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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 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, preservative, seasoning in salad dishes, mayonnaise, and dips.
From providing muscle pain relief to managing respiratory problems, mustard seeds are 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 28.09 g
- Fibre 12.2 g
- Sugars 6.79 g
- Water 5.27 g
- Protein 26.08 g
- Calcium 266 mg
- Iron 9.21 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 .
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 .
Health Benefits Of Mustard Seeds
1. Relieve congestion
Mustard seeds are 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 critical inflammatory autoimmune disease 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 any illness including psoriasis  .
3. Improve digestion
Mustard seeds are a good source of fibre that helps in improving digestion and 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. Bone damage is common during menopause and eating mustard seeds will prevent that as it has 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. Research has found that isothiocyanates prevent colon cancer in the gastrointestinal tract  . 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 autoimmune disorders  .
7. Treat muscle aches
The rubefacient properties possessed by mustard seeds make it an effective measure for relieving muscle pain  . A poultice or plaster made from mustard seeds has been in use for ages, as it helps to get 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 be treated too, 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 and reduce the ventricular enlargement and the chest pain associated  .
9. Remove poison
The emetic properties possessed by 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 help in protecting 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 is known to interfere with the absorption of calcium  .
- People with thyroid issues and kidney stone should avoid consuming mustard seed products.
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