If there was ever something that has both infected our collective consciousness and also spawned a billion eye rolls, it’s pumpkin spice. We have likely reached peak PS now with Twinkies, toothpaste, and dog shampoo all hopping on trend.
Even though Pumpkin Spice Lattes have enough sugar to nearly resurrect someone from the dead, pumpkins are very healthy. Especially when you skip the whipped cream.
How healthy? Glad you asked.
Here are a few of the pumpkin benefits you get from pumpkins:
- Antioxidants. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals which, despite sounding like a band from Woodstock, are bad for your body and lead to all sorts of chronic conditions. They also help reduce skin damage from environmental factors like pollution and sun exposure.
- Vitamin A and C. People spend a ton of money on Retinol (which is really just vitamin A) to reduce skin wrinkles and spots. Guess what? Pumpkins have a load of carotenoids like beta-carotene that your body turns into vitamin A. It also has a ton of plain old vitamin A, vitamin C (which your body turns into collagen)
- Vision. Vision. If you want to be able to see the next generation of a Pumpkin Spice products (guessing an anPhone: PS Edition you’re going to want good eyesight. Luckily, pumpkins and their boatload of beta-carotene has been linked to a reduction in the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Immunity. Immunity. My nutritionist always recommends vitamin A for immunity (she has me go bonkers on it when I’m getting a sniffle). Indeed, there are many studies (like this one) that support better immune response to increased – you guessed it – beta-carotene and its resulting vitamin A. And remember, pumpkin has nearly 250% of your recommended dose of vitamin A PER CUP. So dive in.
And don’t even get me started about pumpkin seeds. There are so many benefits to these little suckers (fiber, bladder health, hearth health, magnesium, sleep), it’s almost a crime not to eat them. Personally, I keep a bag or two of SuperSeedz around me at all times – they are just that good.
So to recap: pumpkin-good, pumpkin spice latte-bad…or at least not good.