Mustard for nutrition and health - everything you need to know
The health benefits of mustard reach far beyond the taste it adds to your hot dogs.
Most widely known as a condiment and table sauce, mustard is rarely celebrated for the wide range of ways it can support healthy skin, cardiovascular disease and even joint pain!
In this article we take an in-depth look at exactly why black mustard seeds and yellow mustard should be included in everyone’s diet.
History of Mustard
Mustard is one of the most widely and earliest grown crops of the region native to the temperate areas of Europe.
For decades mustard has been cultivated in Asia, North Africa, and Europe.
It gained much popularity among ancient Greeks and ancient Romans.
Ancient Greeks used mustard as medicine, while the Romans used it both as medicine and food.
The British became the world’s first mustard millers, as they found mustard as an industrial ingredient.
The known type, yellow mustard, was introduced in 1904.
Yellow mustard is paired with an American hotdog which became the reason for its popularity.
Presently mustard is grown in 21 countries giving major production in Russia, India, Ukraine, Canada, and Nepal.
Types Of Mustard
Mustard is an all-purpose cruciferous vegetable belonging to the brassica family.
This plant comes in a large number of varieties, but the 3 most popular are;
- White Mustard (Brassica alba),
- Brown Mustard (Brassica juncea), also called Indian mustard
- Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)
These varieties are commercially grown to attain their young flower stalks, leaves, and seeds.
Among these three popular types, white mustard is mild in taste, and black mustard is rich in strong aroma and brown mustard; used in the production of Dijon mustard offers a pungent taste.
Mustard is blended with other ingredients like wine, honey, and spicy peppers to deliver a unique taste.
Mustard is also seen in making salad dressings. Meat and seafood are mixed with mustard to have a peppery and strong flavor.
The whole, crushed or ground mustard seeds are mixed with lemon juice, honey, wine, or other liquids to make a smooth paste called mustard sauce.
Mustard sauce ranges from sweet to spicy.
Nutritional Content of Mustard
Mustard is packed with rich and healthy nutrients.
The seeds of mustard contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Not only that, but edible mustard parts also contain dietary folate, vitamin A, vitamin K, and dietary fiber.
The oil extracted from mustard seeds contains monounsaturated fatty acids.
Due to omega 3 fatty acids, mustard oil is good for the heart.
The yellow seeds produced by the mustard plant are used to make popular condiments, but for ages, mustard leaves are used as food as well as medicine.
Research on mustard plants show that they contain rich nutrients that can be used for health purposes.
While the studies don’t agree with all traditional uses of it, they suggest that mustard can bring various health benefits.
11 Health Benefits of Mustard
Usage of mustard plants has gained popularity for ages due to their medical and health properties.
The edible sections of mustard plants are not only used to benefit health but they are also used to cure various diseases.
Whether it is a digestive issue, respiratory disorder, blood pressure, cholesterol, or some skin-related disorders.
Mustard delivers a bundle of benefits nearly in all the disorders of the body.
Different parts of the mustard plant are here to give a large amount of health benefits.
You might have heard a common saying: Let thy food be thy medicine.
So why not use this natural product to benefit yourself. Let’s dive into the enormous health benefits of mustard.
1. Mustard to Tackle Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes red, scaly, and itchy patches on different body areas.
If your immune system is strong, it renders its attack, but if it is weak, then you are going to face severe itchiness.
This condition can be wiped off by using mustard seeds.
The grounded brown mustard seeds carrying anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial for treating Psoriasis.
Not only that, researches have shown that these tiny seeds speed up the healing process by stimulating the activity of beneficial enzymes.
2. Therapeutic Effects Of Mustard For Contact Dermatitis
Mustard seeds also have a therapeutic effect on contact dermatitis; a condition in which patients’ skin develops an itchy rash after coming in contact with the allergen.
Investigations have shown that mustard seeds help in healing the effects of contact dermatitis that include reduction in ear swelling and healing of tissues.
3. Effective In Cardiovascular Diseases
These flavonoids protect you against many heart diseases. Mustard oil extracted from mustard seeds is healthier than other oils.
The heart-friendly oil helps keep the cholesterol level to an optimum level.
Various studies were made to analyze the effects of mustard oil on patients at risk of heart diseases, heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction.
Mustard contains a rich amount of antioxidants; carotenoids, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and other crucial compounds that prevent the body against any kind of damage and disease.
The antioxidants guard your cells against stress and damage due to free radicals that accumulate with aging, lifestyle, and behavior.
