creamers and syrups are not the best for you due to the excess amounts of artificial flavoring, sugar, even fats within them.
“Flavorings are very complex. Any given one will have about thirty ingredients. In them, a lot of the tastes is just from the smell alone,” said Wind. “Usually the flavorings are a lot of ingredients that don’t exist in nature, whereas the spice actually does exist in nature.”
So, as long as your food or beverage contains real spices, you have the green light to consume pumpkin spice this season!
If someone does want a pumpkin spice latte, I tell them to have it for what it is. Not for what they think is going to offer you a health benefit. Mostly because of the added sugars that come along with those specialty drinks,Wind emphasized in a cheerful manner.