Nutmeg is a popular spice made from the seeds of Myristica fragrans, a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. It can be found in whole-seed form but is most often sold as a ground spice.
It has a warm, slightly nutty flavour and is often used in desserts and curries, as well as drinks like mulled wine and chai tea. Although it’s more commonly used for its flavor than its health benefits, nutmeg contains an impressive array of powerful compounds that may help prevent disease and promote your overall health.
Though small in size, the seeds from which nutmeg is derived are rich in plant compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. These are molecules that have an unpaired electron, which makes them unstable and reactive. When free radical levels become too high in your body, oxidative stress occurs. It’s associated with the onset and progression of many chronic conditions, such as certain cancers and heart and neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, preventing cellular damage and keeping your free radical levels in check. Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, essential oils, and plant pigments, all of which help prevent cellular damage and may protect against chronic diseases.
Nutmeg is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called monoterpenes, including sabinene, terpineol, and pinene. These may help reduce inflammation in your body and benefit those with inflammatory conditions