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Nutmeg vs. Allspice - How Different Are They?

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on July 27, 2023
Medically reviewed by Victoria Mazmanyan Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Nutmeg
vs
Allspice

Summary

Nutmeg is 2 times higher in calories and 4 times higher in fats, while allspice contains 1.5 more carbohydrates. 

Nutmeg is richer in vitamin B1, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. Allspice is higher in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and iron. Allspice provides 13 times more vitamin C than nutmeg.

Introduction

In this article, we will be comparing nutmeg and allspice, focusing on their nutritional composition and health impact (1, 2).

Actual Differences

Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of the Pimenta dioica plant that originated from Jamaica, while nutmeg is the fruit of Myristica fragrans of Indonesian origin. 

Nutmeg has a simple, pungent, and slightly spicy flavor. Allspice has a more complex aroma: it resembles a mixture of pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

Use

Nutmeg and allspice have similar uses in the kitchen. 

Nutmeg is commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as pies, custards, puddings, spice blends, and certain meat dishes. It's also used in some beverages like eggnog.

Allspice is also used in both sweet and savory dishes, including cakes, cookies, pickles, stews, marinades, and jerk seasoning blends. In some cultures, it's also used to flavor beverages and liqueurs.

Both spices are usually sold in ground or powdered form; however, nutmeg can also come as a whole seed, while allspice is a dried whole berry. 

Nutrition

The nutritional infographics below are presented for 100g servings of ground nutmeg and allspice.

However, these spices are naturally not consumed in such large amounts. One average serving size for allspice and nutmeg is 0.25 teaspoon or 0.5g.

Allspice consists of 72% carbohydrates and 9% fats, while nutmeg is made up of 49% carbohydrates and 36% fats. 

@macronutrient

Calories

Nutmeg is high in calories, while allspice is a medium-calorie food.

Nutmeg is 2 times higher in calories than allspice.

Nutmeg provides 525 calories per 100g (2.6 calories per serving), and allspice contains 263 calories per 100g (1.3 calories per serving).

However, when added to dishes, these barely change the caloric value of the food.

Minerals

Nutmeg and allspice are rich in minerals and can be a way of adding micronutrients to a dish.

Allspice is 3 times richer in potassium, 4 times richer in calcium, and 2 times richer in calcium, while nutmeg contains 2 times more zinc and 2 times more copper and phosphorus.

Allspice is also richer in selenium, whereas nutmeg is higher in magnesium and lower in sodium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Magnesium +35.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +88.5%
Contains less Sodium -79.2%
Contains more Zinc +112.9%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Calcium +259.2%
Contains more Iron +132.2%
Contains more Potassium +198.3%
Contains more Selenium +68.8%
Equal in Manganese - 2.943
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 56% 114% 131% 92% 31% 3% 59% 343% 379% 9%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 199% 265% 97% 49% 93% 11% 28% 185% 384% 15%
Contains more Magnesium +35.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +88.5%
Contains less Sodium -79.2%
Contains more Zinc +112.9%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Contains more Calcium +259.2%
Contains more Iron +132.2%
Contains more Potassium +198.3%
Contains more Selenium +68.8%
Equal in Manganese - 2.943

Vitamins

Although nutmeg and allspice are packed with vitamins, allspice has an overall higher vitamin content.

Allspice is richer in vitamins A, C, B2, B3, B6. It is 13 times higher in vitamin C and more than 5 times higher in vitamin A than nutmeg.

However, nutmeg is 3 times higher in vitamin B1 and 2 times richer in folate or vitamin B9.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Nutmeg
5
:
Contains more Vitamin B1 +242.6%
Contains more Folate +111.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +429.4%
Contains more Vitamin C +1206.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +10.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +120.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +31.3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 7% 0% 0% 10% 87% 14% 25% 0% 37% 57% 0% 5% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 33% 0% 0% 131% 26% 15% 54% 0% 49% 27% 0% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +242.6%
Contains more Folate +111.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +429.4%
Contains more Vitamin C +1206.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +10.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +120.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +31.3%

Fats

Nutmeg is 4 times higher in fats than allspice. It contains 0.18g of fats per serving, while the serving size of allspice provides 0.04g.

However, allspice is richer in polyunsaturated fats, while nutmeg is significantly higher in saturated fats.

