Mustard is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, same as cabbage and broccoli. Mainly grown in Europe, the mustard plant is now popularly cultivated in Asia and North Africa. An herb, mustard was popular in the ancient Roman and Greek era. It is esteemed to be a multi-speciality herb in North America with major health benefits.
There are three variants of mustard, namely Brassica nigra (black mustard), Brassica alba (white mustard), and Brassica juncea (brown mustard). Black mustard is predominantly used in Asian cuisine for its strong flavour and aroma; it is used for preparing the popular Dijon mustard. White mustard, also called yellow mustard, has relatively milder taste, and is commonly used in American cuisines.
Mustard Plant Nutritional Facts
Mustard plant has a host of helpful constituents. The seeds of this plant are rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, it is an excellent source of vitamin A and dietary folate. Mustard leaves or greens are good sources of minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre too. The mustard plant is also loaded with vitamins – A, K, C, and folate.
Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds
The mustard plant contains phenolic compounds and other essential nutrients. Different parts of the plant, including leaves, seeds, and oil, offer myriads of health benefits besides its unique flavour. Mustard seeds have therapeutic usage as well.
- Relieves Psoriasis: Tiny mustard seeds have shown efficacy in treating psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder. According to research, mustard seeds can cure lesions and inflammation associated with psoriasis. Treatment with mustard seeds stimulates the good enzymes like glutathione peroxidise, catalase, and superoxide dismutase, to activate protective healing action.
- Treats Dermatitis: Mustard seeds have therapeutic properties in treating contact dermatitis. Research shows that consuming mustard seeds regularly can relieve the symptoms of dermatitis. It also heals tissues and reduces swelling.
- Treats Respiratory Disorders: Mustard seeds are valued for its therapeutic effects in treating respiratory disorders like sinus and cold. It is an excellent expectorant and decongestant, which helps in clearing the air passage by eliminating mucus. Use of mustard seeds is mentioned in traditional Ayurveda because of its warmth. It is a prized element having calming effect on vata and kapha. Mustard oil has potential therapeutic benefits in treating a wide range of sinus and related ailments. The seeds are equally effective in relieving chronic bronchitis and asthma.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health: Mustard oil is an excellent choice for cooking. Studies reveal that it demonstrated excellent results in reducing the rate of cardiac arrhythmia, reduced ventricular enlargement and chest pain. These properties of mustard oil are attributed to its omega-3 fatty acid profile and other helpful components.
- For Skin and Hair Care: Mustard seeds serve as an amazing beauty aid. It stimulates healthy growth of hair and prevents hair fall. It is also very effective in curing acne and promoting clearer and blemish-free complexion.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Mustard seeds also have potential cholesterol lowering properties. The whole plants, just like other cruciferous vegetables in the family, have wonderful abilities to bind the bile acids in the digestive tract that facilitates quick excretion of the acids from the body. Bile acids are mainly cholesterol; the binding process reduces cholesterol levels.
- Prevents Cancer: As a member of the Brassica family, mustard seeds contain generous amount of phytonutrients and glucosinolates. This ingredient is proven to be valuable against some types of cancers like colon, cervical, and bladder cancer. Glucoinates breaks down in the body to form isothiocyanates found in mustard. Several studies have shown the anti-cancer effects of these vital components that inhibit the growth of cancer cells and guard against malignancy. It also releases chemo-preventive properties by restoring the glutathione levels and stimulating apoptosis induction without affecting the healthy cells.
Mustard seeds have a gamut of health benefits beyond its culinary usage. A certain amount of daily intake can aid to a lot of health benefits.