Mustard health benefits includes lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cancer, helps strengthens teeth, bones and gums, treating fever and flu, providing respiratory relief and promoting digestion. Other benefits includes alleviating dysmenorrhea, treating psoriasis and contact dermatitis, managing diabetes, maintaining fluid balance, relieving pain, enhancing the skin, and nourishing the hair.
What is Mustard?
Mustard refers to an array of plant species belonging to the family Brassicaceae, which includes turnips, cabbages, and broccoli among their many relatives. Mustard plants have tiny seeds that are ground and then mixed with wine, lemon juice, water, and other ingredients to create a paste or sauce with colors ranging from yellow to brown depending on the type of mustard used. For instance, black mustard is used to prepare Dijon mustard, which features a robust aroma and a sharp pungent flavor; while the white mustard (added with turmeric) is used to make the famous American yellow mustard, which features a milder taste.
French monks coined the name mustard, which is derived from its Latin name, ‘mustum ardens’ that means burning wine. By some accounts, it was the very first condiment ever used. In fact, mustard has been mentioned several times in the Holy Scriptures and historically, it has been found in the tombs Egyptian Pharaohs. At present, mustard products are among the best-selling commodities worldwide. As a spice, it ranks as the second. Consumption of mustard escalated since the early 20th century when it was introduced as a complementary food in American cuisine. Nonetheless, mustard is more than just a condiment. Altogether, its seeds, leaves, and oil offer a gamut of health benefits. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician, and Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine have revered mustard for its contributions to health and medicine.
Nutrition Info (100 g)
Protein 4.4 g – 9% RDA
Omega-3 fatty acids 488 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids 455 mg
Vitamin A 71 IU – 1% RDA
Vitamin C 1.5 mg – 2% RDA
Vitamin E 0.4 mg – 2% RDA
Vitamin K 1.8 mcg – 2% RDA
Thiamin 0.3 mg – 23% RDA
Riboflavin – 2% RDA
Niacin 0.5 mg – 3% RDA
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg – 3% RDA
Folate 7 mcg – 2% RDA
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 mg – 3% RDA
Choline 22.4 mg
Calcium 58 mg – 6% RDA
Iron 1.5 mg – 8% RDA
Magnesium 49 mg – 12% RDA
Phosphorus 106 mg – 11%
Potassium 138 mg – 4% RDA
Zinc 0.6 mg – 4% RDA
Copper 0.1 mg – 4% RDA
Manganese 0.4 mg – 21% RDA
Selenium 32.9 mcg – 47% RDA
13 Impressive Health Benefits of Mustard
1. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Mustard is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that both exhibit heart health benefits. Since the human body cannot produce these two essential fatty acids, consumption of Omega-rich foods are necessary. Omega-6 fatty acid when balanced with Omega-3 promotes proper development, normal brain function, and most of all, a healthy cardiovascular system. Omega fatty acids reduce triglyceride levels as much as 30% while it raises HDL or the good cholesterol levels. Likewise, such fatty acids reduce blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, prevents harmful blood clots and plaque formation within the arteries.
2. Mustard Helps Prevent Cancer
Apart from omega fatty acids, mustard contains an abundance of phytochemicals called glucosinolates that fight against various cancers including bladder, cervical, and colon cancer. With the aid of myrosinase enzymes present in mustard, glucosinolates breaks down to form isothiocyanates.
According to various studies, isothiocyanates inhibit cancer development through neutralizing carcinogens, eliminating its poisonous effects, and prevents further cancer cell mutations. Researchers have concluded that the anti-cancer effect of these compounds present in mustard seeds further leads to the restoration of glutathione levels and stimulate apoptosis or cell death among malignant cells without affecting the healthy ones.
3. Helps Strengthen Teeth, Bones, and Gums
Mustard contains calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus that helps strengthen teeth. Calcium helps restore your teeth’s enamel so it won’t become susceptible to erosion caused by eating acidic foods, prevent bleeding of the gums and is essential for strong bones, helping ward off the risk of developing osteoporosis.
