Getting to the Grit of Why Pumpkin Spice Is Healthy
By Sara Butler
Just when you’re starting to feel sad that summer is coming to an end, fall swoops right on in to remind you of its goodness in the form of pumpkin spice. Sure, you may not be a fan of cozy sweaters or changing leaves, but a lot of people are huge fans of pumpkin spice. You can find almost anything, from Pringles to burgers, that are given a pumpkin spice makeover this time of the year.
No matter your feelings on pumpkin spice Twinkies, it can't be denied that pumpkin spice does have some benefits to your health. Here are just a few of the great things a little pumpkin spice can add to your overall health and wellness.
The Pumpkin Spice Package
Pumpkin spice is anything but simple. It’s a marriage of spices that all come together to make you feel as if you’re frolicking in your favorite cardigan through a pumpkin patch. The individual spices that come together to create this flavor are where you find the benefits.
Cinnamon packs a ton of flavor but that’s not all, it’s also an excellent antioxidant. Antioxidants are the substances your body uses to help protect it from free radical damage that causes oxidative stress on the body.
Cinnamon also happens to have anti-inflammatory effects and can help to lower blood sugar levels. It may even reduce risk factors that can lead to heart disease such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Over the centuries, nutmeg has been used to treat a variety of ailments, from stomach issues to pain to cancer. There’s not a lot of scientific evidence to support nutmeg being used medicinally to treat conditions, but it does have a decent fiber content in it that can help to promote healthier digestion.
Ginger has a variety of documented health benefits. It is often used to help soothe nausea and upset stomach, and also has anti-inflammatory benefits with high antioxidant content. The polyphenols in ginger are what make it a useful tool to help treat stomach upset and also in reducing muscle pain. So, if you’ve got an excruciating leg day coming up in your exercise schedule, then don’t forget the pumpkin spice to help with muscle soreness.
Cloves are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to keep your gums healthy. In fact, cloves have been used throughout history to help treat toothaches due to a chemical compound contained within them called eugenol. Though it’s no longer used to treat toothaches, it still contains plenty of antioxidants. In fact, it’s one of the most antioxidant-rich spices you can find.
It wouldn’t be pumpkin spice without some pumpkin! It’s important to note that not all pumpkin-spiced products actually contain pumpkin, but the ones who do will get the added benefit of extra fiber and Vitamin A, which is a vitamin that helps to promote healthy eyes and skin.
Watch Out for Pumpkin Spice Fakes!
It’s important to note that not all pumpkin spice is created equal. Make sure whatever pumpkin spice product you reach for has actual spices in it, not simply the “flavorings” that were created in some lab right next to the fire retardant used on your couch. Look at the label to determine if it’s real or fake pumpkin spice. And remember, you can always create your own to sprinkle on top of your morning smoothie, oatmeal, or in your coffee.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.