Is Nutmeg Dangerous…the Answer Will Surprise You
As I write this the holidays are upon me and you.
The holidays are a special time because we focus intensely on food and we use a ton of spices that we don’t traditionally use during the rest of the year in copious amounts.
One of these spices is nutmeg. Nutmeg is a “traditional holiday spice” that’s used in all kinds of holiday desserts, including pies, cookies, drinks and more.
But did you know nutmeg has a potentially dangerous side to it?
I wasn’t aware of this, but if you eat too much nutmeg it can actually replicate the effects of marijuna and get you high.
That’s pretty crazy to read, fortunately you have to ingest a significant amount to feel those effects. Consuming more than 1.5 tablespoons in a sitting, or 10 grams, is the amount you’d have to take to feel the adverse effects.
And I don’t know about you, but 10 whole grams of nutmeg isn’t what my recipes call for. No where close for that matter.
Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin which when taken in high amounts can lead to hallucinations as well as increased heart rate, nausea, seizures, and pain.
The good news here is even though nutmeg could lead to hallucinations, when you consume it in lower quantities there’s a good chance that it’ll benefit your health.
Let me show you how adding a few servings. of nutmeg into your life could actually be good for your health.
Nutmeg Is A Spice For Life
Nutmeg certainly isn’t one of those spices that everyone has on hand in their kitchen.
Unless you’re an avid baker you likely don’t have any.
But, nutmeg is one of those holiday spices that gives the season so much of its character. Interestingly enough, nutmeg actually comes from an evergreen tree… but, it’s a tree that you can only find in the tropics of Indonesia. Nutmeg is harvested from the seed of the Myristica fragrans tree, which can actually reach heights of 50 feet or more!
Used for thousands of years in ancient cultures, we now know that nutmeg can help to support your health in a number of different ways.
At this point evidence shows it’s useful at helping to control inflammation…good for helping give your brain some kind of support while also assisting in pain relief as well as inducing better sleep and even promoting better heart health.
And, you could even use it to improve digestion.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to experience these benefits read on and I’ll show you why nutmeg is so helpful at helping us maintain good health.
1 - Controls Pain and Relieves Inflammation:
Inflammation is generally an after effect of some kind of injury. Chronic inflammation typically happens when some kind of injury persists for an extended period of time,
Nutmeg can help to control the pain of some kinds of injuries while helping to reduce the inflammation that results too.
In a study published by Food & Nutrition Research, researchers used a nutmeg on animals to see how it would improve their response to pain. They found that nutmeg could help to relieve the animals of pain associated with inflammatory joint pain and also help to physically reduce swelling in that area.
Another study published by the National Institute of Hygienic Sciences in Japan featured research conducted on mice. In that study they were able to demonstrate that nutmeg’s seeds were effective at decreasing inflammation in mice.
By modifying how your body responds to inflammation not only could that help you live longer (chronic inflammation is increasingly being linked with early death) it could also make the quality of your life now, better.
2 - May Make Your Brain Better:
I realize that promising a better brain isn’t exactly the sexiest way to sell you on getting more nutmeg in your diet. That being said, we believe that based on the current research into nutmeg’s effect on the brain, you could get a better brain from nutmeg.
As recently as 2017 studies in animals showed that when some of the oils in nutmeg were extracted and then applied to the test subjects that specific neurotransmitters in the hippocampus were increased. The researchers concluded that if this effect were experienced by humans it could help with the treatment and prevention of some pretty serious conditions in the brain. These include Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s.
Touching on this, nutmeg may also help your brain by inducing better sleep, which we know will have positive effects on brain health.
Dr. Axe writes: “Several studies have focused on the insomnia-busting properties of this spice and demonstrated that it could be an effective remedy to help support better sleep. In one study, taking a capsule containing nutmeg for four weeks was found to improve symptoms of insomnia while also enhancing mood and decreasing weakness. Similarly, an animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that taking an extract of nutmeg helped significantly increase the duration of sleep in chickens.
3 - Could Help With Heart Conditions:
Spices of various types are known to help with heart health. You’ve definitely seen me feature these before in my articles. Spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and more have all been shown to help with cardiovascular health and nutmeg may help as well.
While I wish we had human studies to support these claims, we do have a few well-researched animal studies that we can draw conclusions from.
In a 2016 animal model researchers demonstrated nutmeg seeds could absolutely help with heart health by means of helping to control good and bad cholesterol.
In that study they discovered that nutmeg was able to take total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol down, which is a surefire method for helping to preserve heart health.
Then, in another animal study they were able to duplicate those same findings as well as showing that triglycerides were lowered. Even more encouraging was that nutmeg seemed to help prevent blood clots from forming which is a huge boon to heart health as this could mean that it’d be an effective treatment for the prevention of conditions like stroke.
More Benefits to Nutmeg?
The truth is nutmeg isn’t as well studied as many other spices, and that means there could be a number of additional benefits.
For instance we know that nutmeg may help with digestion, but it may also do so much more, we just need to be able to study it more to find out what those benefits are.
At the least it tastes good, so it does have that going for it. Just don’t overdo it and eat 10 grams!