One of the two species that grows on evergreen trees, nutmeg has the scientific classification Myristica fragrans. Although it is native to the Maluku Spice Islands in Indonesia, it is also commonly grown in the Caribbean and tropic areas of the world and within Kerala.
Nutmeg is commonly used in alternative, herbal medicine, as well as beauty products, given its health benefits. Nutmeg’s warm, slightly sweet taste makes it a very popular ingredient for flavoring baked goods, puddings, desserts, potatoes, veggies, sausages, eggnog, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, curries, soups, chutneys and more!
If you haven’t been incorporating nutmeg into your diet, you should be aware that it contains a variety of wonderful nutrients, including dietary fiber, manganese thiamine, vitamin B6, copper, macelignan, magnesium, calcium, and folate. But, that’s not all. Nutmeg has twelve key health benefits that can work wonders for your well-being!
1) Brain Health – The essential oils called myristicin and macelignan, which nutmeg contains, helps slow down the degradation of neural pathways and cognitive function – this can substantially help people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The spice also aids in fighting anxiety and depression. And, it can eliminate fatigue and stress by stimulating brain functions.
2) Pain Relief – Nutmeg contains essential volatile oils that have anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it acts as a powerful sedative and can treat joint and muscle ache, inflammation and swelling.
3) Oral Hygiene – Nutmeg’s antibacterial properties not only help relieve toothaches, but it also prevents bad breath and other oral problems, while further clearing toxins from your liver and kidneys.
4) Kidney Health – Since it is diuretic in nature and promotes proper urination, it results in healthy kidneys. Many sources also claim that adding a pinch of this wonderful spice to your food can help dissolve kidney stones, too.
5) Digestive Health – Nutmeg’s rich fiber content assists with your intestinal passageway’s peristaltic movement to reduce the frequency and discomfort of bowel movements. In fact, it induces the secretion of gastric and intestinal juices that aid with the digestive process, overall.
6) Insomnia Antidote – Nutmeg’s high magnesium content keeps nerve tension and anxiety pangs in check and stimulates the release of serotonin, which helps you feel relaxed. Your brain changes serotonin into melatonin, which induces sleep. Furthermore, the spice has trace elements of narcotics, which helps release neurotransmitters that further induces relaxation and sleep.
7) Cardiovascular Health – Nutmeg’s copper content helps balance your blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart rate. And, it’s potassium build-up helps relax blood vessels to lower the strain on your cardiovascular system.
8) Beauty Benefits – Nutmeg is often used as an ingredient in beauty and skincare products because of its strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps combat blackheads, acne, wrinkles, fine lines, and clogged pores. In fact, try mixing in nutmeg with water and organic honey for a great face pack! For men who are facing balding, you’ll be happy to know nutmeg increases blood circulation in a manner that reduces hair fall and instead enhances hair growth.
9) Diabetes Treatment – Nutmeg contains a rich source of triterpenes, which have health benefits like anti-diabetic properties.
10) Bone Health – Nutmeg’s calcium content keeps your bones healthy – it helps with repair and growth. And, it relieves symptoms of osteoporosis!
11) Immunity Boost – Nutmeg’s anti-oxidant properties keep your body functioning smoothly. It prevents free radical formation – including ones that could be cancerous in nature – so unwanted reactions don’t take place in your body.
12) Anemia Prevention – Nutmeg’s iron content reduces your chances of developing iron deficiency. It also boosts your red blood cell count!
A Word On Nutmeg’s Side-Effects – Although nutmeg has several health benefits, as with anything you consume, it is important to use precaution to not overdose on a particular element. Long-term use of more than 120 mg of nutmeg per day can lead to hallucinations, dizziness, agitation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, irregular heart palpitations, and, in some extreme cases, even death. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid nutmeg altogether at the time.