Is nutmeg a tree nut? The popular spice is used in various cuisines but whether it’s a tree nut or not is not always clear. Find the answer in this informative article!
Nutmeg is a spice extracted from the fruit of the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrant) and its covering is used for another popular spice- mace. It is native to the spice islands of Indonesia. Nutmeg is cultivated from the seed of the myristica fragrant plant. Nutmeg is one of the key ingredients used in baking and is also popularly used to flavor potatoes, meat, puddings, vegetables, confectionaries, etc. But is nutmeg a tree nut? Let’s find out the answer in the following sections of this article.
Is Nutmeg a Tree Nut?
Despite the name, Nutmeg is not a tree nut rather it is extracted from a seed. Therefore, it is usually considered safe to eat if you have a tree nut allergy. Since both nut and seed have a protective covering, it is easy to have confusion. The technical difference between a seed and a nut is that a seed is a fertilized ovule of a plant with the potential to give rise to a new plant, while nuts are fruits having a hard outer shell that doesn’t crack naturally and have an edible seed inside them. As a generic rule, all nuts are seeds (whether of a tree or legume), but all seeds are not nuts.
Health Benefits of Nutmeg
Nutmeg provides numerous health benefits. Found only in wealthy households earlier, it was one of the most expensive spices because of its medicinal properties. It is now more accessible and affordable and is a part of the regular diet for many people around the world.
1. Digestive Issues
Eating nutmeg can cure various digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, or gas. A pinch of nutmeg in the soup can help secrete digestive enzymes, which can help in relaxing and providing relief to stomach problems.
2. Induce Better Sleep
Nutmeg can help treat insomnia because of its calming properties. It can help aid sleepless nights and reduce stress for a better quality of sleep.
3. Relieves Pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of nutmeg can help in reducing pain from joints and muscles. Applying nutmeg’s essential oil topically can provide instant pain relief.
4. Dental Health
Known for its anti-bacterial properties, nutmeg can help in treating bad breath problems. It is a common ingredient in toothpaste and helps in maintaining oral health.
5. Skin Health
Consuming nutmeg or applying it externally as a face pack can help in achieving glowing skin. Its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties can treat acne and remove blackheads and whiteheads.
6. Blood Circulation
Nutmeg helps regulate the overall functioning of the body by providing essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium. It improves blood circulation and keeps the heart healthy.
7. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants can reduce free radicals’ levels in the body and prevent cellular damage. It may help in preventing chronic diseases and also prevents cardivascular disease.
8. Lowers Cholesterol
Having nutmeg can lower the lipid and lipoprotein in the blood, which helps lower harmful cholesterol levels. By maintaining the cholesterol levels, nutmeg helps with the overall health of your body.
Ways to Use Nutmeg
- You can sprinkle nutmeg powder in your daily tea, coffee, or milk for enhanced taste.
- Add a whole or powdered nutmeg into your soups for a warm taste.
- As said before, nutmeg is a popular ingredient for baking. Add or sprinkle nutmeg powder over the baked dishes to reap the many benefits of the spice.
- Nutmeg can add a strong taste to fruits and salads. Simply sprinkle powdered nutmeg over the fruits and salads.
- You can use nutmeg essential oil for pain relief and aromatherapy.
- Add into face masks/face scrubs for glowing skin.
While nutmeg can provide numerous health benefits, one should keep in mind how much you are consuming. Large amounts of nutmeg, more than six tablespoons a day, can be toxic and can cause serious health issues. Also, if you are consuming nutmeg daily you should not have more than 120 mg a day. Pregnant women should avoid consuming nutmeg to prevent any complications.