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Nutmeg

Nutmeg – the spice that makes eggnog, pumpkin pie and garam masala smell so good – is an amazing natural remedy for everything from indigestion to aching joints and sleepless nights. The dried, brown seed of an evergreen tree native to the Spice Islands (also known as the Maluku Islands) of Indonesia, nutmeg has been used since antiquity as both a spice and a medicine. “Nutmeg really does have chemical constituents that make you feel good,” explained culinary historian Kathleen Wall of the Plimoth Plantation to National Public Radio (NPR).  From its home in Indonesia, nutmeg was traded in both India and China, where it was quickly adopted as a powerful, natural medicine. In India it is still thought to be an aphrodisiac and in China it is said to promote circulation of qi, stop diarrhea and warm the spleen and stomach.   By the 1600’s, nutmeg had spread throughout Europe and was an obsession of the upper classes – especially the English and Dutch, whose settlers brought it to North America. To learn more about the uses – and sometimes disturbing history – of nutmeg you can read a transcript or listen to the NPR show here: http://m.npr.org/news/World/165657050

Perhaps the reason nutmeg is so deeply associated with traditional, warm winter foods is that it really does help heat us up and fight off colds and flu when we are most likely to need it, not to mention that it is excellent at easing the kinds of tummy troubles that accompany a bit of seasonal overindulgence.  Once again, scientific study is finally starting to catch up with traditional medicine.    Two studies in 2012 showed that essential oil of nutmeg helps prevent cancer in two ways – first as an antioxidant and second by preventing tumors from forming new blood vessels to feed themselves. As if that weren’t enough reason to start adding a pinch to your meals or smoothies, in 2006, the Journal of Medicinal Food published a study showing nutmeg to have powerful antidepressant qualities. You can read more about it here: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-nutmeg-7250.html

While pre-powdered nutmeg is readily available in any grocery, freshly grated nutmeg is much more pungent and powerful. It has a fair amount of fiber and small amounts of many minerals.  In Ayurveda, nutmeg sprinkled over warm milk is drunk as a natural sleep aid. Considered one of the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes that stimulates appetite and digestion, nutmeg is a warming spice that soothes Vata and Kapha while increasing Pitta, for those familiar with Ayurvedic concepts of doshas. You can read more about nutmeg and health in this article: http://www.mapi.com/ayurveda_health_care/recipes/spicenutmeg.html

An excellent explanation of doshas – as well as a quiz to help you determine your type – can be found here: http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/terms/dosha

Just remember, with nutmeg a little goes a long way. Large amounts have been known to cause hallucinations and other psychoactive effects and pregnant women should avoid it as it can cause uterine contractions.

Apple Nutmeg Smoothie

Ingredients

  • apple-nutmeg-smoothie1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  •  7 fluid ounces coconut milk
  •  7 fluid ounces apple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg; plus a little to sprinkle on top of smoothie prior to serving

Directions:

 Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve in a chilled glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg before serving.   http://www.smoothieninja.com/apple-nutmeg-smoothie

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About MatchaGT by ShelleRae

Welcome! I am ShelleRae and I am very excited you are here. I joined the Smoothie Essentials team about 5 years ago now. Always health conscious and into prevention versus medication it seemed natural when the opportunity came up to take on the creation of this blog and the Smoothie Essentials blog as well. As mother to three and surrogate to many more I've practiced much of what I write on sometimes with great success and other times with a bit less. My friends and family are my test kitchen and my facts are most often from WebMD - they seem to have a fairly accurate and conservative approach. MatchaGT – the super premium Matcha Green Tea Introducing Matcha GT, the super premium Matcha Green Tea. Matcha GT is nature’s natural source of energy and antioxidants. Used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies, Matcha provides a powerful pick-me-up plus antioxidants and other health benefits to keep the body, mind and spirit in perfect balance. While many forms of green tea are strained or brewed, Matcha GT uses the whole tea leaf providing the full benefits and bold taste of whole green tea powder. My inspiration comes from others who also are striving to live a better life through lifestyle changes. More information is available at www.SmoothieEssentials.com or by emailing shelley@juicesolutions.com Benefits: Natural Caffeine – longer lasting energy Antioxidants – to fight cancer causing free radicals Chlorophyll – powerful blood cleanse Coffee concepts and juice bars across North America including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Smoothie King, and Booster Juice have recently started selling Matcha Green Tea smoothies, frappes, and lattes, promoting the great taste and health benefits of green tea. http://matchagt.com/ http://www.smoothieessentials.com/

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