Did you know that there are over 340 flavor compound characteristics found in the real pumpkin pie flavor we have grown to know and love, and that the human brain only requires 5-10% of those to identify the flavor?* And what does this fall-favorite flavor remind you of? Happy memories with family and friends, cozy evenings with a good book, and upcoming holidays just around the corner.
Those are pretty powerful feel-good emotions, which is a major part as to why we crave those pumpkin spice lattes. It’s the happy buzz we get when we drink them! (And no, it’s not just the caffeine!)
So if you crunch the numbers, it turns out that many of the products you are consuming actually only have 17- 34 (out of 340!) flavor compounds of the original pumpkin pie you’re craving. That means that you, and your taste buds, are often being misled into thinking that what you’re eating is real pumpkin, when in fact it’s just a few flavor compounds mixed in just the right way.
That also means you aren’t actually reaping any health benefits that pumpkin has to offer, and are instead ingesting lots of fat, chemical compounds, and processed sugar.
Want to avoid processed or chemically made flavors? Labels can be tricky, we know, but here are a few guiding triggers to look for when reading the label of your fave pumpkin product this year.
Cinnamic Aldehyde = Cinnamon
Eugenol = Allspice or Cloves
Terpenes = Nutmeg
Vanillin = Vanilla
And here is what to look for when you want to real deal: PUMPKIN! Yup, it’s that easy! And in doing so, you get all of these health benefits of pumpkin as well:
High in fiber and can help with weight-loss
High in antioxidant beta-carotene, like carrots and butternut squash
Improve look and feel of skin (think pumpkin enzyme facials)
High in potassium so great for after a hard workout
High in Vitamin C
This is us giving you permission (not that you need it) to be swept up in the pumpkin madness this season, but just make sure you go for the real deal!
*SciShow, “What’s Really In A Pumpkin Spice Latte” | http://bgr.com/2015/10/18/pumpkin-spice-latte-artificial-flavoring/