The Spices in Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Can Actually Support Healthy Hair
Ah, pumpkin spice … is there anything that better signals the start of autumn than the smell of pumpkin spice in the air? You might think of this blend as just a seasonal indulgence, but did you know that the spices that make up the traditional pumpkin spice blend (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove) are actually power spices for your #hairwellness? Read on for how each of these spices supports your hair and for a pumpkin spice matcha recipe featuring our GRO Well Hair Boost Supplement Powder that you can sip on all season long.
Throughout history, cinnamon has been prized as a medicinal spice with a variety of benefits for your entire body ranging from anti-fungal, antibacterial and even anti-diabetic properties!
For your hair and your hair wellness, consuming cinnamon provides a number of benefits.
High in Antioxidants
Cinnamon is one of the most antioxidant-rich spices in the world. In fact, it’s ranked as the seventh-highest food for antioxidant power. Researchers have identified more than 40 different protective compounds in this humble bark! Antioxidants support your hair health by boosting circulation and nutrient supply to your scalp, preventing premature graying, neutralizing free radicals that can attack the hair follicle and protecting and maintaining collagen in your body.
The high antioxidant levels in cinnamon also support lower inflammation. Long-term, systemic (whole-body) inflammation has been linked to lower hair volume, thinning hair and the shrinking of the hair follicle. Systemic inflammation can come from a variety of places, from high-stress levels to diet to chronic infection and more. Focusing on inflammation-lowering foods is an easy first step to supporting your body’s healing while working with your doctor to uncover the root of your inflammation!
Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
I’ve written previously on the importance of healthy blood sugar levels for your Hair Wellness. But it’s worth mentioning again (and again, and again!) because it’s so important! Long-term elevated blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. This can cause disruptions in your normal hair growth cycle and may contribute to premature shedding. Research shows that cinnamon can help block the activity of some digestive enzymes, which slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Ginger is a spicy root that was originally grown in Southeast Asia. It has been used medicinally and culinarily for thousands of years. You’ve likely sipped on ginger ale when you were sick to help calm your stomach, but ginger’s health benefits go far beyond tempering nausea!
Anti-Inflammatory and High in Antioxidants
Similar to cinnamon, ginger has some impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which will benefit your hair wellness. The main compound in ginger that gives it medicinal power is a bioactive called gingerol. But ginger’s support for your hair wellness doesn’t stop here.
Improved Nutrient Absorption
Ginger can do more for your digestive system than simply relieving occasional nausea. As a pro-kinetic, ginger helps your digestive system efficiently move food through your intestines, increasing the absorption of nutrients and reducing your risk of experiencing constipation. Ginger can also support lipase, a pancreatic enzyme that aids in the proper breakdown of food in the intestines. The more efficient our digestive system is at extracting nutrients, the healthier we will be!
Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
The link between heart disease and hair loss is well established in men. Research on women is small but shows a similar correlation. Considering heart disease is one of the top-five causes of premature death in the United States, keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels is a good idea!
Ginger root has shown promising protective properties for your heart health. In one study, researchers found a nearly 20% drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol in only three months of ginger supplementation! It is worth noting that this study used a very high dose of ginger, so it’s worth talking to your doctor before starting any supplementation on your own. However, using ginger in your cooking can be a less-invasive way to support long-term healthy cholesterol levels.
Nutmeg, too, has been used for thousands of years medicinally and culinarily (do you see a pattern here?). And just like cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg has some powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your body and for your hair!
While nutmeg would be a worthwhile addition to your diet simply for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support (plus it’s really tasty!), this spice goes one step further for your hair wellness by supporting healthy sleep! Nutmeg has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years to support insomnia and lower stress levels, allowing you to get deeper, more restorative sleep. Consistent, restorative sleep is necessary for hair growth. Protein synthesis of the hair strand and the release of essential enzymes that support hair health both occur during deep sleep.
Anti-inflammatory? Check. Antioxidants? Check. The pumpkin spice mixture really is wonderful for our overall health and hair wellness! Allspice is no different. And despite a common misconception, allspice is one single spice, not a combination of several spices. It got its modern name in the 17th century when explorers noticed that it tasted like a combination of several spices (like cinnamon and nutmeg).
Source of Iron and Copper
Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiency-related causes of hair loss globally. For women of childbearing age, it’s recommended that you consume at least 18mg of iron daily to support your health and resupply any iron lost through the menstrual cycle. Copper additionally plays an important role in our hair wellness. Copper is critical to maintaining our hair color as well as supporting the structure of the actual hair strand. It’s recommended that women consume 900 μg (micrograms) per day.
The final ingredient in your pumpkin spice mix is clove. Of course, we’re going to see antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in cloves. Cloves can also support stable blood sugar levels and have been found to have some anti-cancer properties. Plus, they’re a versatile spice. You’ll find sweet and savory recipes calling for adding cloves.
Supports Liver Health and Detoxification
Limited (but promising) research in humans has shown that eugenol, one of the medicinal compounds found in cloves, supported healthy levels of liver enzymes that are necessary for proper detoxification. When our detox pathways are functioning well, the rest of our body is operating well! This includes our hair growth cycle. Unfortunately, we live in a highly toxic world with many exposures to chemicals, pollution and other damaging compounds daily. For some, that means our detox pathways can’t always keep up! Our body will respond by diverting important resources to your detox pathways and away from nonessential processes (like hair growth!). Over long periods of time, this diversion can cause your hair to go into an early resting phase called telogen effluvium, and you may notice an increase in hair shedding.
Pumpkin Spice Blend Recipe
Mix up this pumpkin spice blend to add to our hair-healthy GRO Well Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte.
- 3 tablespoons ground organic Ceylon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground organic ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground organic nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon organic ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground organic cloves
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
GRO Well Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte
To enjoy a pumpkin spice latte with a powerful dose of health and wellness benefits — which also benefit your hair — try this recipe. It features the Pumpkin Spice Blend, a few other key ingredients and VEGAMOUR’s Matcha GRO WELL Hair Boost Supplement Powder + Probiotic, which includes the following:
- Ashwagandha for immune system support
- Saw Palmetto for inhibiting DHT and supporting healthy hair
- A proprietary probiotic blend of 50 billion CFU to support a healthy gut microbiome
- ½ teaspoon Matcha GRO WELL Hair Boost Supplement Powder + Probiotic
- ½ teaspoon ceremonial grade matcha powder
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
- 1 tablespoon coconut manna or coconut butter
- 1 tablespoon organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 4-6 ounces of hot water (not boiling!)
Add all ingredients to a bowl or blender. Whisk vigorously or blend for 15-20 seconds until frothy. Enjoy hot, or pour over ice and top with the nut milk of your choice!
More From VEGAMOUR
- Shop: Supplements to Boost Your Hair Health
- 4 Nutrition Choices That Are Showing Up In Your Hair, According to a Clinical Nutritionist
- A Clinical Nutritionist’s 5 Must-Have Pantry Items for Healthy Hair
Photo credit: Helin Loik-Tomson/iStock