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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pass the MUSTARD and its health benefits, please!

Mustard greens and mustard seeds are among the oldest known herbal remedies for a great number of health conditions. These herbal remedies are mentioned in ancient writings of Sanscrit and New Testament. Curative purposes and health benefits of mustard seeds were used in ancient Rome and Greece. In most modern kitchens, both mustard seeds and mustard greens are used for a variety of purposes: to spice up sandwiches, salads and other meals, to preserve pickles and so on.

Types of mustard
Mustard comes from the cabbage family and can be found in forty different varieties. However, there are three principal types of mustard that are commonly used: white, brown and black mustard seeds. White seeds, that are actually yellow in color, are the most mild. They are the ones used to make the yellow mustard most of us put on our hotdogs. Brown seeds, which are dark yellow in color, are a bit stronger and are used to make Dijon mustard. Black mustard seeds are the most pungent in taste.
Mustard seeds are used in their whole seed form, as a ground powder or combined with vinegar, wine or other liquids to create the paste most of us are familiar with.

Nutrition facts
The mustard seed itself contains 35 calories, 2.6 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fat and 2.6 grams of carbohydrate in each portion of two teaspoons. The seeds also contain dietary fiber when consumed whole, contributing 1 gram or 4 percent of the recommended daily value. Mustard seeds are high in antioxidants and are nutrient dense with selenium, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. One teaspoon of white mustard seed, which is the kind used for the yellow condiment, is packed with 87.1mg of omega-3 fatty acids, 84.2mg of omega-6 fatty acids, 22.2mg of potassium, 27.3mg of phosphorous, 9.7mg of magnesium and 16.9 mg of calcium. Mustard seeds are also rich in producing anti-oxidants (mainly Vitamins A, Vitamin E and Vitamin K) and phyto-nutrients for our body. These are an excellent source of many type of B-complex vitamins mainly niacin, folates, thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B-6.

Health benefits
Apart from just adding flavour to your food, the seeds have always been known for their medicinal properties. Here are some of the better known ones.

Mustard 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.

Mustard 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.

Mustard protects you 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.

Mustard 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.

Mustard improves immunity
Mustard seeds have antiseptic as well as anti-fungal properties. This makes them very useful for purging the digestive system and increasing the body's natural defence system.

Mustard 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.
Mustard is also known as a good relief to headache

Mustard 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, the paste heats up the area and helps loosen muscles, leading to relief from 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.

Mustard helps reduce constipation and may relieve symptoms of piles and fissures
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 fibre. 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.

Mustard 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.

Mustard 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 odour and is thick in consistency, so make sure you use a good shampoo.

Nutrition based on type of mustard
Nutritionally, the value of mustard is dependent upon the type of mustard that is made and the ingredients used in processing. Some of the most common mustard types available in the United States are yellow mustard, deli-style or brown mustard, Dijon mustard, honey mustard and stone-ground or whole-grain mustard. Honey mustard, for example, contains twice as many calories as either yellow or brown mustard because of the addition of honey, a simple sugar. One tablespoon of honey mustard may contribute as much as 25 calories, while yellow mustard only contains 11 calories per serving. Brown mustard contains approximately 14 calories per tablespoon.
Mustard is often promoted as a smart diet choice when used as a substitute for mayonnaise, because it is lower in fat and calories. However, those who are following a sodium-restricted diet, such as patients with high blood pressure or kidney disease, should read nutrition labels carefully for salt content. One tablespoon of either yellow or brown mustard can contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium, almost 8% of the recommended intake of 2,400 milligrams.

One more idea to take advantage of mustard health benefits...

Easy mustard chicken recipe

Total Time: 25 mins / prep time: 5 mins - cook time: 20 mins - servings: 4

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup French's mustard
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Dry Chicken on a paper towel. Paint the chicken on both side with mustard. Roll in the bread crumbs that have been seasoned with salt& pepper. Gently shake off surplus crumbs.
Place on sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 20 min in 400F degrees oven.

Nutritional facts for easy mustard chicken
Serving Size: 1 (119 g)
Amount Per Serving and % Daily Value
Calories 144.5

Calories from Fat 28 / 19%
Total Fat 3.1 g / 4%
Saturated Fat 0.6 g / 3%
Cholesterol 72.6 mg / 24%
Sodium 163.9 mg / 6%
Total Carbohydrate 2.8 g / 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g / 0%
Sugars 0.2 g / 1%
Protein 24.5 g / 49%

Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/ , http://www.naturalnews.com/030916, http://www.naturalnews.com/033720, http://health.india.com/, http://www.fitday.com/, http://www.food.com/recipe/