The Science Behind Why You’re Craving Pumpkin Spice Everything Right Now

in Grab Bag/Weird/Weird Health by

Fall is here! You know what that means? The stores are filled with pumpkin everything!

Catherine Franssen, assistant professor of psychology at Longwood University in Virginia, said:

“My husband — whose favorite pie is pumpkin; he’ll eat it year-round — thinks the pumpkin spice craze is funny and brings home all sorts of odd pumpkin spice items to try.” 

“I think I ended up eating the entire box of pumpkin-spiced Cheerios last year after the rest of the family tasted and rejected. They were pretty good.”

Have you ever wondered why we crave it? The sweet smell and tantalizing taste of it can bring back nostalgic memories.

Franssen also said:

“Since these are popular spice combinations, it’s very likely we would have encountered some or all of them combined in a favorite baked good in a comforting situation, like a family gathering, early in life. It’s not just the pumpkin spice combo but that we’ve already wired a subset of those spices as ‘good’ very early in life.”

What Is Pumpkin Spice?

Typically, it contains ground cinnamon, nutmeg, dry ginger and clove or allspice. Many companies develop their own synthetic versions. Many of these include the odor of butter and brown sugar to give the illusion of the smell of a freshly baked pumpkin pie.

Starbucks, of course, has its highly successful pumpkin spice latte. There are pumpkin spice Cheerios and other cereals. There are pumpkin spice coffee creamers and many other ridiculous pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie flavored concoctions.

Scientifically, the concoction is actually quite addictive. Natural pumpkin spice and pumpkin without sugar and added fats are actually good for you. So, go ahead and enjoy that pumpkin spice. Just watch the sugar and fats.

Featured image via Twitter.

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