We have officially entered the time of year in which Halloween decorating is in full swing, football is back, and the weather is cooling down to where we can (sometimes) wear sweaters. It’s pumpkin spice and chai latte season! In addition to a warm and fuzzy taste, many of these fall flavors serve as functional foods with strong antioxidant properties.
The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics defines functional foods as “whole foods along with fortified, enriched or enhanced foods that have a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed as part of a varied diet on a regular basis and at effective levels”. Spices and seasonings are prime examples of functional foods, as they are largely used to enhance the physical and textural characteristics of foods being very beneficial to human health. Let’s break it down using all of the phytonutrients that make up a fall fan favorite, chai: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.