Seeds and Cereals

Health Benefits of Nutmeg

The origin of nutmeg (Myristica fragans) is in the Moluccas Islands, Indonesia. Resistance to the tropical maritime climate brought the spice to India, Sri Lanka, Java, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua Ninth Guinea and Sumatra. It caught the attention of Arab traders who took it to the West and made nutmeg the most expensive spice in the world.

The Portuguese were responsible for the spread in much of Europe. From 1512 onwards, nutmeg was a Portuguese monopoly for 100 years. Portuguese exclusivity ended with the arrival of the Dutch. In 1796, the English occupied the Moluccas Islands and exercised a monopoly until 1802. With the end of the English monopoly, spice invaded the world.

Nutmeg arrived in Brazil at the time of its discovery with the Portuguese. They monopolized the spice but lost that power. Currently, the Brazilian cultivation of Myristica fragans is in southern Bahia. Outside the country, production is concentrated in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Zanzibar, Ceylon, New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and the Caribbean Islands. These countries export to Australia, France, Canada, the United States, England, Japan and China.

NUTMEG

The tree is approximately 10 m tall. Nutmeg propagation is by seed between October and April. The soil must be well-drained rich in organic matter. Despite being a plant with a tropical climate, the nutmeg does not withstand long periods of drought and strong winds. The first harvest takes place 5 years. In the first year of cultivation, the tree must receive shade as the leaves do not burn.

When the fruit is ripe, it has a reddish color. The released seed has an orange, aromatic and spicy membrane called macis. Nutmeg is inside the apple, to be used as a seasoning it is necessary to remove it from the fruit and also from the apple. After extraction, the walnut is left to dry for 15 days. And the mace? It is also used as a seasoning.

NUTMEG PROPERTIES

The properties of nutmeg aroused interest in the West. In the 19th century it was used to stimulate menstruation. But, it is its numerous nutrients that make it a superfood. Nutmeg is a source of iron, calcium, vitamins A, B3, B6, B9, manganese, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorus and potassium. And the good to health does not stop there. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin. Antioxidants are components that kill cells associated with cancer. Ready to learn about the 13 benefits of nutmeg?

  1. anti-inflammatory action

The anti-inflammatory action of nutmeg is due to the presence of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, which has the power to reduce inflammation by more than 40%. The spice relieves all types of pain, especially muscle and joint pain. People with rheumatism and arthritis are relieved of pain after massage with nutmeg oil.

  1. Improves respiratory inflammation

Nutrients that reduce muscle and joint inflammation also have an effect on respiratory problems. Nutmeg is an ingredient in syrups and the essential oil also helps to fight colds and flu. People with asthma also benefit from the anti-inflammatory action of the spice. But tea also helps. Here’s how to make nutmeg tea:

  • Boil 1 liter of water, turn off the heat and add the grated nutmeg;
  • After 3 minutes, strain the drink through a fine sieve;
  • If desired, sweeten with honey.

Drink tea in the afternoon.

  1. Relief PMS symptoms

Women, pay attention! Nutmeg has magnesium, an anti-inflammatory substance and can ease cramps. The B-complex vitamins, myristicin and elemicin help fight irritability.

  1. strengthens the bones

Manganese and magnesium calcium absorption facilitator. The benefits of nutmeg to the bones are also given by the presence of phosphorus. The spice strengthens bones, preventing diseases such as osteoporosis.

  1. protect the heart

Did you know that nutmeg is used to lower pressure? That’s because potassium relaxes blood vessels. The nutrient also helps to normalize the heartbeat. Those with high cholesterol count on the spice in the fight to reduce bad cholesterol. Nutmeg also helps to control diabetes because the spice stimulates insulin production.

  1. brain stimulant

The myristicin and elemicin are components that act in preventing Alzheimer’s. Another benefit of nutmeg to the brain is that it is a natural stimulant. Nutmeg essential oil is indicated for those who suffer from anxiety, physical and mental stress and depression. In the fresh version , magnesium, calcium, selenium, B vitamins are brain stimulating agents.

  1. Rich in Antioxidants

This characteristic ends oxidative stress, a condition that promotes cell aging. This aging opens doors to harmful cells that weaken the skin and also to cancer. Nutmeg’s antioxidants have the power to weaken cancer cells in the brain.

