Nutmeg: useful properties and contraindications
The attitude to nutmeg is ambiguous. Some are convinced that it is one of the spices for meat and fish dishes. Some use it as a spice for desserts. But there are also those who are convinced of the poisonous properties of nutmeg, allegedly causing hallucinations.
- What it looks like and where it grows
- Composition and calories
- How much nutmeg you can eat per day
- Useful properties of nutmeg
- For women
- For men
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- What is nutmeg useful for weight loss?
- Nutmeg in medicine
- Recipes of folk medicine based on nutmeg
- Nutmeg in cosmetology
- For Face
- For Hair
- Nutmeg and milk benefits
- Nutmeg and kefir effect
- Nutmeg oil: characteristics and use
- Harm and contraindications
- How to choose and store nutmeg
- Nutmeg Cooking Applications
- How to grate nutmeg
- What can be substituted for nutmeg
- Nutmeg Facts
Any plant can have both beneficial and harmful properties. Nutmeg is no exception and nutmeg. Let's consider the main properties of this product.
How it looks and where it grows
Nutmeg, despite such a name, is simply the seed of the fruit of the nutmeg tree. On a tree about 12 meters tall, fruits resembling peaches or apricots appear after flowering. When fully ripe, the fruit itself splits into two halves and exposes a pit. Inside this pit is a seed that has an irregular, wrinkled oval shape. It is called a nutmeg with a characteristic marbled pattern on the incision line. The brownish nut is approximately 3 centimeters in diameter.
Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia are the most favorable places for the evergreen nutmeg tree to grow. It can reach the age of one hundred years, but bears fruit only for the first forty years, bearing about 2000 fruits in a season.
Composition and calories
The presence of vital components in the product determines its usefulness. In nutmeg the most represented vitamins B1, PP and E, which provide the daily requirement of 100 grams of product in the ratio of 66.7%, 66.5% and 40%. Macronutrients are magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Nutmeg is rich in trace elements, including vanadium, which is 425% in 100 grams of product. A little less iron is 333.3% and manganese is 190% of the daily requirement.
The caloric value of the product is 556 kcal. The nutritional value of nutmeg per 100 grams of product is represented by 20 grams of protein, 50 g of fat and 7 g of carbohydrates.
Based on the indicators of the components presented in nutmeg, its usefulness for the human body is undeniable.
How much you can eat nutmeg a day
Nutmeg is one kind of spice, which has not only a peculiar taste, but also useful medicinal properties. But its excessive use can have a negative impact on human health.
A beneficial effect on the body is provided by the norm of 0.33 grams per kilogram of human weight. The weight of one nut is about 5 grams.
Continuous use of nutmeg can lead to addiction, which is unacceptable. In this case, it is necessary to give up the use of the spice in any form for three months. Compliance with the rules of using nutmeg will improve the overall condition of the human body.
Useful properties of nutmeg
The usefulness of nutmeg can be explained by the useful substances it contains. It has long been known as a product that stimulates brain activity. It is able to concentrate a person's attention, to focus him on his work. Eaten once a day, the nut will cure a person of depression and apathy. It promotes the production in the body of the hormone of happiness - endorphin. As a result of such a pleasant treatment, a person becomes active, cheerful, with an elevated mood.
- One of the indications for the use of nutmeg spice is the high content of iron in it. It helps reproduce red blood cells during menstruation. These days are sometimes painful. The eugenol in nutmeg, which has a pain-relieving effect, can help with the pain.
- It is useful to take the spice from this nut during the treatment or prevention of mastopathy.
- Women will like its property, which helps to reveal sexuality, increase sex drive.
- Muscat is useful to the female body during menopause, as it reduces the number of hot flashes.
- Muscat is useful to the male body, if there are problems in intimate life. It can normalize ejaculation and help in the treatment of impotence. Thanks to nutmeg, male potency increases, and premature ejaculation is prevented.
- The spice, according to experts, can assist in conception and increase the number of active sperm.
- Young nutmeg fruits can help increase sexual desire and lead to a state of arousal.
