Why a glass of nutmeg milk at night can work wonders for you!


Nutmeg milk, especially at bed time, can give you better sleep, relaxation and benefits such as heart health and immunity.

If you are someone who relishes a warm cup of milk at night, then adding some nutmeg to it will not only help you relax but also make this drink extremely healthy. Nutmeg milk is touted to have qualities that calm you down and help you sleep better. Not only this, nutmeg milk can also relieve you of anxiety and stress. It can aid digestion as well. Nutmegโ€™s pain relief properties can provide you with a well-needed rest at night. Read on to know more about the health benefits of drinking nutmeg milk at night, and the right way to make this beverage.

What is nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a spice that is obtained from the seeds of the Myristica fragrans tree, found in Moluccas, Indonesia. The taste of nutmeg is sweet, as well as slightly nutty, and it is often added in sweet and savoury dishes. You can even add in baked goods and beverages.

Nutmeg contains myristicin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. A study published in Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, states that nutmeg oil can fight against 25 genres of bacteria. However, it is important to understand that consuming the right dosage of nutmeg is crucial, as it can be toxic in large quantities as well.

Nutrition of nutmeg

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, one tablespoon, or 7 g of nutmeg contains:

  • Energy: 36.8 kcal
  • Protein: 0.4g
  • Fat: 2.54g
  • Carbohydrate: 3.4g
  • Fibre: 1.46g
  • Calcium 12.9mg

Health benefits of nutmeg milk

1. May improve sleep

Nutmeg contains myristicin, which is a compound that has been touted to have sedative effects. A study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research, states that nutmeg, when combined with milk, has sleep-inducing properties, and proves to be an effective treatment of insomnia as well. This is why a hot mug of nutmeg milk is a soothing bedtime drink.

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2. Relives anxiety

Nutmeg, when mixed with milk, stimulates the serotonin hormone. Not only does this hormone provide pleasure, but it also leads you to have a very calm state of mind states this study, published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research.

3. Anti-Inflammatory properties

Another nutmeg benefit is that it contains compounds such as monoterpenes and flavonoids. These are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Nutmeg also contains cyanidins and phenolic compounds which also have anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in Food and Nutrition Researchย reports a rat study where some rats were given some nutmeg oil, while others were given an inflammation-producing solution. The rats that were given nutmeg oil showcased less inflammation, pain and joint swelling.

A glass of brown milk with some cinnamon, nutmeg.
Make sure to add only a pink of nutmeg in your milk. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. Aids digestive health

Nutmeg helps with better digestion as well. A study published in Phytochemistry Reviews, indicates that nutmeg extracts might help improve gastrointestinal function. It adds that nutmeg has been used as a medicine for gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, colic, indigestion and diarrhoea. However, more research is needed on the same.

5. Antioxidant effects

Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress. Antioxidants can prevent cell damage, and help prevent many chronic diseases. A rat study, published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, concluded that cellular damage was prevented in rats with the help of nutmeg extract. The group of rats that did not get nutmeg, experienced tissue damage as well as death of cells.

6. May support cardiovascular health

Nutmegโ€™s compounds may have positive effects on heart health by potentially improving lipid profiles. Nutmeg contains potassium, and potassium is known to help regulate heart rate as well as blood pressure. An animal study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science, states that nutmeg supplement can reduce heart disease risk, as well as prevent high cholesterol.

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How to make nutmeg milk?

The recipe for nutmeg milk is very simple, and a steaming cup of this sleep-inducing beverage can be prepared quickly.

  • Take one cup of milk in a saucepan, and heat it on medium heat. However, make sure not to let it boil.
  • Take a pinch of ground nutmeg, and stir in. You can adjust the amount of nutmeg based on what makes you comfortable. However, do not overdo it.
  • Serve this drink hot

Side effects of nutmeg milk

It is important to remember that while nutmeg can offer many potential benefits, it should be consumed in moderation. High doses of nutmeg, in milk or without it, can cause adverse effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and in severe cases, even toxicity.

The Netherlands Journal of Medicine reports a case of a 37-year-old, who had two teaspoons, or 10 g of nutmeg. She soon experienced a dry mouth, dizziness, grogginess as well as confusion. The long-term risks of consuming too much nutmeg can also lead to nutmeg intoxication. High doses of myristicin, present in nutmeg can lead to organ failure as well, states this study, published in Forensic Toxicology.

Some nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and other nuts
Excessive amounts of nutmeg can be dangerous. Image courtesy: Pexels

How much nutmeg can I have every day?

The recommended amount for culinary purposes is generally less than a teaspoon for an adult. While preparing food, one-fourth or half a teaspoon of nutmeg is usually enough to enhance the flavour. If you are adding nutmeg in milk, start with a pinch, and go up to a maximum of one-fourth teaspoon. Also, donโ€™t have more than 2 cups of nutmeg milk a day.

Summary

Nutmeg milk is a warm and comforting nighttime drink that can help aid sleep, treat insomnia, and promote a feeling of calmness. Nutmeg has many other qualities as well as promoting better heart health, as well as keeping chronic diseases at bay. However, you must only stick to the recommended dosage of nutmeg, as nutmeg intoxication can be dangerous. It is a good idea to consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice on adding nutmeg milk into your diet, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.

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