Is Pumpkin Spice Good For You?Posted by FJ Leto on September 22, 2021
5 Things to Know About Pumpkin, Chai and Fall Spices
Craving pumpkin chai latte? You’re not alone. For millions of Americans, autumn is synonymous with pumpkin drinks, spices and food. But are pumpkin spice drinks healthy?
Fact 1: Pumpkin has an American history.
Technically a fruit but nutritionally similar to a vegetable, pumpkin has provided food for humans for centuries. Before European settlers arrived on this continent, First Americans ate pumpkins to survive long, hard winters. Pumpkins’ flesh, seeds and flowers were a critical source of nutrition for the Pilgrims, too. That’s why pumpkins are so connected to Thanksgiving.
Fact 2: Pumpkin spices are medicinal.
The three main ingredients in pumpkin spice mixtures – cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – contain powerful antioxidant compounds that are anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. They are widely used around the world for medicinal purposes, as are pumpkin seeds and flowers. When mixed with pumpkin, the spices make a wonderful tincture, especially for autumn.
Fact 3: Pumpkins are superfoods.
Pumpkins are low in calories, high in fiber, and have protein. Packed with nutrition, pumpkins are great sources of Vitamin C and beta-carotene which converts into the immune boosting Vitamin A. In fact, one cup of cooked pumpkin can contain almost 250% of our daily vitamin A needs.
Fact 4: Pumpkin spice is good for you.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: Cinnamon is a bark, ginger is a root, and nutmeg is a seed. Clove (a flower bud) is often added to the mix. Add in the pumpkin fruit and we have the full circle of life – all in one cup. How’s that for Mother Nature’s magic?
Fact 5: Not all pumpkin spice is created equal.
Of course, make sure the pumpkin spice is from real food and spices rather than flavorings. Stick to the real stuff rather than syrups or chemicals to ensure you’re getting phytonutrients and the health benefits, not just the taste!
Still craving pumpkin spice? Drink up. Cheers!