Nutmeg ‘Jaiphal’ is an aromatic seed of Myristica fragrans tree. Besides being used as a spice, nutmeg offers various medicinal health benefits and is also in the perfumery industries too.
Nutmeg has a long culinary history and can be part of both sweet and savoury dishes. Nutmeg is also a key ingredient in different spice blends, namely garam ‘curry powder’ masala, in the Indian context.
Unfortunately, nutmeg has also gained notoriety due to its use as a hallucinatory drug substitute.
Amongst all types of nuts, nutmeg contains one of the highest portions of nutrients. Nutmeg contains copper, potassium, manganese, iron, folate, thiamin, magnesium, vitaminB1, and B6. Some of the minerals present in nutmeg are phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It contains small amounts of manganese and sodium.
The nutritional value of 100 grams of ground nutmeg contains 525 calories, 49 gm of carbohydrates, 36 gm of fats, 6 gm of proteins, 350 mg of potassium, 184 mg of calcium, 183 mg of magnesium, 16 mg of sodium, 3mg of iron, 3mg of vitamin C, 30 mcg of vitamin A, and 1.3 mg of niacin.
Possible Health Benefits of Nutmeg…
Reduces depression and anxiety
1. Nutmeg produces a calming effect on the body thus, making it an excellent antidepressant.
2. Nutmeg contains myristicin and elemicin which, work together to relax the human brain. Nutmeg also acts as a mild sedative.
3. Nutmeg promotes the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which helps the brain to “fight” against depression and anxiety.
4. This spice acts as a brain tonic that stimulates the brain. Nutmeg boosts mental activity and eradicates stress and mental fatigue.
Relieves joint and muscle pain
The essential oils of nutmeg such as myristicin, safrole, elemicin and eugenol possess anti-inflammatory properties thus, reducing joint pain, swelling, inflammation, muscle pains, spasms and sores. These essential oils could also prevent and reduce infections or swelling.
Aids in detoxification
1. This spice is a rich source of antioxidants; helps the kidney during the filtration process of blood by activating enzymes and helping in the process of eliminating toxic compounds from the body.
2. The magnesium content of this nut plays a vital role in detoxifying cells. It is the best detox aid to remove harmful metals from the body.
Improves oral health
1. Nutmeg enhances the immunity of gums and teeth. The anti-bacterial properties possessed by the essential oils of nutmeg helps in eliminating bacteria from the mouth which leads to bad breath.
2. Eugenol present in nutmeg relieves toothache.
3. Macelignan, a chemical present in nutmeg helps prevent dental cavities.
4. Nutmeg fights against pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans that cause oral infections.
Enhances heart health
1. The potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese content of nutmeg aids in regulating the blood pressure and improves blood circulation. These minerals reduce stress, and further, relax the blood vessels helping in the regulation of blood pressure.
2. Linalool, one of the essential oils present in nutmeg is a vasodilator of smooth muscles, and aids in decreasing high blood pressure.
3. Nutmeg possesses the property of reducing hypolipidemic effects thus, reduces cholesterol levels.
4. Nutmeg extracts may help to reverse liver toxicity that is caused by high cholesterol diets.
Other possible benefits…
Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits, nutmeg possesses few more benefits namely, boosts libido, improves the sharpness of brain, preventsinsomnia, treats acne, improves digestion, boosts the immune system, protects the liver, relieves diarrhoea, beneficial in hair growth, promotes weightloss, reduces risk to cancer and helps in the treatment of diabetes.
How to use Nutmeg?
Nutmeg can be used in a variety of ways. Some of them are as follows:
- In tea.
- In salads.
- In desserts.
- As a powder.
- In beverages.
- In fresh form.
- In grated form.
- In baked items.
- As a garnish on certain coffee drinks.
- In soups, pasta, vegetables, beef stew, meat gravies, steaks, etc.
How to make prepare Nutmeg Tea?
Take a cup of water and add less than 3 gm of nutmeg powder to it. Boil the water along with a piece of ginger.
Allow the mixture to steep for nearly 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain and drink the nutmeg tea.