Nutmeg (or Muscat nut, which is its original native name) is native to the Moluccas and New Guinea. This spice is actually a seed, the inner part of the fruit of the Myristica Fragrans. The seed is used as a ground powder or as a dried nut ready to be shredded. It has an oval shape and it looks just like a classic walnut.
The shelled seed is the original nutmeg. The seed is covered with red membranes called mace. This is another spice with a similar odor and flavor. Although widely used in cooking, nutmeg is nevertheless much underestimated as far as its health benefits are concerned.
If you want to get the entire flavor and beneficial properties of the nutmeg, the best way use it is to grate the whole nut at the time of consumption.
The benefits of nutmeg: the coincise guide
Nutmegs have beneficial effects, but they also have some potential adverse effects, such as nausea, fever, and even states of nervous excitement and hallucinations if consumed in large quantities.
These effects are due to two substances, myristicin and elemicin: these substances have striking similarities with amphetamines.
That being said, rest assured that consuming quantities normally used in cooking, i.e. 4-5 grams (the equivalent of a spoonful) will not cause any side effects.
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In ancient times, people believed nutmeg contained aphrodisiac substances. And indeed, the modern medicine today combines its stimulating effect with other ingredients in order to stimulate sexual activity.
But let’s examine all of its benefits now:
- Nutmeg, consumed in small amounts, helps digestion.
- This seed keeps in check feeling of nausea and the effects of intestinal disorders.
- It can stimulate appetite, as well as physical and intellectual activity.
- Nutmeg can help fighting fatigue.
- It also act as a tonic for the heart and circulatory system.
- If applied externally, as an oil, nutmeg is known to help relieve neuralgia and rheumatism.
Muscat nut therefore contains properties that enhance our overall well–being, naturally. You just have to remember, not to exceed the proper dosages and always consume it in moderation.