  1. helps you sleep better

Diets low in magnesium affect the quality of sleep, according to a study published in the journal Medical Hypothesis. Potassium deficiency also disrupts sleep, says 1991 research published in the journal Sleep. The substances elemicin and myristicin are mild sedatives that can be used to treat insomnia. A glass of milk with honey and nutmeg helps you get a good night’s sleep.

  1. Improves bowel function

Nutmeg has fiber, so it is effective in combating constipation, diarrhea and diseases of the gastro-digestive tract such as Chron’s Disease, characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.

  1. It’s good for labyrinthitis

The disease affects hearing and balance, generally affecting people over 40 years of age. Consuming Nutmeg for labyrinthitis is an effective natural treatment.

  1. it’s aphrodisiac

Nutmeg is always on the list of aphrodisiac foods. The B-complex vitamins stimulate the production of sex hormones. The spice also favors an erection. Using it as a seasoning or drinking nutmeg tea is a good option to warm up the relationship.

  1. slim down

Nutmeg tea slims! That’s because the spice has fibers that prolong satiety. The spice also rids the liver and kidneys of toxins that cause fluid retention.

  1. good for skin

Magnesium also acts in the production of collagen, a protein that strengthens the skin. Nutmeg Face Mask eliminates blemishes and pimple scars. To prepare it, mix ½ teaspoon spice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. Use the mask once a week.

NUTMEG IS BAD?

It depends. Adults who consume more than 2 teaspoons a day may sweat, feel nauseous, dizzy and have palpitations. Excess can also cause hallucinations, as nutmeg has a hallucinogenic effect. Use in any amount by pregnant women is prohibited, as the spice is abortive. Nursing women and children under the age of 2 are also not allowed to consume nutmeg.

HOW TO USE NUTMEG?

Nutmeg’s traditional function is to season. The spice enhances the flavor of meats, risottos, Indian dishes, white sauce, soups and broths. But it is also used in coffee, cappuccino, milk shake, alcoholic beverages and vanilla sweets. When used in the powdered version, the properties of nutmeg are preserved. Those who prefer fresh, should buy it in small quantities, otherwise the oxidation eliminate its nutrients.

The recommendation is to grate the whole walnut just before serving the dish. The storage of the nut powder or whole is in a tightly closed pot in environments without humidity, direct sunlight and heat.

NUTMEG RECIPES

WHITE SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch;
  • 1 can of whey-free cream;
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese;
  • ½ liter of cold milk;
  • ¼ grated nutmeg coffee spoon;
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of butter;
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation mode

Dissolve cornstarch in milk and set aside. Fry the onion with butter until translucent. Add the cream and curd and cook for 1 minute. Add the dissolved cornstarch and stir until it thickens. Add the grated nutmeg when the sauce is ready.

NUTMEG BISCUIT AND LINSEED

Ingredients

  • 2 whole eggs;
  • 4 cups of wheat flour;
  • 1 level tablespoon of baking powder;
  • 1 cup of sugar tea;
  • 1 level tablespoon of butter;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • Grated nutmeg to taste;
  • 3 tablespoons of flaxseed.

Preparation mode

Mix all ingredients well. Roll out the dough and make circles with a cup of tea. Fry cookies until golden or bake for 20 minutes.

OATMEAL PORRIDGE WITH NUTMEG IN THE OVEN

Ingredients

  • 200 ml of heavy cream;
  • 150 grams of oats;
  • 75 grams of raisins;
  • 60 grams of whole or crushed almonds;
  • 50 grams of hazelnut;
  • 1 pear, peeled and chopped;
  • 2 tablespoons of demerara sugar;
  • ½ tablespoon grated nutmeg;
  • 1 vanilla bean;
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.

Preparation mode

Mix the oats and broad bean seeds well. Add the oats, almonds, pears, hazelnuts, raisins, cream and milk and mix well. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 180 o for 35 minutes. Take the porridge out of the oven, sprinkle with sugar and grill for another 3 minutes or until it forms a crust.

See why you can’t miss nutmeg at home? In addition to enhancing the flavor of savory dishes, you can make sweets. Follow our guidelines on storage and consumption and get healthier with the properties of this spice. The package with 8 grams costs less than R$10.00. Nutmeg is found in supermarkets and health food stores, where it is sold in bulk.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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