It’s pumpkin time and time to get out the pumpkin spice.
One of the great things about fall is not only the huge variety of pumpkin and winter squash but also the use of the pumpkin spice blend. It’s in the air everywhere. The combination is incredibly delicious and nourishing.
Pumpkin spice is a blend of 4 or 5 spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and/or allspice. Individually these all aid in digestion. Together they make a digestive powerhouse. Add the pumpkin and it’s even more powerful!
It’s so fitting that this combination is used during the holidays when we tend to overeat and go a little crazy with the sweets. Pumpkin spice offers a nice natural remedy for us.
Here are 5 ways the spices help boost your health.
- Reduce Excess Mucus
All of the pumpkin spice spices have a drying and warming quality to them that helps offset mucus-forming foods like sugar and dairy. These also aid in fighting the common cold or flu.
- Manage Energy Levels
Cinnamon is great at keeping blood sugar levels (energy) stable by controlling insulin. Ginger and nutmeg have high amounts of iron that is also essential for energy. Iron delivers oxygen to your cells.
- Relieve gas and cramps
Ginger and nutmeg prevent the formation of gas in your intestines so you don’t have the discomfort of bloating and embarrassing gas. It also soothes and relaxes the intestinal tract to relieve cramps.
- Reduce Inflammation
Ginger and cloves contain an active component called eugenol that has anti-oxidant properties. Eugenol helps prevent inflammation and the adverse affects of environmental toxins.
- Boost your immune system.
Cinnamon & cloves have anti-bacterial properties. That’s why you often find them in mouthwashes and sore throat sprays. Nutmeg also has strong anti-bacterial properties with studies showing it is active against 25 different species of bacteria including some that cause food poisoning or spoilage.
The key, of course, is to use the real spices, not flavorings. The pumpkin spice flavored lattes and cakes found at the coffee shops or stores may not necessarily be the natural blend of the real spices. Ask to see the ingredients. If the ingredients only lists pumpkin spice flavor or does not individually list the spices, you might be getting a chemical derivative of the spices. If that’s the case, know that you will not be getting the nourishing affects of the pumpkin spice combination.
The pumpkin spice lattes at most coffee shops and some store bought goodies can also be loaded with sugar. Lots of sugar. And while the pumpkin spice blend helps offset this with its warming properties and positive affect on blood sugar, you still want to start being more mindful of your sugar intake.
So read your labels. If sugar is the first ingredient listed, take a pass. Ingredients are listed in quantity order. That means sugar is the most abundant ingredient in the food. Optimally, you want to use coconut palm sugar, honey or maple syrup.
You can try this pumpkin spice blend to make your own creations.
1 tsp., cinnamon, ½ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. nutmeg
I shared 3 pumpkin spice recipes (cupcakes, latte, and smoothie) for Ronnie’s Awesome List for you to try out. If you haven’t already, click here to get them.
Want more recipes? Join the 5-day Fall Detox. We start Monday Oct 24 or Oct 31. You can click here to register.
Pumpkin spice—it’s your essential fall ingredient.