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Nutmeg and Weight Loss

By Lynne Haley Rose ; Updated July 18, 2017

Nutmeg comes from the nut of a tropical evergreen native to Indonesia. Some Caribbean islands, such as Grenada, also propagate nutmeg trees. First introduced in Europe by Arab traders and later supplied by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century, nutmeg historically figured largely as a trade good and has long been highly valued for its culinary and medicinal properties. If you wish to spice up your dieting fare, look into nutmeg and weight loss.

Features

Ground nutmeg is high in fiber, which can help you feel more full when cutting calories; it is also high in saturated fats--58 percent of its nutritional value--which can sabotage your efforts to lose weight. Other nutritional features of ground nutmeg are low sodium and low cholesterol. Nutmeg is an excellent source of the mineral manganese, which is a catalyst for breaking down fats and cholesterol, an important process in losing weight.

Effects

While you probably can recognize the taste of nutmeg in eggnog or spice cake, you might not be aware of the spice's medicinal properties. Small doses of ground nutmeg can soothe a stomach ache or dissipate flatulence. The spice can help ease vomiting and nausea. Nutmeg is soporific--sleep inducing--so theoretically you could take nutmeg to sleep through dinner, thus lessening your calorie intake.

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Considerations

Nutmeg oil is extracted from the nut through a steaming process. It can be ingested, mixed to form a medicinal body rub or used in aromatherapy applications. Among the properties enthusiasts attribute to nutmeg oil is the ability to relieve stress and anxiety, which can help you lose weight.

Misconceptions

Essential oil of nutmeg contains a substance known as myristica which, when taken in excess, is a poisonous narcotic. An overdose of nutmeg oil can cause hallucinations, vomiting, seizures and even death. In amounts that are used to flavor food, though, nutmeg poses little danger.

Prevention/Solution

Although nutmeg is a good source of dietary fiber, using it as an aid to losing weight is ill-advised. Taken in amounts more than about 12 tsp of nutmeg in powdered or oil form can poison you. Even if you use it in moderate amounts for dieting--from 6 to 8 tsp--it causes unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, nausea, dry mouth and irregular heart beat. Other substances, such as bran, fill you up more effectively without the danger of poisoning.

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