Despite the positive characteristics of nutmeg, it can be dangerous for pregnant women. According to experts, it is better to completely refuse from its use at this time. More useful for the woman herself and the future baby will be walnuts, pine nuts and hazelnuts.
Nursing mothers also should not risk their health and the condition of the infant's body. Therefore, a woman during the period of breastfeeding should refuse to take nutmeg spice, even as a condiment for any dish.
In children's diet, it is best to refuse the use of nutmeg. Firstly, it does not have the necessary beneficial properties for the child's body. Secondly, its taste is not attractive to children. To a child under the age of three, this product is strictly forbidden for use. But older children are recommended its use in very dosage, for example, in confectionery products. Although the risk of harm to the children's body remains.
What is the usefulness of nutmeg for weight loss
Nutmeg does not have extensive functions on the body for weight loss. It is suitable for speeding up the metabolism, increasing blood flow, which contributes to the breakdown of fat plaques. In common weight loss methods, the spice can be used as a condiment to vegetable salads, diet soups, porridges. Used by many to improve the digestibility of food, reducing the number of attacks of hunger. The nut has a beneficial effect on sweet eaters who have decided to take up proper nutrition. Magnesium, which occupies one of the first places among the useful components of the nut, reduces cravings for sweets.
Nutmeg in medicine
In ancient times, healers in Rome and Greece knew about nutmeg as a useful product for treating various ailments. Modern medicine widely uses preparations prepared with the use of this product in its various fields.
- The saponins, starches, proteins, and numerous pigments it contains help in the fight against various diseases. Leading medical experts in some countries recommend the use of preparations whose base is nutmeg. Adding them in small quantities of garlic prevents some diseases and even cures.
- The drugs that have nutmeg in their composition are used to treat insomnia. Nutmeg in small doses is able to clean up the nervous system, normalize sleep.
- Nuts are used to treat mastitis in women, painful menstruation.
- Medicines with nutmeg in their base help in getting rid of benign tumors, chorea. Some studies suggest that nutmeg can help self-destruct cancerous growths. This is because of the nut's ability to cut off blood flow to malignant tissues. Thus, cancer can be prevented by taking nutmeg periodically.
- People who suffer from multiple sclerosis, migraines or headaches are recommended to take medicines with this component in the composition. A paste consisting of good cow's milk and ground nutmeg can help in the treatment of migraine. The mixture should be applied to the forehead and held until the pain disappears.
- Stabilize and increase the function of the immune system, to treat autoimmune diseases will help drugs with the same nutmeg in their composition.
- If you add a little nutmeg powder to hot tea or massage oil, the first signs of a cold will disappear and strengthen the immune system.
- The same component in the remedy will help men in restoring an erection, if there is a similar problem. To all of the above you should add varicose veins and thrombophlebitis, memory problems, in the fight against which preparations made with nutmeg can also have a positive effect. It normalizes blood pressure.
- The usefulness of nutmeg has been known to people of the distant past for getting rid of toothache and muscle pain.
- The liver and kidneys will get cleansed if nutmeg is consumed by a person regularly in moderate doses. It also helps to eliminate any unwanted poisons and toxins from the body.
- It stimulates and tones the heart and blood circulation.
Nutmeg-based folk medicine recipes
In folk medicine, the product is considered one of the most famous components of medicinal blends, pastes, additives in drinks.
- For pain caused by arthritis, myositis, osteochondrosis, rheumocarditis, rheumatic polyarthritis, a thick paste of sunflower oil with nutmeg can help. A warm compress is put on the problem area and held until it cools down for about 20 minutes.
- In the treatment of diseases of the esophagus, indigestion, diarrhea, specialists also use preparations that contain nutmeg. You can prepare a mixture of 1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg, 125 grams of water, non-fat yogurt, dried ginger and drink at a gulp. Such a remedy can help with stomach and intestinal problems, as well as excessive gas and loss of appetite. The latter is especially significant for those suffering from dystrophy and anorexia. Thanks to its chemical composition, the spice promotes the desire to eat. In this case, digestion is normalized and the walls of the esophagus are lubricated.
