Allspice, also known as pimenta, pepper, Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, Turkish yenibahar, and newspice, is the dried fruit (unriped) of the midcanope tree Pimenta dioica. The tree is commonly found in Southern Mexico and Central America. One of the common spices in the kitchen, allspice has the following health benefits.
Allspice is rich in vitamins and minerals. According to Nutrition and You, the plant contains vitamins A, B, and C. vitamin A is great for vision and the integrity of the skin and the mucus membranes. On the other hand, vitamin B promotes brain function, which includes thinking, learning, memory, and sensation. Meanwhile, vitamin C raises the body’s defenses against illness and infection. It also promotes the function of collagen, a substance that acts as cement and binds loosely connected cells and tissues.
In terms of minerals, allspice also contains calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Calcium and phosphorus work hand in hand to strengthen the teeth and bones. Calcium and manganese, on the other hand, play a role in the metabolic process and in the growth and development of tissues and cells. Magnesium promotes neuromuscular coordination while iron improves cellular and tissue oxygenation. Meanwhile, zinc enhances digestion and wound healing.
Allspice and the Immune System
Allspice contributes to the improvement of a person’s immunity. According to Organic Facts, research found that the plant has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. This means, it helps combat microorganisms, such as stomach bacteria Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes. These properties allow bacterial neutralization, before it invades the body.
Allspice as Pain Reliever
Allspice also helps alleviate pain. According to Herb Wisdom, one benefit of consuming it is the relief of join and muscle pain. As per the publication, the person makes a poultice using allspice powder mixed with water to form a paste. Then, the paste is spread on a clean cloth, which is used to cover the affected area.
Allspice can be added in meal recipes like Spiced Butternut Squash Soup. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include one-eighth teaspoon of ground allspice, three pounds butternut squash (halved, seeded), two tablespoons butter, one medium onion (sliced), one leek (sliced), two cloves garlic (sliced), two cans chicken broth, two large russet potatoes (peeled, quartered), one-eight teaspoon cayenne pepper, one-eight teaspoon ground nutmeg, one-eight teaspoon ground ginger, half-cup of sherry wine, one cup of cream, half cup of sour cream, salt, and pepper.
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheated to 190 degrees Celsius. Then, a thin layer of water is poured in a baking dish or a cookie sheet with sides. Next, the squash halves are placed cut side down on the dish and are baked for about 40 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the flesh easily. The squash is allowed to cool slightly and the peel is removed and set aside. After that, the butter is melted in a large pot over medium heat. Then, the onion, garlic, and leek are added and sauteed for a few minutes, until tender. Once done, the chicken broth is poured into the pot.
The potatoes are added and brought to a boil, cooking them for 20 minutes or until they become soft. Next, the squash is added and mashed with the potatoes, until the chunks become small. Then, a hand blender is used to puree the soup; an alternative is to transfer the food to a blender or food processor in batches, before pureeing them. Once done, the puree is returned to the pot. The soup is seasoned with allspice, cayenne pepper, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Then, the sherry and half cream are stirred in. The mixture is heated through, but not boiled. Finally, the soup is transferred into bowls and is topped with sour cream.
Allspice is considered healthy with its nutritional contents. This way, adding allspice to various meal recipes helps improve a person’s health and wellness.