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India is the land of spices. Walk into the kitchen of a typical Indian household, and you will find a string of containers that are filled with different types of spice, neatly arranged. One such spice that you will find in one of those many containers is nutmeg. Valued for its sweet aroma, this spice is actually the seed of an evergreen tree that is a native of Indonesia, known as myristica fragrans. A lot of Indian cuisines use nutmeg for its aromatic value and unique flavour. But nutmeg is more than just a spice that enhances the taste and smell of food. It has an abundance of nutritional value too.
Nutritional Value of Nutmeg
Here is the nutritional value of 100 grams of ground nutmeg.
|Total Fat||36 g|
|Vitamin C||3 mg|
|Vitamin A||30 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
Amazing Benefits of Nutmeg
1. Helps Improve Digestion
Nutmeg is known to have medicinal properties that can treat stomach ulcers and help in digestion. A lot of people add this spice to food, as it helps with easy digestion. Sometimes, even Indian desserts are laced with a little nutmeg for the same reason.
2. Helps Treat Insomnia
Nutmeg seems to have properties to treat insomnia as well. A little nutmeg, in a glass of warm milk, has proven to induce sleepiness in many people. A lot of mothers give their children warm milk with a little bit of nutmeg powder mixed in it. This is an age-old tradition that has been passed on for generations because it is, in fact, highly effective. In fact, nutmeg for inducing sleep is an organic and healthy way of treating insomnia.
3. Helps Relieve Pain
Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease pain and discomfort. This spice has chemicals like myristicin, elemicin, safrole, and eugenol that makes it useful for treating pain. These chemicals are found in the oil of nutmeg. The benefits of nutmeg oil include treating swelling, inflammation, joint pain, muscle spasms, pains, and sores.
4. Helps in 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 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.
5. Great for Your Skin
If you are on the lookout for a natural product that can do wonders for your skin, then nutmeg is your answer. There are many benefits of nutmeg for face and skin. Its many antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can help keep the skin healthy, supple, and unclog pores and blackheads. Nutmeg works as a great face scrub. The best way to use this spice for your skin is by mixing it in powdered form with honey and gently scrubbing your skin.
6. Helps Treat 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 a toothache as well. Macelignan, a chemical found in nutmeg, can help prevent cavities.
7. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure and Circulation
Nutmeg is rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, and iron, all of which help in regulating blood pressure and enhance the circulation of blood. These minerals have the effect of reducing stress, and further, relax the blood vessels and aid in the regulation of blood pressure.
8. Helps Protect the Liver
Nutmeg is rich in myrislignan, which can help 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.
9. Has Antidepressant Properties
Nutmeg has a calming effect on the body, which makes it a great antidepressant. A lot of Ayurvedic-based medicines use this spice as a part of the medication in treating depression and anxiety.
10. Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Nutmeg has chemopreventive properties that can help prevent cancer. The chemical myristicin present in nutmeg can help fight the growth of cancer cells and the metastasis of leukaemia.
11. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels
Consuming nutmeg in appropriate quantities has shown to lower cholesterol levels as well. This spice has the property of lowering hypolipidemic effects that help trigger a rise in cholesterol levels.
12. Helps Provide Relief from Diarrhoea
While we’ve earlier mentioned that nutmeg helps with digestion, this spice can help treat and provide relief from diarrhoea as well. Nutmeg has chemicals with carminative properties. The best way to consume nutmeg for treating diarrhoea is by consuming it with cold water.
13. Nutmeg for Hair Growth
Nutmeg is a great organic product for hair growth as well. The antimicrobial properties that it possesses can help keep the scalp clean and prevent dandruff. There are many over-the-counter shampoos that have nutmeg as the base ingredient, and you can purchase this, or you can make your own hair remedy with nutmeg powder, coconut oil, and honey.
14. Nutmeg for Weight Loss
Nutmeg helps in aiding weight loss as well. It can help the body eliminate toxins, and the digestive properties that it has can help in increasing metabolism, thereby helping with weight loss.
Are There Any Side Effects of Nutmeg?
While nutmeg has several nutritional benefits, too much of this spice can have an adverse effect on your body. Here are a few side effects that come with excessive consumption of nutmeg –
1. Gastrointestinal Reactions
While nutmeg is good for digestion and treating diarrhoea, excessive consumption of this spice can, in fact, further trigger gastrointestinal reactions like diarrhoea, bloating, and even constipation.
2. Can Have a Hallucinogenic Effect
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.
Consumption of this spice can cause an upsurge in the rate of your heartbeat. Go for immediate medical attention if you experience heart palpitations.
4. Excessive Consumption Can Adversely Affect Pregnancy
Nutmeg in large quantities can have an adverse effect on pregnant women and the fetus. The hallucinogenic effect it has may be dangerous to the fetus. It also inhibits the production of prostaglandin, which is important in the process of childbirth. Large doses of nutmeg can cause miscarriages in women.
Some questions regarding the use and consumption of nutmeg include:
1. How Much Amount of Nutmeg Intake is Safe?
Nutmeg is a great spice with several nutritional benefits but consuming too much of it, even as less as a spoon, can cause discomfort, and larger doses can even cause death. Also, consuming nutmeg on a daily basis is not advised.
2. How to Make Nutmeg Tea?
Nutmeg, as mentioned before, is known for its aromatic value and unique flavour. This makes it a great ingredient for tea. Making nutmeg tea is extremely easy. You need to boil water. To this, you need to add a pinch of nutmeg powder, ginger shreds or powder, sugar, and your usual amount of tea leaves. This has to be again boiled for a few minutes. You can strain the decoction and consume it. You can also add milk to if you like.
3. Is Nutmeg Safe during Pregnancy?
Nutmeg is not the ideal choice for women who are pregnant. Taking any risk during pregnancy can prove to be fatal, so it is advised that you stay away from this spice during your pregnancy.
4. Does Nutmeg Induce Sleep in Infants?
Yes, nutmeg has chemicals that can have a calming and relaxing effect on infants. You can mix nutmeg powder in some warm milk for your little one, just before bedtime. However, make sure you do not give your child too much of this as excessive consumption of nutmeg can be dangerous for health.
Nutmeg is a great spice that has several nutritional benefits. However, it has to be consumed in the right way, in appropriate doses. Make sure you consult a doctor in case you or someone you know has a negative, adverse reaction to this spice after its consumption.