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Mustard seeds are the small, round seeds of the mustard plant. Mustard seeds are one of the most helpful natural ingredients used on a daily basis. They are not only useful in cooking but also are useful for medicinal applications since time immemorial  .
A rich source of nutrients including iron, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, fibre, magnesium and calcium, mustard seeds possess a phytonutrient called glucosinolate. It also contains an amino acid, cysteine, which has antioxidant properties  . Mustard seeds are used as a flavouring agent, a preservative, and for seasoning in salad dishes, mayonnaise, and dips.
From providing muscle pain relief to managing respiratory problems, mustard seeds can be extremely beneficial for your overall health  . Read on to know the different ways through which mustard seeds can help improve your health.
Nutritional Value Of Mustard Seeds
100 grams of the seeds contain 508 calories of energy and 36.24 g fat. The remaining nutrients in 100 grams of mustard seeds are as follows  :
- Carbohydrate 28 g
- Fibre 12 g
- Sugars 7 g
- Water 5 g
- Protein 26 g
- Calcium 266 mg
- Iron 9 mg
- Magnesium 370 mg
- Phosphorus 828 mg
- Potassium 738 mg
- Sodium 13 mg
Types Of Mustard Seeds
There are three different types of mustard seeds, black, brown and white or yellow  .
Brassica nigra is the plant that produces black mustard seeds and is native to North Africa. It is the most pungent type of mustard.
Brassica juncea plant produces the brown mustard seeds which are also called as Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, or Oriental mustard  . It is also the type used to make Dijon mustard a famous salad dressing.
Sinapis alba plant is where the yellow or white mustard is cultivated from. The white mustard plant bears light tan seeds that are a little larger than brown mustard seeds. And it is due to the addition of turmeric, the seed paste turns into a bright yellow colour  . It is the type used to make American mustard.
Health Benefits Of Mustard Seeds
1. Relieve congestion
Mustard seeds can be an essential part of home remedies for treating cold and sinus related problems. It can act as a decongestant and expectorant, by clearing out the mucus in the airway. In Ayurveda, it is believed to soothe Vata and Kapha  . Mustard seeds are effective for providing relief from respiratory disorders.
2. Treat psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition that causes a rapid build-up of dead skin cells and mustard seeds are known to treat inflammation and wounds related to psoriasis  . Research shows that medication with mustard seeds enhances the movement of healthy enzymes like superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase which enhance defensive and treatment of many illnesses including psoriasis  .
3. Improve digestion
Mustard seeds are a good source of fibre that helps improve digestion and prevent and resolve digestion-related problems. The presence of soluble dietary fibre makes your bowel movements better, thus boosting the overall metabolism in your body .
4. Manage menopause symptoms
Mustard seeds have been shown to be beneficial for women during their menopausal period. Reduction in bone mass due to the drop in oestrogen levels during menopause is a common occurrence. Eating mustard seeds can help bone mass retention due to their high content of calcium and magnesium  . Calcium and magnesium both assure the strength and firmness of bones.
5. Prevent cancer
Mustard seeds contain good amounts of glucosinolates and myrosinase enzymes that break down the glucosinolates into isothiocyanates. Animal studies have shown that isothiocyanates can prevent cancer cell growth in colon and other gastrointestinal tract cancer  . These isothiocyanates have been shown to inhibit the growth of existing cancer cells and monitor the formation of such cells  .
6. Possess anti-inflammatory properties
Mustard seeds are high in selenium, this nutrient has been shown to reduce the severity of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis  . The presence of magnesium in the seeds also helps in lowering blood pressure, restores normal sleep patterns in women with menopause, and reduces the frequency of migraine attacks. The anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds make it extremely beneficial in the treatment of various inflammatory and autoimmune disorders  .
7. Treat muscle aches
The rubefacient properties possessed by mustard seeds make it an effective measure to relieve muscle pain  . A poultice or plaster made from mustard seeds has been in use for ages, as it helps to attain relief from chronic pains and aches. That is, a chemical called allyl isothiocyanate that is produced by wet mustard powder helps in curing sore muscles and rheumatism . Stiff or sore muscles can also be treated, by consuming the seeds.
8. Boost heart health
The cardioprotective properties possessed by mustard seeds are asserted to possess the ability to reduce the rate of cardiac arrhythmia, ventricular enlargement and associated chest pain  .
9. Remove poison
The emetic properties of mustard seeds make it an effective and beneficial aid in removing the effect of poison from your body . Consuming mustard seeds help cleanse your body from the toxins.
10. Possess antifungal properties
Mustard seeds have antifungal as well as anti-bacterial properties that can help protect your body against ringworms and other bacterial infections  .
Healthy Mustard Seed Recipes
1. Hot & sour greens
- 1 pound greens (such as bok choy, kale, collards)
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- Slice the greens into thin shreds.
- Heat the canola oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for one minute.
- Then, add the greens along with the mustard and stir well.
- Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar and add to the greens.
- Cook covered over medium heat until vegetables are tender.
2. Beets in mustard vinaigrette
- 2-3 red beetroots
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons mustard seed paste
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Cut the tops off the beetroots and place it in a pot of cold water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and boil until the beetroots become soft (40 minutes).
- Put the mustard in a bowl and whisk in the vinegar and olive oil, until it becomes smooth and creamy.
- Add the onions.
- Take off the beetroot skins and slice it into thin pieces or cubes.
- Add the mustard paste and mix well.
- Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Side Effects Of Mustard Seeds
- Mustard seeds may cause heating effects, therefore applying it on the skin should be done carefully  .
- Uncooked mustard seeds contain a substance called goitrogens which are harmful to the thyroid glands.
- Mustard contains oxalate which can interfere with the absorption of calcium  .
- People with thyroid issues and a tendency to develop kidney stones should avoid consuming products made of mustard seeds.
Infographics by Sharan Jayanth
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