healthy pumpkin spice

Healthy Pumpkin Spice? Reach for the Real Thing

It’s fall, which means pumpkin spice season is upon us. The craze has spilled over from Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte to everything from yogurt to beer to doughnuts. But for all their flavorful goodness, many of these seasonal treats aren’t good for you. If you enjoy the flavor but want a healthier alternative, try real pumpkin.

“The fact that it’s a low-calorie food makes it a great option for people who might be trying to lose weight,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta. Pumpkin is high in fiber, so it helps you feel full longer. Plus, it’s packed with inflammation fighters beta carotene and vitamins B6 and C, as well as bone-healthy magnesium – all great nutrients for people with arthritis.

Avoid the hassle of preparing the whole pumpkin by using canned puree. Add it to soup or swirl it into oatmeal or yogurt for extra fiber and flavor, Moore says. Season it with a little cinnamon, clove and nutmeg for the full flavor effect.

You can also substitute the puree for some of the fat and butter in baking. If you can find frozen cubed pumpkin in a grocery store, roast it or add it to broth with greens and other veggies for a chunky soup.

And don’t forget the seeds, which are high in protein and magnesium. To make a quick, healthy snack, just roast them with a little oil and salt. 

Learn more about the best foods for arthritis.

Author: NICHOLE BAZEMORE

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