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Pumpkin spice latte science of the craving

Pumpkin spice latte science of the craving

Postby smix » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:59 pm

Pumpkin spice latte science of the craving
Daily Mail

URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... aving.html
Category: healthNews
Published: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:39:11 +0100

Description: The epitome of basic drinks is back for the fall season. The pumpkin spice latte is the stuff of legend. As soon as September rolls around, the drink floods social media with its own hashtag, Twitter and Facebook account. Starbucks officially put the seasonal beverage back on the menu September 5 for a few months in the United States, though some stores released it early this year. The latte has become known as the drink of choice for 'the most basic of b****es', who slip into a pair of black leggings, grab a pair of Ugg boots and head to the nearest Starbucks for a sweet fix. And the hype is so big that it is now even 'trendy' to hate on the popular beverage. But trendy or not, there is a science to why your body craves the latte and it doesn't have to do with the pumpkin flavor. Daily Mail Online breaks down what is in a pumpkin spice latte and how the ingredients trigger cravings in the brain.
What is pumpkin spice?
Pumpkin spice is a mixture of spices that does not always contain pumpkin as one of the ingredients. Theses spices typically include cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger. Allspice can also be included sometimes. Starbucks on its website states that its latte has pumpkin flavor mixed into the latte with the other spices. But it isn't the pumpkin flavoring that makes the cravings go haywire. The mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger creates an aroma that can be associated with warmth, holiday events and sweets. These aromas send signals to the brain that reminds you of memories that are associated with these smells. 'We don't have innate odor responses. We learn odors through associations, but the associations we make with pumpkin spice are generally all very positive,' Catherine Franssen, assistant professor of psychology at Longwood University in Virginia said to CNN. This sense of nostalgia can help heighten the craving of whatever food item might have this mixture of spices. Since the holidays are a time when people overindulge on favorites, it makes sense that someone would associate pumpkin spice as something to crave and indulge in when possible.
How the combination of flavors can be addictive
The combination of sugar and spice can influence your brain and what it craves. When the body consumes sugar, it will then crave more of that in the future and remember what food or beverage gave it the fix. The mixture of the sweet from the sugar and the combination of spices can become addictive to the drinker. 'Nobody knew back then what it would grow to be,' said Peter Dukes, who was the product manager who led the development of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. 'It's taken on a life of its own.' Spices such as nutmeg, clove and cinnamon in the latte are powerful taste bud enhancers that can be heightened when they are combined with sugar. In addition to the sugar and spice, there is also salt added into a pumpkin spice latte. Salt in a pumpkin spice latte makes up one tenth of the daily allowance for people. And it is one of the most powerful natural taste bud enhancers that can be used to elevate the other flavors it is mixed with. 'The pumpkin spice latte is actually, scientifically, kind of addictive,' Franssen said. 'Not quite the same neural mechanisms as drugs of abuse, but certainly the more you consume, the more you reinforce the behavior and want to consume more.' Together, the mixture of spice, sugar and salt make the drink hard to turn down.
A combined caffeine boost and sugar rush
The caffeine in coffee briefly increases the neural activity in the brain making thought processes easier and you more alert. It also helps to reduce fatigue and drowsiness. These are the primary reason why people turn towards caffeine in coffee, soda or tea during the day. But like most items that are consumed, the more you have caffeine the more you crave it. The combined sugar rush and caffeine boost from the pumpkin spice latte gives your body an immediate energy jolt that it might need to get through the day.
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Re: Pumpkin spice latte science of the craving

Postby thepast123 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Hello there,

Different pumpkin pie spice blends may have variations, but the core blend usually includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Here are the health benefits of each.

Rich in cell-protecting antioxidants and unmistakable warmth, cinnamon is the star ingredient of pumpkin spice. There is also some research to support that cinnamon may help diabetics better control blood sugar.

Another warm fall spice, nutmeg boasts small amounts of fiber, numerous B vitamins and minerals.

The star component of gingerbread, this spicy powder contains important minerals like iron, potassium and zinc. It may also help relieve minor digestive problems.

Contrary to what the name suggests, this spice hails from a standalone fruit — a berry that is dried and ground into a fine brown powder. Allspice is used heavily in Jamaican cooking, and its pungent edge plays very nicely with pumpkin.

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