top 5: benefits of ‘pumpkin spice’ + a smoothie recipe for chatelaine.com10 November 2014
We all know pumpkin spice dominates every fall recipe, but did you know that each ingredient has its own set of pretty amazing health benefits. Although I don’t recommend running to your local Starbucks for a latte, I do recommend trying to incorporate these flavours into your next recipes at home!
1. Pumpkin: 1 cup of cooked pumpkin contains over 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A which is great for eyesight, lowering inflammation and boosting your immune system. Added bonus: if you are using fresh pumpkin, save the seeds to snack on later. Full of omega 3’s, protein, zinc and mood-regulating tryptophan.
2. Cinnamon: A great source of chromium, cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels, making it a perfect addition to a sweeter smoothie or dessert. Due to its hormone regulating properties, cinnamon also helps reduce symptoms of menstruation.
3. Nutmeg: Supportive to the liver and kidneys, nutmeg is a wonderful detoxifying spice. By promoting the production of serotonin it can also be a great sleep aid and regulator. Try adding some to warm almond milk or herbal tea before bed if you struggle with falling asleep.
4. Ginger: Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and immune supportive properties make it one of the best flu fighters around. By promoting a healthy sweat, ginger helps our body eliminate toxins and potential offenders. Add to smoothies, salad dressings or to make a homemade flu-fighting tea.
5. Cloves: Naturally antiseptic, cloves help eliminate the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Traditionally known as an aphrodisiac, this warming spice has been used for centuries to increase circulation and as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction.
I recently combined all these wonderful spices to create a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, featured on Chatelaine.com this past weekend. I encourage you to try, and to be inspired to experiment with these warming spices for a healthy fall and winter season!
photo: julia marcuzzi