Autumnal foods and the taste of pumpkin spice isn’t new. Traditionally, we’ve been eating pumpkin pie, full of pumpkin pie spices, for hundreds upon hundreds of years. During the fall season, pumpkin pie is one of many delicacies which receives the delicious, aromatic blend of spices which includes nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, even a little black pepper, and more. Yet within the last decade or so, the “pumpkin spice” tradition of autumn has become a cult ritual. Put plainly, its become somewhat of a global obsession which people wait for all year long. People, especially women, don’t even wait for the Autumnal Equinox to pass. As if September 1st were Fall Welcoming Day internationally, stores like Starbucks start profiting off the obsession immediately. Among other cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y, nostalgia inducing flavors, pumpkin spice rules as king; and, his patrons are intensely loyal. Even by the time pumpkin spice is trickling out of the stores, fans everywhere are lamenting the oncoming of winter, proclaiming their waiting devotion until the sweater-weather-pumpkin-spice-season next fall.
Men might not be interested in the pumpkin spice trend, and if they’re focused on their health and wellness, its often better that they aren’t. Most mainstream chains use chemical flavorings, powders, and syrups to create the pumpkin taste. No pumpkin and not an actual blend of pumpkin spice is used. Pumpkin itself is relatively tasteless, if not entirely bland. With a blend of the right spices, it does become practically irresistible, as well as nutritionally beneficial. Men can hop on the pumpkin train with whole food ingredients, using actual pumpkin in smoothies, soups, curries, protein-packed pancakes, and much more. Buy organic pumpkin in a can for cheap and easy access, or go the distance and cook, then carve out the entire gourd yourself. You’ll be gifted with pumpkin seeds, which are delicious and packed with benefits.
Why Pumpkins Are A Healthy Choice During Fall
As Halloween candy delivers sugar-rushing temptation in every store, pumpkin offers a range of nutritional benefits that candy does not, as an autumnal treat. Pumpkins are an excellent source of carotenoids, which protect the body at a cellular level from what is called “free radicals”. Being an orange food, pumpkins have beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which can contribute to a healthier immune system- much needed as flu season approaches. Pumpkins are a good source of fiber, pumpkin seeds load the system up with heart-healthy vitamins, and overall reduces inflammation with high quantities of magnesium, making it a perfect post-workout food source. For men, pumpkin offers two specific benefits: improving sperm quality and treating an enlarged prostate with phytosterols.
If you’re willing to experiment with pumpkin spices, you’ll gain the benefit of anti-inflammation. Cinnamon is a strong anti-inflammatory, as is ginger. Nutmeg and cardamom are also anti-inflammatories. You can utilize a dash of turmeric as well, with a pinch of black pepper to activate it.
Taken into the whole food nutritional perspective, the pumpkin trend starts to make a little more sense. Nutritionally, there’s no reason why men shouldn’t be indulging in the savory autumnal flavors of pumpkin spice season. The nostalgia is an added bonus: men in recovery can use to dip into happy moments of their childhood, throw on their favorite Halloween or fall-themed movie, and eat a little pumpkin-spiced something. Life in recovery is meant to be enjoyed, savoring every flavor and every nuance, every time of year.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men a unique way to recover. Inspired by the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and the philosophies of proven recovery techniques, men create sustainable changes in their life, setting up a life without limitations. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474