In contemporary culinary culture, we all know nutmeg as one of the most popular and widely used spices in the world. But, just how much do we know about this wonderful seed? That’s right, it’s a seed, not a nut!
Nutmeg is one of two spices that grow on an evergreen tree called Myristica fragrans (also known as common nutmeg) This is the only tree in the world that produces two distinct spices. It is commonly grown in the Caribbean, other tropical areas of the world, and also in Southern India.
For centuries, nutmeg has been used as a spice in both savory and sweet dishes. In fact, in the 18th century, people would carry nutmeg in pocket-sized silver graters so they could enjoy it whenever they wanted. (How weird is that?)
Nutmeg is highly packed with flavonoids, lignans, and alkyl benzene compounds like myristicin which gives it its medicinal benefits. The essential oils derived from the bark and leaves of the tree as also quite valued. And you can’t deny that nutmeg butter is also one of our favorites.
The essential oils from nutmeg extract are highly beneficial to health and are frequently used in alternative and herbal medicine.
Nutmeg is loaded with beneficial components such as dietary fiber, manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper, and macelignan. What makes this slightly sweet spice even more attractive is that one tablespoon (7g) of nutmeg will give you:
Dietary Fiber 13%
Folic acid 11%
Vitamin A 11%
Vitamin B 11%
Vitamin C 11%
If you weren’t convinced just how power-packed this spice is, I bet you already changed your mind. So, you want to know what goodies come with nutmeg? Read on!
Nutmeg Promotes Digestion
Nutmeg, with its legion of nutrients and antioxidants, is an effective treatment for indigestion.
Eons ago, nutmeg was specifically added to recipes to promote digestion and prevent nausea. Studies have also shown that the dietary fiber found in the spice helps to regulate irregular bowel movements. Regular intake of nutmeg can also help treat intestinal problems as well.
Nutmeg is Good for your Oral Health
Toothache is caused by the bacteria in the mouth, which is left untreated, this could eventually lead to tooth decay. Fortunately, nutmeg has been found to treat various oral problems such as cavities, bleeding gums, toothache, and many others. Nutmeg is fully packed with antibacterial properties to ascertain a healthy oral system. Adding nutmeg into food has been found to be good for your oral health and can help relieve a toothache.
Kidney problems are one of the most dreaded things, and knowing that there are superfoods that can keep your kidneys healthy is such a relief. Maintaining a healthy kidney is essential for a healthy life. Nutmeg is a natural diuretic agent and promotes proper urination, which helps keep the kidney healthy. Some studies have also suggested that adding nutmeg to your diet can help dissolve kidney stones. Wow!
Good night and Sweet Dreams
If you often experience insomnia, then you can attest that it’s one of the most frustrating conditions. The good news is that our super spice is at the rescue again!
Nutmeg could improve insomnia. It works as menthol, thus reducing stress and relieving mental pressure, thereby allowing you to catch that much-needed wink. To achieve this, add a pinch of nutmeg powder into a glass of warm milk and drink before going to bed. Not only does it smell and taste good, it gets the job done!
Nutmeg is highly enriched with antioxidants that can help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Studies have shown that a certain methanolic compound in it and its essential oil can actually induce death (apoptosis) in leukemia cells, thereby stopping the spread and metastasis of this terrible variety of cancer that commonly afflicts children.
Aids Proper Blood Circulation
When blood circulates through the heart and brain properly, both vital organs function effectively. Herbally, nutmeg is generally used to regulate high blood pressure levels. Studies suggest that the potassium found in this spice can relax your blood vessels and allow proper blood circulation.
The importance of a healthy immune system cannot be overemphasized. A strong immune system helps destroy infectious bacteria, free radicals, and cancerous cells. To keep your immune system strong and healthy, it needs nutrients like manganese, iron, potassium, and various vitamins that can be found in super nutmeg.
Wow! This is one that will really interest you. Turns out nutmegs can help prevent acne and also fade out black spots and scars left by acne. As an antibacterial, nutmeg can effectively inhibit acne-causing bacteria. You can apply a paste of powdered nutmeg on the acne scar, and it will begin fading within weeks. Incorporating this amazing spice into your diet can also effectively treat acne.
Although a natural phenomenon, fine lines, wrinkles, sagged skin et al are basic signs of aging. This could still turn out to be a nightmare. This is why people invest tons of money on anti-aging products in the market. These products often contain harmful chemicals that mar rather than make the job easy. However, studies have found that incorporating some amount of nutmeg into your diet can help slow down the aging process.
Depression is a mood disorder that often requires the attention of a mental health professional. But adding a pinch of nutmeg to your soup or dessert can be a helpful step to combating this disorder. Studies have found that this spice has significant antidepressant-like effects.
For a Radiant Skin
Although this has not been scientifically proven yet, herbal and traditional medicines have long used nutmeg to boost the appearance and health of the skin.
Most times, it is applied as a paste mixed with water, or even honey, which is also great for skin care. It can help reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin, promote hydration, and give an overall smooth appearance, as well as reduce the signs and marks from pox, boils, and acne.
Even though nutmeg does possess a lot of benefits, it’s not advisable to consume large amounts of it. Researchers believe that excessive amounts of this spice can be poisonous and may give off certain side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and dry mouth, to a slowing down of your brain and hallucinations.
So exactly how much nutmeg is safe for consumption? Well, that totally depends on your individual constitution and body mass. So, while you can use it in small amounts to season food, try as much as possible not to consume large quantities. And one more thing! Nutmeg is not recommended for pregnant women as it can induce abortion.
Nutmeg is full of amazing properties that can promote a healthier lifestyle. These health benefits include promoting digestion, supporting oral health, detoxifying the body, supporting kidney health, treating insomnia, relieving pain, and treating cancer. Other benefits include treating inflammation, promoting blood circulation, supporting the immune system, treating acne, and delaying aging.
So apart from spicing up your recipes, now you know tons of other ways you can use nutmeg and all the awesome benefits that accompany it. Cheers!