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 flavor 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.
This article reviews 8 science-backed health benefits of nutmeg.
Nutmeg contains an abundance of antioxidants, including plant pigments like cyanidins, essential oils, such as phenylpropanoids and terpenes, and phenolic compounds, including protocatechuic, ferulic, and caffeic acids.
One animal study showed that consuming nutmeg extract prevented cellular damage in rats treated with isoproterenol, a medication known to induce severe oxidative stress.
Rats that did not receive the nutmeg extract experienced significant tissue damage and cell death as a result of the treatment. In contrast, rats that received nutmeg extract did not experience these effects.
Test-tube studies have also shown that nutmeg extract exhibits powerful antioxidant effects against free radicals.