- This spice is essential in the treatment of sexual weakness in men. Positive effect gives nutmeg when it serves as a condiment to the dishes and when it is consumed alone, diluted or washed down with water. Only regular and daily intake of nutmeg leads to the solution of the problem of impotence.
- A mixture of nutmeg, cream, ointment, beeswax or simple vegetable oil, previously heated and applied to the problem area will help to reduce the pain of neuralgia.
- Colds, bronchitis, coughs, flu or signs of a cold can be started by adding the spice to a warm drink.
- Drinking with nutmeg spice can improve kidney function, remove excess urine, relieve swelling, and lower the acidity of the urine.
- A tincture made with 20 grams of nutmeg spice and 100 grams of honey in a glass of boiling water can help the veins. Well mixed and cooled liquid is taken before meals three times a day.
- Good sleep promotes drinking warm milk in the evening with a spoon of honey and a pinch of spice.
Nutmeg is useful in the treatment of ailments within the body and on the body as an antiseptic. There have been cases of dissolution of gallstones under its influence. Remedies of folk medicine, where there is a place for nutmeg spice, are widely popular not only in the countries of the East, but also in many countries of the world.
Nutmeg in cosmetology
The usefulness of this product for cosmetic purposes is familiar to experts for a long time. In this area are popular essential oils extracted from nut kernels by steam distillation method.
The skin under the beneficial influence of herbal ingredients gets an additional inflow of blood. The metabolic processes are improved, it normalizes the condition of the skin. The skin of the face becomes youthful after the use of scrubs, masks, which include nutmeg. For example, a scrub made from nutmeg powder, kefir and oatmeal, will show its effectiveness after a few applications. Problem skin can be treated by adding grated nutmeg to the cream and scrub.
- Pimples will disappear if you apply a face mask made from equal parts spice and sour cream, for example, one teaspoon. A thick layer of the applied mixture should be washed off after a quarter of an hour.
- A mixture consisting of equal proportions of heated honey and nutmeg oil, applied to the face for 20 minutes will tighten it and reduce the number of wrinkles. It is also applicable for massage. Thanks to nutmeg, oily shine from the skin of the face disappears, the sebaceous glands are normalized.
Many hair products contain nutmeg, which helps to effectively restore the structure of the strands, improving their appearance and health. Using home masks improves blood flow to the scalp, promotes hair growth. If there are problems with dandruff, baldness and increased oiliness of the head, a hair product with nutmeg is the most essential.
Hair restoration can help a mask, which includes 20 grams of nutmeg, cinnamon powder, oatmeal flour combined in 110 ml of mineral water. Well-mixed mixture is applied to the scalp, and at the end of forty minutes wash off with shampoo. Rinse with apple cider vinegar will fix the action of the mask.
Among other things, nutmeg cream can help in the treatment of flaky skin on the elbows of the hands and heels.
The benefits of nutmeg and milk
Slightly heated or chilled milk with grated nutmeg added to it will relieve daytime fatigue. After taking the drink, a person will feel relaxed, anxiety will be relieved, headaches will go away, a calm and good sleep will come.
Milk with nutmeg has a beneficial effect on the digestive system, helps with sleep disorders.
The effect of using nutmeg with kefir
The combination of nutmeg and kefir can serve a person badly. Products that are not in harmony with each other can disrupt liver function and cause panic, that is, affect a person's mental health.
Nutmeg oil: properties and uses
The fruit and the tree itself are the raw materials for obtaining a unique product - nutmeg oil. It is a pale yellow liquid with a sharp, spicy and sweet flavor at the same time, with musky and woody tones. Only ripe and bursting nutmeg fruits are chosen for the oil. The oil itself is made from the kernels of the fruit. But you can buy oils made from the flowers of the nutmeg or the soft skin (macis), which covers the seed of the fruit. The only difference in the oil made from macis is the more delicate flavor.
