Amazing Health Benefits of Nutmeg

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nutmeg is an incredible spice, used sparingly in dishes.
  • It lends a nutty sweet taste to the dish.
  • Nutmeg is a powerhouse of antibacterial properties.
  • Nutmeg has high mineral content like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, etc.
  • Nutmeg oil is used for flavouring food products and liquors and also in perfumery industries.
  • They are important to confectionery, culinary and pharmaceutical industries.


ORIGIN
Nutmeg is a spice that comes from the seeds of the evergreen Nutmeg tree “Myristica fragrans”. The Nutmeg tree, interestingly, is a host to another incredibly potent and unique spice called mace, which is the dried reddish seed covering. This tree is native to the Maluku or Spice Islands of Indonesia and is the only tree in the world to have two unique spices. It is commonly grown in the Caribbean, other tropical regions of the world and Southern India in the state of Kerala. The shell is broken with a wooden club and the Nutmeg is taken out. Dried Nutmegs are greyish brown ovals with furrowed surfaces. The Nutmegs are roughly egg-shaped.
Grown in India: Nutmeg is native to Indonesia and was introduced to India at the end of the 18th century and it is grown in some regions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. In Tamil, it is called as “Jathikai”.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

NUTRIENT
UNIT
VALUE (Per 100g)
Proximates
Waterg6.23
Energykcal525
Proteing5.84
Total lipid (fat)g36.31
Carbohydrate, by differenceg49.29
Fiber, total dietaryg20.8
Sugars, totalg2.99
Minerals
Calcium, Camg184
Iron, Femg3.04
Magnesium, Mgmg183
Phosphorus, Pmg213
Potassium, Kmg350
Sodium, Namg16
Zinc, Znmg2.15
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg3
Thiaminmg0.346
Riboflavinmg0.057
Niacinmg1.299
Vitamin B-6mg0.16
Folate, DFEµg76
Vitamin B-12µg0
Vitamin A, RAEµg5
Vitamin A, IUIU102
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)mg0
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)µg0
Vitamin DIU0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)µg0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturatedg25.94
Fatty acids, total monounsaturatedg3.22
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturatedg0.35
Cholesterolmg0
Other
Caffeinemg0
Source:USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


HEALTH BENEFITS OF NUTMEG
1. Relives Pain
Nutmeg contains many essential volatile oils such as safrole, elemicin, myristicin, and eugenol. Nutmeg volatile oils have anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in treating joint and muscle pain. Just a few drops of the essential oil on the affected area can treat inflammation, swelling, joint pain, muscle pain, and sores.
2. Treats Insomnia
Nutmeg has a calming effect when consumed in small quantities. Various medicinal practices credit it for its sleep-inducing and de-stressing effects. According to Ayurveda, you should add a pinch of Nutmeg in a glass of warm milk and before going to sleep. You can also add in some almonds and a pinch of cardamom for added benefits.
3. Blood Pressure and Circulation
Due to high mineral content in Nutmeg makes it a good ingredient to regulate blood circulation and pressure. It contains calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, etc., which are all essential for various functions in the body. Its stress-relieving properties help in relaxing the blood vessels while keeping the heart functioning efficiently.
4. Lowers Cholesterol
Though there is less information on this, some sources speak of the manganese levels in Nutmeg. The mineral works as a catalyst for cholesterol breakdown, and this may help in lowering cholesterol levels.
5. Improves Dental Health
Nutmeg is a powerhouse of antibacterial properties, and that is how it contributes to oral health. The spice is known to treat dental issues like cavities, toothache, and even tooth decay in some cases. The antibacterial properties of Nutmeg may also eliminate bad breath.
6. Weight Loss
Nutmeg can also aid weight loss is through its soporific (sleep-inducing) properties. Consuming Nutmeg in your dinner can make you fall asleep faster, thereby keeping you away from binging. And the fibre in the spice might also contribute to weight loss.
7. Gorgeous Skin
Nutmeg is a good ingredient for skin care because of its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can remove blackheads, treat acne and clogged pores. Its anti-bacterial and analgesic properties help in reducing wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of aging.
8. Brain Activity
Nutmeg works as an aphrodisiac, which means it can stimulate the nerve cells in the brain. The chemicals in this spice can help to release feel-good hormones in the body, which in turn has a calming effect on you. Since it lifts your mood and works as a tonic, Nutmeg is a great option to help treat stress.
9. Treats Bad Breath
Bad breath is an overload toxin in your body. Nutmeg is known to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and this can help clean your system. One of the essential oils that are found in Nutmeg is eugenol, which can help relieve toothache as well. Macelignan, a chemical found in Nutmeg, can help prevent cavities.
10. Protects Liver
Nutmeg is rich in myrislignan, which can help to treat liver disorders and injuries. Research suggests that the extracts found in Nutmeg can help treat hepatitis inflammations. Nutmeg, as mentioned before, has anti-inflammatory properties as well, and can help treat an inflamed liver. It can also help remove toxins for the body, particularly the liver.
IMPORTANT TIPS & FACTS OF NUTMEG
1. Nutmeg can be bought whole or in the ground form.
2. Whole Nutmeg is much more aromatic and flavoursome, so it preferable to buy it whole, and grate or powder when required.
3. It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala.
4. Internationally, Nutmeg is usually associated with sweet, spicy dishes like pies, puddings, custards, cookies and spice cakes.
5. In Mughlai cuisine, Nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savoury dishes.
6. Oleoresin of Nutmeg and mace are used almost entirely in the flavouring of processed foods.
7. The pericarp is used for making jams, jellies, and pickles.
8. The Nutmeg butter prepared by the expression of fat from the ground, cooked Nutmeg is mostly used to impart a spicy odour to the perfumes.
SIDE EFFECTS OF NUTMEG
1. The chemical myristicin that is found in Nutmeg has a calming and relaxing effect on the brain’s nerve cells but consuming too much of this drug has shown to have a hallucinogenic effect as well.
2. Consumption of this spice can cause an upsurge in the rate of your heartbeat. Go for immediate medical attention if you experience heart palpitations.
3. Consuming large amounts of Nutmeg may lead to nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, agitation, and hallucinations. Other serious side effects include death.