It was found that mustard oil left positive results on patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Mustard oil is a good option for people with high blood pressure, heart diseases, and those who want to improve their heart health.
Those looking for an excellent vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids can opt for mustard oil.
4. Mustard Lowers Cholesterol Levels
The leaves of the cruciferous vegetables play an essential role in cholesterol-lowering ability.
Leaves of mustard bind with the bile acids in the digestive tract, which helps in the removal of excess acids from the body.
The bile acids form the foundation of cholesterol; so, the binding process will help to remove excess cholesterol from the body.
Another fact is that steamed mustard greens are more effective than raw ones.
Steam the greens and enjoy them with a little amount of salt and pepper.
These contain a basket of nutrients and eradicate the blockage in arteries, increasing blood circulation, thus eliminating the risk of a heart attack.
The existence of vitamin B6 in mustard leaves provides protection against the clumping of platelets and reduces the risk of thrombosis.
Mustard Benefits After Menopause
The females may experience osteoporosis or other bones related issues after menopause.
Scientific evidence shows that 20% of bone loss can happen during menopause.
Because the estrogen level drops, which is responsible for depositing the calcium into the bones.
Mustard greens again put the females of menopause at an advantage.
As the green contains sufficient calcium and magnesium content that improves the bones health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Bones-related issues after menopause can be reduced by taking a considerable amount of mustard greens.
6. Protection Against Respiratory Disorders
Usage of mustard in respiratory disorders is of much significance.
It is an amazing decongestant and expectorant that helps to dilate the air passageway by clearing the mucus present.
Different home remedies are also here to eradicate several respiratory issues.
It is helpful in the treatment of chronic bronchitis.
In an asthma attack, a combination of mustard oil and camphor helps in easy breathing by breaking down phlegm.
If you are facing a sore throat, gargles with mustard tea will be beneficial.
7. Mustard Benefits to The Digestive System
The digestive system plays an important role in the body’s overall functioning.
Different varieties of mustard greens are excellent in controlling diabetes.
The oxidation activities of mustard create a barrier against oxidative stress in diabetes.
Leaves of mustard reduce glucose levels by stimulating glucose metabolism and reducing lipid peroxidation.
Not only this, mustard is enriched in dietary fiber, which increases digestion and helps maintain cholesterol levels within a reasonable range.
8. Muscular And Joint Pain Relief With Mustard
The plaster made from mustard seeds helps to reduce muscular and joint pains.
When applied to the affected area, the plaster grants relief from muscular spasms.
But do not apply the plaster directly on the skin as its warmer effect may result in sore blistering.
Place some linen sheets on the skin, then apply the paste to enjoy beneficial effects.
- Why not look into the benefits of CBD oil for pain relief if you are struggling with conventional methods.
9. Prevention of Cancer
The seeds of the mustard plant contain greater amounts of healthy phytonutrients called glucosinolates which are valuable against cancers of the bladder, cervical, and colon.
The anti-cancer substances present in mustard seeds help restrict cancer cells’ growth.
These also create a barrier against the formation of malignant cells.
The seeds also possess chemopreventive properties that help restore glutathione levels and stimulate apoptosis without harming healthy cells.
10. Mustard Brings Benefits For Eye Health
Just like collard greens, mustard greens are a good vegetable source of two antioxidants; lutein, zeaxanthin which gather in the macula of the retina.
These antioxidants, when taken in a significant amount, prevent macular degeneration.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in vision by maintaining a clear cornea. Vitamin A is also a vital part of Rhodopsin, a protein that helps safeguard night blindness and allows you to see in low lights.
Mustard greens contain rich amounts of Vitamin A, so you can consume vitamin A from these to improve your eyes health.
11. Increase Brain Functioning With Mustard
The fatty acids present in the mustard oil multiply brain’s functioning.
They also help to treat depression and boost memory.
The heating property of mustard benefits individuals suffering nerve damage.
It helps in stimulating the healing effect by giving strength to the nerves.
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After reading the above enormous health benefits of mustard, you realize that it is a full-fledged nutrient powerhouse that will serve you with rich and wonderful benefits.
Whether it is mustard seeds, mustard greens, or mustard oil, all parts of this plant have their own benefits.
A known member of the Brassica family, the mustard plant contains all the essential nutrients required in the normal body’s functioning.
Consume reasonable amounts of the mustard plant to enjoy a happy and healthy life.
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