To obtain nut oil, first the nuts are crushed and treated with steam or water. Then the final product, nut oil, is extracted by distillation. Nutmeg oil does not lose its original properties for five years if all the rules of storage are observed. Using it in concentrated form is dangerous because of its toxicity.
- Muscat oil is an ideal partner for essential oils of the spice, woody and floral types, creating with them a unique fragrance.
- The effect of nutmeg oil on the sphere of emotions is great. Thanks to the warming effect, nervous and frosty shivering is quickly eliminated, calming comes after conflict or stressful situations, the manifestation of hysterics is stopped.
- Nutmeg oil has the property that allows you to see the beauty of the world around you. A person under its influence feels pleasure and happiness of life. Known positive effect of the oil on memory. It is used in meditation, reflection, gives strength to achieve goals, strengthens intuition.
- In the field of erotica oil performs the role of the strongest aphrodisiac, enhancing feelings, stimulating blood circulation, bringing feelings, bright and unique.
- As a therapeutic, nutmeg oil stimulates the heart and circulatory system. Its tonic and warming effect makes it indispensable if you need to resist the cold. The functioning of the bronchi is improved under the influence of nutmeg oil. They gain more elasticity, the depth of processes in the respiratory organs increases.
- The oil stimulates the activity of the digestive organs, because under its influence the production of enzymes increases. They help to get rid of heaviness in the stomach, feelings of nausea, prevent the spread of infectious processes. The remedy has a beneficial effect on muscles and joints that are prone to pain, swelling due to neuralgia, osteochondrosis, arthritis.
- Muscat oil is used in situations where it is necessary to stop bleeding, such as abnormal bleeding during menstruation.
- In the cosmetic field nutmeg oil is most often used as a means to stop hair loss. It also stimulates hair growth. The oil treats skin lesions with fungus.
- The domestic sphere uses nutmeg oil when it is necessary to compose personal fragrances or to flavor spirits and other drinks with only one to two drops of the product per standard package or container.
Hazards and contraindications of nutmeg oil
Nutmeg oil is harmful if used in a concentrated state because of its high degree of toxicity. It is diluted with base vegetable oils or other vehicles to lower its concentration.
Because of the oil's effect on menstrual processes, its use by women during pregnancy is strictly prohibited. It is contraindicated to people who, under the influence of the aroma of the oil, may quickly go into a state of nervous excitement. Epilepsy, manic and depressive disorders, nervous breakdowns should also be a reason to reject the use of nutmeg oil.
The oil has the property to induce a state of euphoria. The duration of contact with it should be limited to 4 hours a day.
If one applies the oil directly to the skin, one will feel a burning or tingling sensation for some time. It is important to remember that pure oil applied to the skin for a long time can cause burns, it must be diluted with basic - olive, peach, linseed, grape seed oil.
Harms and contraindications
Doctors indicate the following optimal dosage - 1 nut for every 10 kilograms of human weight. If we are talking about a spice, then a pinch on the tip of a knife is enough, because it is very fragrant and concentrated.
Exceeding the dosage is fraught with side effects:
- Acute allergic reaction (up to and including Quincke's edema or anaphylactic shock).
- Increased acidity, which can provoke heartburn, exacerbation of gastritis or ulcers.
- Impaired coordination of movements.
- Disruption of the central system and the brain, up to and including hallucinogenic effects.
- Toxic euphoria and accompanying withdrawal syndrome (hangover).
- Drowsiness, lethargy, and weakness.
- Convulsions, nausea and vomiting.
In rare cases of acute individual intolerance may be fatal.
Nutmeg is categorically contraindicated for children of preschool age, pregnant women and nursing mothers, the elderly, patients with ulcers, hyperacidity, gastritis, colitis and other GI disorders. It is also undesirable to consume walnuts in their pure form for drivers before a long strenuous trip.
As they say, good things must be in moderation, especially when it comes to the spicy product.
How to choose and store nutmeg
The consumer sees two kinds of nutmeg in stores: whole and ground into powder. The second is often a adulterated product of low quality nuts. So it is more advantageous to buy whole nuts.
