Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice

Fall is finally here! That means cooler temps, cozy layers and, of course, THE Pumpkin Spice Latte. This now famous sugar ’n spice espresso treat has skyrocketed as a pop culture crave. While the #PSL is certainly no one’s idea of a healthy treat — the smaller serving made with 2% milk clocks in with 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 39 grams of sugar — its inspiration ingredients pack a few surprises. Check out the health benefits of pumpkin spice below:

What in the quintessential “pumpkin spice”?

  • Cinnamon – ground from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, it’s loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have shown it to help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Nutmeg – these chunky seeds grow on a tropical evergreen tree and are prized for their high levels of fiber content that aid in digestion, as well as their detox properties that help flush the liver and kidneys. It also has antibacterial properties that are widely used in mouthwashes and toothpastes.
  • Clove – these are unopened flower buds of another evergreen tree, and are jam-packed with the mineral manganese. This mineral is a crucial component of the enzymes required for your body to produce firm and healthy collagen and can even help reduce free radical skin damage.
  • Ginger – this root has a long medicinal history. It is particularly good at reducing pain from inflammation, and can help moderate blood sugar levels, bad cholesterol (LDL), and heart disease risk factors. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help protect the brain against the effects of aging.

 What about the pumpkin?

The bright orange color that makes the perfect Jack-o-Lantern is owed to the rich levels of beta carotene in the skin and flesh, which your body converts to Vitamin A to give your eyesight a boost. This compound also helps to fight free radicals to diminish signs of aging, like wrinkles.

Pumpkins are also packed with fiber which can help you maintain weight goals by feeling full for longer. (However, if you’ve undergone bariatric surgery to alter your digestive tract, check with your doctor before eating high-fiber foods as they may not digest properly.)

Plus, eating pumpkin after an intense workout will up your levels of potassium to help reduce muscle cramps and balance electrolytes.

 What to do with the seeds?

Don’t toss the seeds! Roast them low and slow in an oven, then coarsely grind for a quick and easy mix-in that adds LDL fighting power to any dish. In fact, you can even toss with some of the spices above to make your own superfood snack.

For more info on getting the most health benefits of pumpkin spice and other seasonal foods, check the patient resources offered at Olde Del Mar Surgical, including nutritional support. You can also schedule your consultation online or call (858) 457–4917 today.

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