Fall is in the air and with it comes the arrival of that fall spice favorite - pumpkin spice! So if you are a fan of this aromatic combination of spices, you now have another reason to love it. Pumpkin spice actually might offer some health benefits.
While the name "pumpkin spice" might make you think that it somehow derived from pumpkins but it is actually a combination of many spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Let's jump in and take a look at the healthy punch these spices offer:
Cinnamon may be the most popular spice amongst its pumpkin spice companions. It offers a plethora of health benefits including vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these components make it a powerful antoxidant, which is good for brain, heart and eye health.
Nutmeg is full of fiber and vitamins A, C, and E. It too, is a source of iron and also has copper, zinc and manganese. Nutmeg is a great antioxidant just like cinnamon.
Ginger has long been noted for being a wonderful digestive aid. It's known to help calm an upset tummy and helps the body digest food more quickly. Vitamins B3 and B6 are found in ginger and these B "buddies" help with digestion, nervous system health as well as metabolism. You can also find folate, zinc, vitamin C, riboflavin, iron, potassium and magnesium in the mighty nutmeg.
Allspice lends a hearty aroma to the pumpkin spice blend and may offer some cardiovascular benefits. It has vitamins A, C and B6 along with riboflavin and niacin.
Keep in mind, that when indulging in food with pumpkin spice, you need to be mindful of added sugar and fat in what you are consuming. Try switching up skim milk for cream in your pumpkin spice coffee and skip the sugar. Or try making that smoothie with pumpkin puree and almond milk along with some pumpkin spice. Pass the pumpkin spice!