They should be in a well sealed package, on which the expiration date should be read. The expiration date deprives the spices of the flavor of the essential oils they contain.
It is important to use a container with a tightly sealed lid to store whole nuts and powder.
The spice should be stored in a cool place, away from the gas stove, radiator, heater, water and sun. All these circumstances destroy the flavor of nutmeg. Proper storage will prolong the preservation of the flavor of the nutmeg for a long time. It is even more advantageous to purchase whole nuts, and to powder them before using them.
Using nutmeg in cooking
Nutmeg gives a special flavor to sweet and spicy dishes, desserts and pies, custards, gingerbreads, cheese sauces, soups, pasta, vegetables. Cooks use it to give light dishes a saffron color, i.e. bright orange. Meat, fish, apple pie, lasagna, mashed potatoes will have a special taste if flavored with this spice.
It is important to remember: heating can change the taste of nutmeg to a bitter one. Therefore, it is recommended to season food with it just before the end of cooking.
How to grate nutmeg
It has an already peeled appearance when purchased. To obtain powder from it there is a special grater. If you do not have one, you can use a grater that has small and frequent holes. A blender and a meat grinder also do a good job. Fresh nutmeg powder should be added to the dish in smaller quantities than the recipe requires, because its flavor will be stronger.
What you can replace nutmeg with
Each product has its own unique characteristics, and it is impossible to replace it with something completely identical. The subtle flavor of nutmeg makes it difficult to substitute, but it is possible to bring another spice closer to the ideal.
- The best substitute may be macis, the shell that surrounds the nutmeg. Its flavor is slightly weaker than that of the fruit itself, but its use does not require changing the proportions specified in the recipe.
- A spice mixture called garam masala can be an effective substitute for nutmeg. Its common components are allspice, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, and mace.
- Nutmeg can be replaced in some situations by cinnamon, which has a smell with warm woody notes, and ginger, which is suitable for some dishes due to its spicier than nutmeg, but at the same time spicy flavor.
- Cloves can be used instead of nutmeg for savory and sweet dishes and drinks.
- In the absence of nutmeg, Japanese pepper or allspice is good, which will give a similar flavor to sauces, salty dishes, and baked goods. And there will be no problems with changing the proportions of the spice.
- The similarity in the use of turmeric and saffron instead of nutmeg spice is not only in the general nuances of flavor, but also in the fact that you can use them to change the color of baked goods, drinks.
- While cardamom can perform a substitute function in any dishes, anise is chosen for the preparation of sweet dishes.
- Caraway and mustard are used, if there is no nutmeg, in the preparation of meat and fish dishes.
The taste and color of any dish depends not only on its main components, but also on the characteristics of spice. The special qualities of nutmeg are unique. But if necessary, it can be replaced by other spices, something resembling its spicy flavor.
- The birthplace of the tree is the Moluccan Islands, which are called "spice islands. They are located between New Guinea and Sulawesi and are famous for growing rice, sago, cloves and many different useful plants in addition to nutmeg.
- With a possible height of 20 meters its leaves can reach a length of 5 meters. It is a long-lived tree: it lives for 100 years, but its first fruits are produced when it reaches ten years of age. It is shaped like a pyramid.
- It was the Europeans, namely the Portuguese and the Dutch, who were the first to appreciate the nutmeg's particular value. There is a legend, according to which the great Magellan, instead of money, sold to his creditors the seeds of nutmeg and cloves from this island.
- The second producer of nutmeg in the world is considered to be Grenada, the island where the English planted nutmeg trees in the 18th century.
- The French became famous for stealing the seeds of this tree from its homeland and breeding it in Mauritius.
- With the emergence of nutmeg plantations in Brazil, India, Africa and the islands of Indonesia, the price of nutmeg decreased. This spice became available not only for the dishes of the chosen few. At one time the English paid three adult sheep or a cow for a pound of nutmeg (454 grams).
Nutmeg is famous as a healer and an excellent seasoning for a wide variety of dishes, foods, and beverages. Among other things, nutmeg is considered a carrier of magical powers.
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