What? Mustard has its own day? That’s right, August 5th is National Mustard Day.
Principally, mustard is a green leafy vegetable. However, for most of us, we only know of mustard as a yellow condiment. Besides the spicy and pungent sauce, there are a lot of benefits to mustard. Not only is it a nutritious vegetable, but it also has other surprising health benefits.
As a vegetable, mustard is a cruciferous vegetable and comes from the same family as broccoli and cabbage. The leaves and seeds are a rich source of essential nutrients and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is also great source of vitamins A and K. It is also a decent source of folate and vitamin C. That is just scratching the surface.
The seeds and leaves are not the only ones which are beneficial. The mustard oil is also a rich source of other phenolic components and other valuable nutrients.
Due to its phytonutrients, it can be very valuable in fighting different kinds of cancer, including bladder, colon and cervical cancer. Mustard has an enzyme called myrosinase which can help form isothiocyanates which have anti-cancer properties.
When boiled, mustard leaves have a slightly tart and sour taste. It is best when blanched or half-cooked. This ensures that it retains its color. Otherwise, it becomes soggy and the sour taste comes up to the surface. For some, it is an acquired taste. It is an important ingredient in Asian cooking, where the sour flavor helps create a well-balanced taste and a slightly acidic punchy flavor.
Eating mustard seeds has also proven helpful against some skin conditions like psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Research studies have shown that mustard seeds are effective against skin inflammation and lesions. Mustard seeds also have a therapeutic effect against the common cold and sinus problems. It is a natural decongestant. It can also be taken as a tea to sooth sore throat.
Mustard is a lowly vegetable with surprising skin and health benefits. For skin and hair treatment, mustard oil and seeds have been used with other natural ingredients in creating balms and infusions. These infusions can be used for the hair, enriching and stimulating hair growth. Added to sesame or coconut oil, the resulting oil helps against acne and promotes clear complexion.