The holidays are a time when we indulge, and maybe a little too much. However, the takeaway shouldn’t be a belly full of regret; instead, it should be an appreciation for all the deliciously healthy ingredients the holiday season had to offer. Nutmeg is one striking example. Nutmeg benefits range from relieving pain to improving beauty, so you can lead a healthier and happier life with a touch of spice.
Nutmeg is one of two spices growing on an evergreen tree. It is native to Indonesia but is used around the world in both Asian and Western recipes. Its natural oils are where nutmeg benefits lie and is the reason the spice has long been used as a natural remedy in many cultures.
Nutmeg contains dietary fiber, manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper and macelignan. Together, these components create a superfood spice of sorts that can complement your health in more ways than one. Here are 5 nutmeg benefits that land it the list of health-boosting superfoods.
1. Pain Relief
Nutmeg contains the compound menthol, which has pain-relieving characteristics. To benefit from nutmeg in this way, you can either ingest the spice or topically apply it to affected areas, such as wounds or injuries. Nutmeg also fights inflammation, which exacerbates pain.
2. Better Digestion
Nutmeg retains its fiber content when ground into a powder and can help to stimulate the metabolism for easier digestion. It can also relieve the discomfort of constipation.
3. Boosted Brain Health
The compounds myristicin and macelignan, which are found in nutmeg, have shown to stop the degradation of neural pathways and cognitive functions that people with dementia or Alzheimer’s experience. Nutmeg has also shown to have anti-depressant properties.
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4. Insomnia Relief
Nutmeg has long been used – for generations, in fact – as a home remedy for those who suffer from insomnia. It is rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that releases serotonin and allows the body to relax. This makes nutmeg helpful for people who become restless at night and have difficulty sleeping.
5. Beautiful Skin
Nutmeg works wonders for the skin due to its ability to operate as a tonic as well as fight inflammation. It also leaves behind a wonderful aroma that follows you all day long. Mix two teaspoons of nutmeg powder with a few drops of water, make a paste and apply to the face, letting sit for 20 minutes or until it dries. Scrub your face clean with water. The nutmeg acts as an exfoliant and also reduces any pain associated with acne.
Editor's note: Too much nutmeg can have detrimental health effects so make sure to be cautious when using this spice.
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Photo Credit: Brian Snelson