The spice nutmeg has been found to be healthy for the liver.
“Nutmeg contains the compound myrislignan, which was found to help protect the liver,” says Shana Spence, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in New York.
“This is probably due to the anti-inflammatory properties in the compound, but more research still needs to be done to pinpoint the exact reasoning behind this.”
Researchers have discovered that nutmeg can aid in liver toxicity (and also heart tissue damage).
The findings are published in the Journal of Proteome Research (2018). Nutmeg can also help combat high blood sugar and excess fat in the blood.
A mouse model of liver toxicity was used to test the mechanism behind the spice’s protective effects.
It’s believed that nutmeg helps fight liver damage by restoring more desirable levels of a variety of blood fats and acylcarnitines.
It was the myrislignan that was found to have a strong protective impact on damage to the liver.
“In addition to myrislignan, nutmeg also contains fiber, manganese, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and copper, which all contribute to health,” says Spence.
“Other health benefits include pain relief from inflammatory diseases, treatment of insomnia, antibacterial benefits that help prevent tooth decay and other anti-cariogenic [resistant to tooth decay] properties.
“However, nutmeg is one spice that is used sparingly in dishes because of its strong flavor — so nutmeg oil is another alternative.
What if You Don’t Like Nutmeg?
You can sneak it into a protein drink.
I find this spice very unpalatable, so I put it in something that I already don’t like the taste of: my post-workout protein drink.
The one level-teaspoon of the powder form that I add with the four ounces of pomegranate juice, water, vanilla protein powder, ground flax and chia seeds plus cinnamon actually gets noticed in the flavor of this concoction.
But it’s tolerable. If I can tolerate it mixed into my protein drink, chances are, others who find it unpalatable will as well.