Allspice, also known as Jamaican pepper, is a spice renowned for its ability to add incredible flavor to many foods. It is widely used in Mexican and Central American cuisines. It originates from the Caribbean region and has been popular with the local tribes for many centuries.
The spice tastes well either whole or ground, but the former is better to use in marinades and meat dishes.
Its ability to make many foods more delicious is not the only great thing about whole allspice. This particular spice also offers some important health benefits that give you more reason to use it more often.
These benefits are:
- Treating indigestion.
Some of the elements allspice contains increase motility of the gastrointestinal tract. They also facilitate the production of certain enzymes. This results in improved digestion and allows the spice to relieve stomachache in some cases.
- Treating inflammation.
Allspice possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat stomach flu and other similar conditions. Its effect on other inflammatory processes isn’t particularly strong.
- Mild anesthetic effect.
The berries of this spice contain an essential oil called eugenol. It can be used as a local anesthetic and antiseptic. This is one of the reasons that explain why allspice can help relieve stomachache. Oils derived from this plant can be used for treating serious infections caused by E. coli, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella.
- High nutritional value.
Although you won’t eat enough spice to make a significant effect on your daily intake of essential nutrients, it is good to know that even a small amount of it you use when cooking contains these important elements. It is especially rich in minerals, including copper, potassium, iron, and manganese.
100 grams of allspice contain:
- Carbohydrates – 72.12 g (55% of the required daily amount)
- Dietary fiber – 21.6 g (54% RDA)
- Niacin – 2.860 mg (18% RDA)
- Vitamin A – 540 IU (18% RDA)
- Vitamin C – 39.2 mg (63% RDA)
- Calcium – 661 mg (66% RDA)
- Manganese – 2.943 mg (128% RDA)
- Iron – 7.06 mg (88% RDA)
Allspice can be used in a great variety of dishes. It is great for vegetarians as it makes a great addition to veggie-based curries, sauces and soups. Many Caribbean peoples add it to various liquors. For example, Jamaican dram is made from this spice.