Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Ground nutmeg

Nutmeg, ground or grated, are discussed here together as they are very similar. Nutmeg should be used in small quantities as it can otherwise be toxic.
54/06/40  LA:ALA

General information:

From Wikipedia: Nutmeg (also known as pala in Indonesia) is one of the two spices – the other being mace – derived from several species of tree in the genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia.”

Origin and distribution:

“The common or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, is native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas, Indonesia. It is also cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada, and in Kerala, a state formerly known as Malabar in ancient writings as the hub of spice trading, in southern India.”

Culinary uses:

Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater. ...

In traditional European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces, and baked goods. It is also commonly used in rice pudding. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.”

Essential oils:

“The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. This volatile fraction typically contains 60-80% d-camphene by weight, as well as quantities of d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin. In its pure form, myristicin is a toxin, and consumption of excessive amounts of nutmeg can result in myristicin poisoning. The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems.”

Nutmeg butter:

“Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semisolid, reddish-brown in colour, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. About 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, which can be used as a replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.”

Psychoactivity and toxicity:

“In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects. In its freshly ground form (from whole nutmegs), nutmeg contains myristicin, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and psychoactive substance. Myristicin poisoning can induce convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain. For these reasons, whole or ground nutmeg cannot be imported into Saudi Arabia except in spice mixtures where it comprises less than 20%. It is also reputed to be a strong deliriant.

Fatal myristicin poisonings in humans are very rare, but three have been reported, including one in an 8-year-old child and another in a 55-year-old adult, with the latter case attributed to a combination with flunitrazepam.”

Nutmeg seeds can be attacked by molds, particular in the tropics, and some of these molds produce aflatoxins, which are known to cause cancer. This is why nutmeg seeds of inferior quality may not be sold commercially. However, infested ground nutmeg is sometimes illegally placed on the market.

Toxicity to dogs:

“Nutmeg is highly neurotoxic to dogs and causes seizures, tremors, and nervous system disorders which can be fatal. Nutmeg's rich, spicy scent is attractive to dogs which can result in a dog ingesting a lethal amount of this spice. Eggnog and other food preparations which contain nutmeg should not be given to dogs.”

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 525 kcal26.2%
Fat/Lipids 36 g51.9%
Saturated Fats 26 g129.7%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 49 g18.3%
Sugars 3 g3.3%
Fiber 21 g83.2%
Protein (albumin) 5.8 g11.7%
Cooking Salt (Na:16.0 mg)41 mg1.7%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
MinManganese, Mn 2.9 mg145.0%
MinCopper, Cu 1 mg103.0%
ElemMagnesium, Mg 183 mg49.0%
VitFolate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 76 µg38.0%
VitThiamine (vitamin B1) 0.35 mg31.0%
ElemPhosphorus, P 213 mg30.0%
ElemCalcium, Ca 184 mg23.0%
MinIron, Fe 3 mg22.0%
MinZinc, Zn 2.2 mg22.0%
ElemPotassium, K 350 mg18.0%

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 0.35 g4.0%
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0 g< 0.1%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 76 µg38.0%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.35 mg31.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.16 mg11.0%
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 1.3 mg8.0%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 3 mg4.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.06 mg4.0%
Vitamin A, as RAE 5 µg1.0%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Magnesium, Mg 183 mg49.0%
Phosphorus, P 213 mg30.0%
Calcium, Ca 184 mg23.0%
Potassium, K 350 mg18.0%
Sodium, Na 16 mg2.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Manganese, Mn 2.9 mg145.0%
Copper, Cu 1 mg103.0%
Iron, Fe 3 mg22.0%
Zinc, Zn 2.2 mg22.0%
Selenium, Se 1.6 µg3.0%