4. Mustard Exhibits Treats Fever and Flu
Mustard exhibits calefacient properties that induce sweating and reduces high body temperature. This is a useful property when trying to reduce a fever as sweating induces a cooling effect on the body.
5. Provides Respiratory Relief
It’s seeds provide relief from a number of respiratory ailments, especially during cold months. In fact, mustard’s respiratory healing properties have long been valued in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Inhaling the vapors of steamed mustard seeds, for instance, help decongest blocked nasal passages. Moreover, mustard has heating qualities that help expel phlegm and mucus out of the throat and lungs. Massaging mustard oil on your chest also aids respiration during an asthma attack. Mustard seeds are also known to be helpful in the prevention of asthma attacks due to the presence of copper, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Overall, mustard is a decongestant and expectorant.
6. Mustard Promotes Digestion
It improves digestion from beginning to end. It helps increase saliva production in the mouth, where the first step of digestion begins. Furthermore, it increases metabolism and digestion of food and thereby, assists in prevention of indigestion, excess gas and bloating. In addition, mustard seeds are excellent source of dietary fiber that promotes regular bowel movements.
7. Alleviates Dysmenorrhea
Mustard contains magnesium, which helps balance hormones and reduces menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea. Studies suggest that magnesium supplementation through food is a therapeutic alternative in addressing dysmenorrhea. Regardless, mustard exhibits incredible pain-relieving qualities and warm effects that soothes most types of pain.
8. Treats Psoriasis and Contact Dermatitis
It can help treat psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by scaly, red patches on the scalp and ears. Mustard contains phytochemicals that stimulate the production of glutathione, also known as the mother of all antioxidants. Glutathione is a natural antioxidant within the body, with its liver as its reservoir. The mother of antioxidants prevents and repairs damage to important cellular components, helps modulate the levels of toxins in the body, reduces inflammation, and speeds up the healing process.
9. Assists in Diabetes Management
It is a surprisingly effect way to help manage blood glucose levels, which coupled with the presence of magnesium helps to improve insulin production and sensitivity. Diabetes, especially type 2, suffer from impaired insulin function, but can be effectively reversed with good dietary and lifestyle changes.
10. Helps Maintain Fluid Balance
It contains potassium, a mineral that acts as an electrolyte to keep the heart, brain, kidneys, and other organ systems running in good condition. Electrolytes help deliver electrical signals throughout the body and improve nerve reflexes. On the other hand, potassium deficiency leads to undesirable results such as muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, and cardiac dysrhythmias.
11. An Effective Pain Reliever
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine revered mustard for its pain-relieving prowess. A Salve made of it’s seeds can instantly sooth aches and pains. Likewise, Pythagoras also endorsed mustard seeds’ effectiveness in curing scorpion stings. Mustard, with its rubefacient properties, provides analgesic effects that can relieve a variety of painful conditions, such as muscular spasms, rheumatism, and even pain more deeply innervated such as toothache.
12. Provides Skincare Benefits
Mustard can be an excellent addition to your beauty regimen. Mustard seeds used in mechanical exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells gently and naturally. It eliminates all traces of impurities off your skin, nourishes it from within, and leaves it well hydrated. Mustard seeds contain vitamins A and C that helps brighten dull skin. Moreover, mustard contains sulfur that kills bacteria and fungi; thereby, preventing skin bacterial and fungal infections that sap away the natural beauty of your skin.
13. Mustard Nourishes Hair
Pressed mustard seeds produce mustard oil that contains a high concentration of vitamin A, a vital nutrient in promoting stronger and faster hair growth. In addition, mustard contains omega fatty acids that nurture hair and provide it with luster and manageability. It also contains protein that strengthens hair to prevent split ends and thinning of hair as a result of structural weaknesses.
Mustard has been around since time immemorial. Whether it is yellow, white, or black, mustards will always have an amazing reputation in culinary applications as well as traditional herbal medicine. Hailed by the Father of Medicine himself, Hippocrates, mustard will never disappoint with its list of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.