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Break out the nutmeg: It’s officially joined the ranks of science-approved curative spices


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Have you found yourself talking about, drinking, and eating turmeric more than ever before? You’re not alone, as thanks to its popularized anti-inflammatory powers, the spice has become a super-ubiquitous diet staple. Well, new research might lead you to draw another not-at-all-new spice from the back of your cupboard: Though nutmeg has been used for years in traditional Chinese Medicine to combat gastrointestinal diseases, you may not think you need it much outside of the holiday season. But a new study claims it might be a great addition to your health-boosting diet—particularly for your liver.

The study, published in The Journal of Proteome Research, sought to build on previous literature that suggested nutmeg can treat asthma, toothaches, and infections, according to a press release. And it was a success: Researchers analyzed the effect of nutmeg on liver toxicity in mice and found that the spice has a specific compound, myrislignan, that protects the liver from damage. Additionally, they found that nutmeg extract restores the levels of lipids (fats integral to living cells) and acylcarnitines (which help break down fatty acids) to healthier levels for the liver.

The study found that nutmeg has a specific compound that protects the liver from damage, and nutmeg extract restores the levels of lipids (fats integral to living cells) and acylcarnitines (which help break down fatty acids) to healthier levels for the liver.

But before you start pounding nutmeg, know that moderation is key. Doctor of natural medicine Josh Axe, founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, cautions that “consuming too much nutmeg can actually cause toxicity. Use it in moderation as part of a healthy diet to flavor your favorite beverages and desserts and enjoy the myriad of health benefits it provides.”

And hey, given that nutmeg makes for flavorful breakfast bowls and vegetarian chili alike, I have no problem with that advice.

Incorporate these spices into your rotation to become a master chef, but before you use them, stick them in the freezer.

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