Can you smell it? Fall is in the air. The Halloween decor has gone up and the much-anticipated pumpkin spice has popped back up on menus everywhere. If you are one of the many people who wait anxiously for the first sign of autumn so that you can fill your coffee mug with the fragrant limited-edition fall beverage then you may be interested to discover what that flavor actually consists of and what benefits they may offer you.
What Is Actually In Pumpkin Spice?
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree and has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, even dating back 4,000 years to ancient Egypt. Modern science has confirmed that it offers many benefits which include:
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Lots Of Antioxidants
- Possible Anti-Carcinogenic Properties
- Helps Fight Infections
- Beneficial In Managing Diabetes
There are many other benefits that have been attributed to cinnamon which is great because it is the main ingredient to make up pumpkin spice.
Nutmeg is a spice that grows on an evergreen tree from the Myristica genus. This spice also offers a number of health benefits and is often used in alternative medicine and made into essential oils. Some of the health benefits nutmeg offered are:
- Promotes Brain Health
- Can Treat Insomnia
- Promotes Digestive Health
- Can Treat Bad Breath
Ginger is a widely used spice that comes from the root of a herbaceous plant that grows annually. It is used in a lot of cuisines especially in Asia where it is chopped or made into a powder. In the Western cultures, it is more frequently added to alcoholic beverages or sweets. Ginger is one of the oldest remedies in herbal treatments and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It is been known to:
- Aid in Digestion
- Relieve Nausea
- Reduces Pain
- Boosts Immunity
Most people have heard of Allspice but most people do not know what it really is. Allspice is actually a fruit that is picked from the Pimenta dioica evergreen tree before it is ripe. The fruit can be dried and sold as whole berries or ground up which is how it is used in pumpkin spice. While there is not a lot of allspice in pumpkin spice it is an ingredient that offers some great health benefits. Allspice can:
- Aid in Digestion
- Boost Immune System
- Fight Disease With Its Large Number of Antioxidants
- Boost Dental/Oral Health
Cloves are the flower buds of a tree that is native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. They are very aromatic and available year round. They offer several health benefits which include:
- Aiding in Digestion
- Boosting the Immune System
- Helping To Control Blood Sugar Levels
- Helping To Preserve Bone Density
When In Doubt, Make It Yourself!
Nowadays, just about any food or beverage item possible is offered in a pumpkin spice flavor but that doesn’t mean there is actual pumpkin spice in it. Beware! Several places may not use real spices in their recipes, so you may want to check out the ingredient list before indulging in your favorite fall treat. If you are feeling very creative or just enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, you may even try making your own pumpkin spice by combining 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cloves.
While overindulging in anything is never healthy, giving into fall cravings now doesn’t have to result in a huge guilt trip. These spices offer such an abundance of health benefits you may want to continue using them year round!