Fall Spices and Flavors With Added Health Benefits

Once the weather starts to turn and there is a little chill in the air, cravings for fall inspired flavors and spices begin. While we may be led to believe that our desire for fall-spiced foods is chalked up to the excessive marketing of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes, the real reason goes a little bit deeper. As humans, we have an inherent interest to eat seasonally, and therefore, as we move into fall, we naturally crave these flavors because of their seasonality and added health benefits.

So let’s talk about some of the most common fall spices and the many reasons you should think about including them into your diet this season.

Cinnamon

While cinnamon can be enjoyed year round, it is still a fall spice and used in many seasonal recipes for its warming flavor and hidden health benefits. Cinnamon has a mildly sweet taste and has been shown to help balance blood sugar by increasing sensitivity to the hormone, insulin. To reap these benefits, cinnamon can easily be added to soups, desserts, and even warm teas. [1]

Turmeric

Turmeric is having a moment and may very well be the most popular spice on the market these days. However, the health benefits of turmeric are nothing new, as the spice has been used in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for over 4000 years. While turmeric has traditionally been used to treat many conditions, today it is most well known for its active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant found to ease inflammation and fight free radicals in the body.

Some of the best ways to enjoy turmeric are in fall soups, curries, and even warming turmeric lattes for a relaxing nighttime beverage. Just make sure to add a small pinch of black pepper and a source of fat to your turmeric drinks or dishes, which will increase the bioavailability of curcumin in your blood stream. [2]

Pumpkin

Pumpkin may not be a spice, but it is definitely the most popular fall flavor that virtually no one can seem to get enough of. Pumpkins are high in vitamin A, which is essential for eye and skin health, and is also a great source of fiber. But don’t forget about the seeds! Pumpkin seeds pack a big punch and are high in zinc, a mineral essential for maintaining a healthy thyroid and hormonal balance. They are also a great vegan source of protein, and can be found in all ALOHA Protein Powders.

Ginger

Ginger may be one of the most versatile fall spices, with some of the most impressive health benefits. It is closely related to turmeric and contains a powerful antioxidant gingerol, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also commonly used to naturally treat nausea and can be especially helpful in alleviating morning sickness. [3] Some of the best ways to enjoy ginger are in teas like ALOHA’s Clean and Protect teas, or added to soups and smoothies.

So next time you find yourself craving a fall inspired food, try getting creative and get some added health benefits by making a fall dish that highlights some of the many different fall spices.

References

[1] Qin, B., Panickar, K. S., & Anderson, R. A. (2010). Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 4(3), 685–693.

[2] Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. S. S. R. (1998). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta medica, 64(04), 353-356.

[3] Wilkinson, J. M. (2000). What do we know about herbal morning sickness treatments? A literature survey. Midwifery, 16(3), 224-228.