What Is Nutmeg Good For? – Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts

What Is Nutmeg Good For – Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts
Main Name: Nutmeg
Biological Name: Myristica fragrans
Names in other languages: Nuez moscada (Spanish),  Noix de muscade (French), Jaiphal, Zaiphal (Hindi), Jaathikkaai (Tamil), Jathikka (Malayalam), Jaji kayi (Telugu), Jayfa (Gujarati), Jaifall (Bengali), Jaiphal (Marathi, Punjabi & Urdu), Jaiphala (Oriya)
Do you have a jar of warm and spicy nutmeg sitting on your kitchen shelf? Do you avoid using it in your cooking, lest it will give off an odd pungent smell? Well, if you didn’t know, nutmeg is widely used for its aromatic and peppery fragrance to enhance the flavor of sweets, pies, custards, desserts, puddings, cookies and spice cakes. And for those who simply love the smell of nutmeg, you will begin to find excuses to use it in your delicacies for the myriad of nutritious benefits it is loaded with. Known by the scientific name Myristica fragrans, nutmeg is warm, rich, slightly sweet, brownish-red spice obtained from the evergreen nutmeg tree, which produces both nutmeg and mace. It is the seed of the fruit, similar to a walnut in appearance, which is easy to grate even though its exterior is very hard. When ground, nutmeg resembles ground cinnamon, but is more savory and rich compared to the sweet and red cinnamon. The zesty and fiery flavor that the hard, marble-sized nutmeg provides is only restricted to eggnog or other holiday cookies. With a list of food items that can be raised to a different flavor level, nutmeg is a small package with numerous big benefits. Check out some proven health advantages while browsing through the following piece.
A native to Banda Islands, in the Moluccas of Indonesia or Spice Islands, and the Malay Archipelago, nutmeg is believed to be in existence as early as during the first century. It was only towards the turn of the 7th century when the Arabs introduced nutmeg to Europe through the Venetians. In the late 1400s when the Portuguese toured the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, they discovered Banda Islands and took control over the spice trade. Soon after, the Dutch waged a war, recounted by the massacre and enslavement of the inhabitants of Banda Islands to gain dominance of the spice trade. The Frenchman Pierre Poivre smuggled nutmeg seedlings and planted them in Mauritius where they flourished extensively; thus, ending the Dutch monopoly. With the Run Island, in the Banda Islands, being the only known source of nutmeg, the British and Dutch struggled to gain control over the island. The English finally succeeded in conquering the Run Island, which is now known as the Nutmeg Island, and planted nutmeg trees in Zanzibar and Grenada also. The British East Company can be credited with introducing nutmeg to Penang, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Later, they spread the cultivation of nutmeg to other East Indian islands and then to the Caribbean. Today, Indonesia and Grenada are the leading producers and exporters of nutmeg, followed by India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Caribbean Islands.Nutmeg-2


Health Benefits of Nutmeg

  1. Nutmeg is an excellent sedative which is beneficial for treating inflammation and abdominal pain. Aching joints, muscle pain, arthritis, rheumatism, lumbago, sores and other ailments are successfully cured with nutmeg due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. By effectively stimulating the brain, nutmeg acts as an excellent brain tonic. In turn, it helps in eliminating fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. Besides, it improves concentration, allowing you to become more efficient and focused at school or office.
  3. Not only is nutmeg a good stimulant for the mind, but also for the entire body. The relaxing aroma exuded by nutmeg provides comfort to the body and increases blood circulation.
  4. Nutmeg is useful for digestion and treating digestion-related problems, such as diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, bloating, vomiting and indigestion. It also helps in relieving stomach aches and getting rid of excess gas from the intestines.
  5. Halitosis, or bad breath, is effectively cured with nutmeg consumption due to its anti-bacterial properties. Excessive build-up of bacteria leads to bad breath, thereby triggering gum problems and toothaches.
  6. Nutmeg cleans and detoxifies the liver and kidneys; thus, flushing out toxins from the body that are accumulated due to factors, like diet, pollution, stress, tobacco, medication and other external factors.
  7. Nutmeg also makes an effective remedy for liver diseases, and preventing and dissolving kidney stones.
  8. By treating several skin problems, like eczema, acne, scars and blackheads, nutmeg helps in giving a smoother and healthier skin.
  9. Consuming a glass of milk, diluted with some nutmeg powder, at bedtime promotes relaxation and induces good sleep.
  10. Nutmeg oil is believed to relieve cough and cold, apart from treating the respiratory disorder, asthma.
  11. With anti-inflammatory effects, nutmeg reduces the redness and puffiness of blemishes and spots. A little milk mixed with ground nutmeg and applied as a paste helps bring relief.
  12. With great aphrodisiac properties, nutmeg is highly beneficial for curing impotence, premature ejaculation and low libido.
  13. Sex therapists indicate that nutmeg works wonders with increasing sexual desire. For best results, add it to sautéed spinach or lasagna.
  14. Drops of nutmeg oil, when mixed with honey, are useful for curing nausea, gastroenteritis, chronic diarrhea and indigestion.
  15. Nutmeg oil is highly beneficial for relieving menstrual cramps and treating menstrual irregularities.
Nutmeg Nutrition FactsAmount: 100 g
Total Weight: 100 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components  
Proteins 5.8 g
Water 6.2 g
Ash 2.3 g
Phytosterols 62 mg
Total Calories 525
Calories From Carbohydrate 201
Calories From Fat 304
Calories From Protein 20
Total Carbohydrates 49 g
Dietary Fiber 21 g
Sugar 28 g
Fats & Fatty Acids  
Total Fat 36 g
Saturated Fat 26 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 350 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 350 mg
Vitamin A 102 IU
Vitamin C 3 mg
Thiamin 346 mcg
Riboflavin 57 mcg
Niacin 1.3 mg
Vitamin B6 160 mcg
Folate 76 mcg
Choline 8.8 mg
Calcium 184 mg
Iron 3 mg
Magnesium 183 mg
Phosphorus 213 mg
Potassium 350 mg
Sodium 16 mg
Zinc 2.2 mg
Copper 1 mg
Manganese 2.9 mg
Selenium 1.6 mcg



How many calories in nutmeg (per 100 gm)

Nutmeg has about 525 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Nutmeg
  • Nutmeg can be purchased whole or as grounded powder.
  • When given an option, always buy whole nutmeg seeds since the powdered forms may be adulterated with other inferior quality nutmeg varieties.
  • Whole nutmeg has a richer and stronger flavor compared to the ground spice.
  • To check the quality of a good nutmeg, insert a darning needle a centimeter in the center of the seed; if a tiny drop of oil oozes out, it is fresh.
  • Always buy nutmeg, whole or ground, in sealed packets from authentic brands of a reputable company, which has the date of production and expiry stamped on it.
Nutmeg Storage Tips
  • Store whole and grounded nutmeg in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. This way, it can last for up to several months.
  • Whole seeds remain fresh for about twelve months while ground nutmeg can be stored for six months at the maximum, after which it will start losing its flavor.
  • After you have grated a fresh nutmeg seed, wrap it in plastic foil to preserve its oil content.