Both nutmeg and allspice do not contain any amount of cholesterol.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +387.9%
Contains less Saturated Fat -90.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +574.3%
88% 11%
Saturated Fat: 25.94 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.22 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.35 g
46% 12% 42%
Saturated Fat: 2.55 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.66 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.36 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +387.9%
Contains less Saturated Fat -90.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +574.3%

Carbohydrates

Allspice contains more carbs than nutmeg. It has 0.36g per 0.5g serving or 72.1g of carbs per 100g, whereas nutmeg has 0.25g per the same serving size of 49.3g per 100g. This difference is mostly due to net carbs since they contain similar amounts of dietary fiber.

Both nutmeg and allspice are rich in fiber. Allspice is only 0.8g higher in fiber than nutmeg. Allspice is especially richer in soluble fiber.

Health impact

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is linked to several health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis (3).

Allspice reduces inflammation by inhibiting inflammation markers (4).

Nutmeg contains anti-inflammatory chemicals called monoterpenes and macelignans (5). However, more studies are needed to confirm the anti-inflammatory effects of nutmeg and allspice in humans.

Antibacterial Properties

Nutmeg and allspice show antibacterial effects on potentially harmful bacteria.

Nutmeg extract is effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Streptococcus mutans, which are known to cause dental cavities and gum infections (6).

Allspice provides antibacterial effects on S. aureus, Salmonella, and E. coli (7). 

These effects are due to eugenol content, which is a chemical that damages bacterial cell walls (5, 7).

Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes

A study shows that high-dose nutmeg extract can reduce blood sugar levels and promote pancreatic function (8).

Allspice and nutmeg contain eugenol that protects pancreatic islets, thus managing blood sugar levels (9).

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 27, 2023
Medically reviewed by Victoria Mazmanyan

Infographic

Nutmeg vs Allspice infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Fats +317.8%
Contains more Carbs +46.3%
Contains more Water +35.8%
Contains more Other +99.1%
Equal in Protein - 6.09
6% 36% 49% 6% 2%
Protein: 5.84 g
Fats: 36.31 g
Carbs: 49.29 g
Water: 6.23 g
Other: 2.33 g
6% 9% 72% 8% 5%
Protein: 6.09 g
Fats: 8.69 g
Carbs: 72.12 g
Water: 8.46 g
Other: 4.64 g
Contains more Fats +317.8%
Contains more Carbs +46.3%
Contains more Water +35.8%
Contains more Other +99.1%
Equal in Protein - 6.09

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Nutmeg Allspice
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Nutmeg Allspice Opinion
Net carbs 28.49g 50.52g Allspice
Protein 5.84g 6.09g Allspice
Fats 36.31g 8.69g Nutmeg
Carbs 49.29g 72.12g Allspice
Calories 525kcal 263kcal Nutmeg
Sugar 2.99g Allspice
Fiber 20.8g 21.6g Allspice
Calcium 184mg 661mg Allspice
Iron 3.04mg 7.06mg Allspice
Magnesium 183mg 135mg Nutmeg
Phosphorus 213mg 113mg Nutmeg
Potassium 350mg 1044mg Allspice
Sodium 16mg 77mg Nutmeg
Zinc 2.15mg 1.01mg Nutmeg
Copper 1.027mg 0.553mg Nutmeg
Manganese 2.9mg 2.943mg Allspice
Selenium 1.6µg 2.7µg Allspice
Vitamin A 102IU 540IU Allspice
Vitamin A RAE 5µg 27µg Allspice
Vitamin C 3mg 39.2mg Allspice
Vitamin B1 0.346mg 0.101mg Nutmeg
Vitamin B2 0.057mg 0.063mg Allspice
Vitamin B3 1.299mg 2.86mg Allspice
Vitamin B6 0.16mg 0.21mg Allspice
Folate 76µg 36µg Nutmeg
Choline 8.8mg Nutmeg
Saturated Fat 25.94g 2.55g Allspice
Monounsaturated Fat 3.22g 0.66g Nutmeg
Polyunsaturated fat 0.35g 2.36g Allspice

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Nutmeg Allspice
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
18%
Nutmeg
26%
Allspice
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
121%
Nutmeg
132%
Allspice

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Nutmeg
Nutmeg contains less Sodium (difference - 61mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Nutmeg
Nutmeg is lower in glycemic index (difference - 15)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Allspice
Allspice is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.99g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Allspice
Allspice is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 23.39g)
Which food is cheaper?
Allspice
Allspice is cheaper (difference - $6)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Nutmeg - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171326/nutrients
  2. Allspice - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171315/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.