'Tis The Season For Pumpkin Spice & All The Spices For The Holidays
Who doesn’t love pumpkin? As soon as Autumn comes, everything is pumpkin, from coffee and treats to the pleasant scents. But, did you know your favorite Holiday treats have some amazing benefits to them due to specific ingredients? Not only does pumpkin possess some fantastic qualities, your beloved spices do to!
Pumpkin is a winter squash that is native to North America and extremely popular around Halloween and Thanksgiving. Most people believe that pumpkin is a vegetable but scientifically, pumpkin is a fruit since it contains seeds. Unexpectedly, pumpkin is nutritionally more like a vegetable rather than fruit! In addition to the fun facts, pumpkins obtain some super health benefits.
Let's dig into the benefits of pumpkins
Did you know a pumpkin is 94 percent water, resulting it only containing 49 calories per one cup cooked (245 grams)? One cup of cooked pumpkin packs an impressive amount of nutrients including: Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper, Vitamin B2, Iron, and Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Zinc. It is believed pumpkin may reduce chronic diseases due to its high antioxidant content! Several test tube and animal studies have been successfully completed leading to the belief that antioxidants found in pumpkins such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and alpha-carotene stop free radicals from damaging your cells. The animal and test tube studies have proven these antioxidants protect against eye disease and lower the risk of cancer. Many people who get sick often are usually low in Vitamin A which is why pumpkin is a great option since it is high in beta-carotene, which your body then transforms into Vitamin A. Pumpkin is also rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is amazing for your body as it increases white blood cell counts and heals wounds quicker.
Fun fact – did you know pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin can be used to supplement oil and butter in recipes as a healthier alternative?
Spice is life
Everyone knows nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves add delicious tastes to our Holiday dishes and make the aroma of the kitchen warm and inviting, but did you know they are powerful nutrients essential to good health? Today, spices are still used for many ailments, and of course, cooking. Let’s journey into the great health benefits of our favorite spices!
Cinnamon – the inner bark of the evergreen tree. History dates to 2700 BCE providing evidence the Chinese used cinnamon as a common spice to warm the body and find relief from the common cold. Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming recipes to preserve because of the antifungal and antibacterial properties it holds. In recent days, cinnamon has shown to lower sugar in diabetic patients and lower cholesterol.
Ginger – a rugged root. Ginger is found in many recipes around the world since it can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Eaten on its own, ginger is spicy. Have an upset tummy? Drink some ginger tea or grate some fresh ginger into your hot tea. In addition to providing relief to an upset digestive tract: ginger kills parasites, stimulates circulation, reduces heartburn, relieves migraines, reduces inflammation, and stimulates appetite.
Nutmeg – kernel from the evergreen tree. For centuries, nutmeg has been used as a powerful sleep aid and relaxer. For optimal sleep results or trouble falling asleep try taking a small dose about 4 hours before bedtime. If you have trouble staying asleep and wake during the night take a small dose right before bed time.
Cloves – dried flower buds from the evergreen tree. Cloves are best known as being the secret ingredient to Grandma’s cookies! Did you know cloves held such high value in the past that they were often gifted to dock workers in London as a bonus? Cloves hold many of the same values as ginger when being used for reducing nausea and vomiting. However, clove is well known for its immediate relief in reducing tooth pain. Simply smash up a clove and grind it between the teeth that are painful. Make sure not to swallow it! Clove also comes in an oil that makes it easier to apply to affected teeth.
For ages, our ancestors have utilized spices for food, healing, preservation, and aroma.
Leverage strong antioxidant
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Turmeric is a renowned spice that is found in turmeric plant. Turmeric can be found in many Asian dishes and recipes (in curry dishes for example). It has a unique taste and is frequently used to add a special flavor or color to dishes. The medical community also uses its roots for many of its benefits (extracting the curcumin).
Turmeric is widely used for many conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, heartburn, liver problems, high cholesterol, inflammations or general fatigue.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice
Holidays are the best when filled with pumpkins and spices! Not only are they a sight for sore eyes, they also smell and taste amazing. We get the best of both worlds when our homes and places of work are filled with pumpkins and spices because they are also incredibly good for our health. Enjoy your holiday dishes this year and remember the nutrients that are packed inside!