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25 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Health benefits of mustard seeds

Fahmida Hashem

Mustards are available in black, brown and white colour and Bengali food uses mustard oil and/or black mustard seeds in many dishes as a spice.  They’re known to have numerous health benefits since they’re low in calories and high in nutritional value and have a lot of antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. In terms of nutritional value, mustard is an excellent source of antioxidants. Its high content of selenium and magnesium gives it anti-inflammatory benefits. A small amount, as little as a teaspoon, packs a powerful nutritional boost, providing both omega3 and omega6-fatty acids, as well as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. The dense nutrition in mustard speeds up body metabolism while lowering blood pressure.

The taste benefits of mustard seeds and the easy availability of the vegetable have made it popular. Some of the mustard seeds health benefits are mentioned below:    

The presence of compounds like glucosinolates and mirosinase in mustard seeds are known to use phytochemicals to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The selenium and magnesium content in it helps in providing relief from rheumatic arthritis. Migraine occurrence is also reduced owing to the magnesium content present in the mustard seed. These are a good source of dietary fibres that improve digestion in the body. They make the bowel movements better. Selenium content in mustard seeds provides good resistance to the body against cancer cell formation. A number of nutrients present in mustard seeds like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium also assist in the treatment of blood pressure relief. The presence of minerals like copper, magnesium, iron and selenium in it are responsible for the prevention of asthma attacks.

A study, published in Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, suggested that mustard oil could reduce the risk of acute myocardial infarction or heart attack. The health properties of mustard oil attribute to the omega-3 fatty acid presence. Copper and iron in mustard can assist in red blood cell formation. One tablespoon of mustard contains six percent of the recommended value for iron. A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia. Leaves of the mustard plant have tremendous cholesterol-lowering power. Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables, in particular, mustard greens have an amazing ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract which facilitate easy excretion of these acids from the body. Mustard greens may prove valuable for women during the menopausal phase. Magnesium, along with calcium, encourages bone health and prevents bone loss associated with menopause.

Skin benefits of mustard seeds: Mustard seeds are a natural scrub. Use this mix to scrub your face and exfoliate dead skin. This is used with aloe vera gel, can act as a great combination to hydrate your skin, make for a great source of carotene and lutein. These seeds contain a good amount of sulphur which is known for its anti-fungal properties. They help ward off skin infections.

Hair benefits of mustard seeds: Mustard Vitamin A is a great nutrient for hair growth. It is also a great stimulant which leads to faster hair growth. It contain protein, calcium, vitamin A and E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. All of these together strengthen your hair from within. Strengthened hair means lesser hair fall too.  Also it contains fatty acids. These are known to condition your hair from deep within. It also gives hair a good shine and bounce.

Other uses: Mustard is often used to relieve congestion caused by bad cough or cold. The extract of mustard seeds is useful in relieving spasms and back pain. This induces heavy sweating, which is used to lower fever. It helps release the toxins from the body and has been useful in flu and cold too.

But mustard is usually consumed in small amounts. When consumed as a condiment, it is not associated with significant health benefits. However, mustard is a low-calorie alternative to many higher-fat condiments like mayonnaise. A single serving of mustard is usually about a teaspoon. A packet of mustard that you find in restaurants is often about a one-teaspoon serving. It is not likely that you will consume a lot the condiment's spicy, pungent, and salty flavour.

Culinary Uses of Mustard- Mustard is globally used as a flavouring agent and culinary preservative. It gives a nice flavour when added as a seasoning in salad dishes, mayonnaise, and dips. Whole mustard seeds give flavouring to pickles and dips. The familiar topping is usually made by combining mustard seeds with vinegar, salt, lemon, and other ingredients.  

Winter is the best season to get mustard seeds health benefits and storage.

The writer is a consultant nutritionist

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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