Mustard produces such a tiny seed yet it yields many health benefits. Mustard is one of the most popular spices in the entire world and is used in every country as a favorite spice. Part of the cabbage family, mustard can be used in its whole seed form, as a ground powder or combined with wine, vinegar or some other liquid to create a loose paste.
There are three varieties of mustard: black, brown and white. The mustard plant grows to be quite tall and has a bright yellow flower.
It was imported to US through Spanish missionaries and seen as a cure-all. Its sharp and bitter taste, especially mixes into paste with vinegar, gave off a medicinal fume long before its health benefits were discovered.
Better than a Vitamin
Mustard seeds are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, protein, selenium and zinc. Selenium is a nutrient that has been shown to help reduce asthma, arthritis and certain cancers. Magnesium also reduces asthma and lowers blood pressure. The effects of mustard are currently being studied for menopausal women and on migraine attacks.
Other Healthy Benefits
Just a few of mustard’s possible healthy benefits include:
Speeds up metabolism
Stimulates digestion, increasing saliva as much as eight times more than normal
Inhibits cancer cell growth and possibly prevents other types of cancer as well
Treatment of skin diseases through the application of sulfur found in mustard
Reduces in the severity of asthma
Decreases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Lowering of high blood pressure
Prevention of migraines
Facilitation of gastric juices which aids digestive problems and gives digestive aid
Soothing of sore throats, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia
Disinfectant qualities it provides
Additionally it has four powerful qualities: it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Add Mustard to Your Diet
Mustard is for more than just hot dogs at the ballpark. Whether in ground powder form, seed form or out of the bottle, there are multiple ways to include mustard into your diet to reap its benefits. And since its pungent, tangy taste enhances food so uniquely, it can easily replace fattier condiment options such as mayonnaise, butters and sugary catsups.
Mustard is often used in Indian, French, German and Irish foods. But there are many more options as well.
Include powdered mustards in salad dressings, egg dishes, pickles, marinades and vinaigrettes.
Sprinkle whole mustard seeds on salads, over vegetables and rice and on roasting meats. Try roasting them first in a dry skillet for a nuttier taste.
Mustard paste is useful. Bottled mustard can be rubbed on meats before roasting. Try dipping cut vegetables in a mustard sauce for a unique, flavorful dip. Mustard paste can easily be added to mayonnaises, vinaigrettes, marinades and barbeque sauces.
Mustard is so versatile; you will find many exciting and new ways to use this old standby.