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Mustard seeds have been highly prized culinary oil-seeds being in use since earlier times. The seeds are fruit pods obtained from mustard plant, in the Brassica family. Mustard are native to Asia Minor, but these days cultivated as one of the main commercial crop in Canada, India, China, and temperate climates of European region. The plant reaches about 4-5 feet in height and bears golden yellow colored flowers. Its tiny, round seeds measuring about one mm in diameter is encased inside a fruit pod, in a similar fashion like green pea pod.

Before it becomes the bright yellow condiment you’re familiar with, mustard starts out as tiny seeds that are white, brown, or black.

White mustard seeds (Sinapis alba or Brassica alba): The seeds are light straw-yellow colored and are slightly larger than the other two varieties. White seeds exhibit mild pungency.

Black mustards (Brassica nigra): The seeds are commonly seen in South Asia. The seeds are sharp and more pungent than other two varieties.

Brown mustards (Brassica juncea): The seeds are native to sub-Himalayan plains of Northern India.

Nutritional Facts of Mustard Seeds

Generally perceived as health benefiting spice, mustard seeds are indeed very rich in phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Being one of the chief oil seeds, mustards are indeed very high in calories; 100 g of seeds provide 508 calories. Nonetheless, the seeds are made of quality proteins, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

The seeds are high in essential oils as well as plant sterols.

Mustard seeds are an excellent source of essential B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine (vitaminB-6), and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.

Mustard seeds contain flavonoid and carotenoid antioxidants such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, and lutein. In addition, the seeds compose a small amount of vitamin anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, C, and vitamin K.

The seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

Mustards are rich source of health benefiting minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals especially concentrated in these seeds. Calcium helps build bone and teeth. Manganese is employed by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for the red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism.

Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds

mustard seeds

 

  1. Protects from gastrointestinal cancer

Packed with phytonutrients, mustard seeds are a great way to prevent and slow the progress of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that mustard seeds have properties that can restrict the growth of already present cancer cells and prevent the formation of new cancers.

  1. Can help control symptoms of asthma

 Mustard seeds are high in selenium and magnesium. Both the components give it a unique anti inflammatory property. Consumed regularly, it is known to control and keep the symptoms of asthma, cold and chest congestion at bay. Here are ten asthma symptoms you should know

  1. Can help you lose weight

 The wonder seeds are packed with B-complex vitamins like folates, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin etc. Apart from all the individual merits of these components, they are great in speeding up one’s metabolism leading to weight loss.

  1. Can slow ageing

Mustard is a great source of carotenes, zeaxanthins and lutein (also called flavonoid and caretonoid antioxidants) vitamin A, C and K. All these components put together make it rich in antioxidants which in turn slows the ageing process

  1. Relieves rheumatoid, arthritic and muscle pain

 The Selenium and Magnesium content of mustard lend it anti inflammatory and heat producing properties. When applied to the body leading to relief the pain.

Tip: To ease pain make a small bundle of the seeds in a muslin cloth, and add it to warm bath water. Either have a long relaxing bath, or soak your tired and aching feet for instant relief. Another great way is to apply the paste of the seed on the area for a few minutes.

  1. Lowers cholesterol

 Mustard contains high levels of niacin or vitamin B3. Niacin has properties that help lower one’s cholesterol levels and protects the arteries from atherosclerosis (plaque build-up). It also helps to regulate blood flow and protects the body from hypertension.

  1. Stimulates hair growth

For centuries mustard oil has been known to stimulate hair growth. It is known to be packed with vitamins and minerals, but what makes the difference is the high amount of beta carotene it contains. During oil production, beta carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which is excellent for hair growth. Apart from this, it also contains iron, fatty acids, calcium and magnesium, all of which promote hair growth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Tip: Using mustard oil once a week for a warm oil massage is a great way to relieve stress, symptoms of dandruff and promote hair growth. After you apply the oil, wrap your hair in a thin plastic bag or a warm towel to increase absorption of the oil into the scalp. Leave it for about half an hour to forty five minutes and then wash off. The oil has a strong odor and is thick in consistency, so make sure you use a good shampoo.

  1. Helps reduce constipation

 The seeds contain a unique substance called mucilage which is a thick slimy substance that is the key to relieving constipation. Apart from that, it is also high in fiber. In addition, mustard seeds are known to increase the production of saliva, leading to better digestion.

Tip: Have one teaspoon of mustard seeds two to three times a day to relieve constipation.

  1. Fights skin infections

 Packed with sulphur, mustard seeds are a great way to curb skin infections. Sulphur gives the seed anti fungal and anti bacterial properties that help fight common skin ailments.

  1. Improves immunity

 Because mustard has a large number of elemental minerals like iron, manganese, copper etc., it helps improve the body’s ability to fight disease.

NOTE:  Even though it has great healing properties, it can also be toxic in large quantities. Make sure you ask your physician before you self medicate.

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Mustard seeds have been highly prized culinary oil-seeds being in use since earlier times. The seeds are fruit pods obtained from mustard plant, in the Brassica family. Mustard are native to Asia Minor, but these days cultivated as one of the main commercial crop in Canada, India, China, and...