Mustard seeds and mustard oil are staple spice components in many international cuisines. Both the culinary and medicinal properties of mustard seeds have been explored for thousands of years. Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant, which actually belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Mustard seeds are available in well over 50 varieties. However, three main varieties exist: black, white and brown mustard seeds.
Mustard seeds are extremely nutrient dense. Mustard seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Mustard seeds and its oil have long been used to treat inflammations of the body. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of mustard seeds can be attributed to its nutrient profile. Mustard seeds contain a very high source of selenium, which directly helps reduce inflammation. Mustard seeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which further help reduce inflammation and its accompanying secondary symptoms. Due to the anti-inflammatory potential of mustard seeds, mustard seeds and mustard oil have been used for centuries as a natural treatment of arthritis.
Protect Against Cancers
Mustard seed and mustard oil contain an abundance of phytonutrients that may help prevent and treat cancers. Mustard seeds contain glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, both active health promoting compounds. The presence of isothiocyanates in foods has been extensively studied for their anti-cancer potential. In various clinical studies, isothiocyanates have repeatedly shown to help reduce the risk of cancer formation.
Source of Selenium
Mustard seeds are a very rich source of selenium, which along with fiber, acts to help lower the risk of cancer formation. Selenium also works alongside Vitamin E to perform antioxidant activated in the body. The antioxidant potential of selenium helps protect the body from heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke. Selenium also plays a role in protecting against inflammation and thus provides relief from the symptoms of arthritis.
Traditional Uses of Mustard Seeds
- Mustard oil is traditionally consumed to help lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease.
- At the sign of a headache, mustard oil is often used to massage the temple region to help alleviate pain and tension.
- Mustard seeds and mustard oil are prescribed to help treat menopausal symptoms.
- Mustard seed and mustard oil consumption is said to stimulate appetite and improve gastric functioning.