7 Surprising Health Benefits of Nutmeg For Skin, Hair, And Health | Fitness Factory

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Nutmeg For Skin, Hair, And Health | Fitness Factory

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Nutmeg For Skin, Hair, And Health | Fitness Factory

Nutmeg is a spice that comes from the seed of the evergreen nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans). [1] The nutmeg tree, interestingly, is a host to one more incredibly potent and unique spice, mace, which is the dried reddish seed covering.

The tree is native to the Maluku or Spice Islands of Indonesia and is the only tree which is the source of two distinct spices in the world. It is commonly grown in the Caribbean, other tropical areas of the world, and also in Southern India in the state of Kerala.
Nutmeg spice has a pungent fragrance and a slightly sweet taste which is why it is widely used in cuisines around the world. Nutmeg is used and found in many forms like essential oils, powder, and extracts. While the ground nutmeg is used in many preparations like baking, puddings, confections, beverages like eggnog, pumpkin pie and apple pie, it is most used in making nutmeg butter. The spice is also a key ingredient in creamy and cheesy dishes like alfredo.
While nutmeg is only a spice that is used sparingly in dishes, it can still impact your health in a variety of ways, mainly due to its nutritive content of vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds related to essential oils. [3] [4] According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, these beneficial components include dietary fiber, manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper, and macelignan.
People suffering from chronic conditions like cancer, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes often suffer from persistent pain. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, nutmeg oil, derived from the seed of nutmeg tree, has been proven to be an analgesic and a chronic pain reliever. [5]

Published in the Food and Nutrition Research journal, a 2016 comparative study conducted on rats, showed that topical application of nutmeg oil, when compared to other pain alleviators like diclofenac, has a better effect on the inflammatory pain. [6] The same study also shows that nutmeg oil can also alleviate joint swelling as well as mechanical allodynia, which is an intense pain caused by even a light touch.
Nutmeg is often connected with neuroprotective properties. In recent research by Dr. Waluga Plaingam, et al., these effects of nutmeg volatile oil are tested on rats. [10]

Results of the study show that nutmeg contains volatile oils like myristicin, eugenol, and elemicin, all of which helped in increasing the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the hippocampus of the rats. The hippocampus is the organ located in the brain that is mainly associated with memory and spatial navigation, which is the part of memory responsible for recording and retrieving all the information in the brain.

Therefore the study concluded suggesting that the oils in nutmeg have a therapeutic effect on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.
A 2012 study led by Shafeie Z, et al. suggests that nutmeg has antibacterial properties and has the potential to inhibit the activity of bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis that causes periodontitis and Streptococcus mutans that are associated with tooth decay. [11]

Furthermore, according to Chemistry of Spice by Valtcho D. Jeliazkov (Zheljazkov), myristic acid and trimyristin found in nutmeg also exhibit good antibacterial activity. [12] The methanol extract found in nutmeg has anticariogenic properties and helps prevent tooth decay and dental caries. Macelignan, another antibacterial agent found in this spice, also helps inhibit the activity of bacteria that cause the cavity. [13]

Moreover, a 2016 study led by Wei Kevin Zhang, et al. and published in the Food and Nutrition Research journal suggests that topical application of nutmeg oil may relieve a toothache.
In a comprehensive guide to lowering blood pressure by the National Institutes of Health, it is suggested to add more spices like nutmeg to the diet. [18] The guide also mentions and emphasizes using less sodium in the food to keep the blood pressure levels healthy.

Another study reported that nutmeg extracts did not exhibit any significant effect on blood pressure levels. More scientific evidence is required to prove the effects of nutmeg on blood.

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