Mustard seed is an unsung superhero of food. Packed with healing benefits, it seldom gets the attention it deserves.
For example, when was the last time you heard anyone say anything about mustard seed? Likely never. Well, unless it was in the parable about the mustard seed from the Bible. A parable which while it does hint at the greatness of the tiny little seed, never touches on its healing benefits.
But the humble mustard seed is brimming with nutrients and can do a number of great things for your health. Let’s take a closer look.
5 surprising health benefits of the humble mustard seed
1. Heart Health:
Mustard seed contains the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA supports heart health.1 Research has been done into ALA’s ability to help reduce2…
- high blood pressure
- inflammation levels
- and blood clots.
2. Nutrient Absorption:
Mustard seeds are a source of an enzyme called myrosinase.3 Myronsianse is the only enzyme capable of breaking down glucosinolated into absorbable nutrients.4 Among these is sulforaphane, a powerful nutrient that’s been studied for its potential anticancer activity.
(Hint: Broccoli is loaded with sulforaphane so try lightly steaming this delicious green veggie and pairing it with a mustard sauce to get the most benefits.)
3. Immune Support:
The mustard seed is a great source of healthy phytonutrients. These bioactive food compounds support your immune system and overall health in a variety of ways.
Phytonutrients can help5…
- fight inflammation
- curb allergic reactions
- slow aging
- protect the nervous system
- fight disease linked oxidation
4. Asthma Prevention:
White mustard seeds have been shown to be an effective asthma therapy in animal studies. Used in a poultice the seeds make a novel choice as an were asthma deterring therapy and studies into their use are continuing.6
5. Nutritional Boost:
But those four therapeutic benefits are far from all that mustard seed has to offer. These potent little seeds are positively overflowing with nutrients, which is where they REALLY shine. Mustard seeds are actually some of the most nutritious food on our planet.
They deliver a bunch of minerals, such as7…
And they’re also packed with good-for-you vitamins including7…
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
Getting the most out of your mustard
And mustard seeds can be an important source of the trace element selenium, an important antioxidant nutrient that our bodies require to function.8
The mustard seed has been a part of the human diet for at least thousands of years. The seeds were mentioned in both Jewish and Christian religious texts dating back two thousand years. Today were still fond of mustard, which is one of the most popular condiments here in the USA. But we seldom think of the seeds that are used to make the spicy yellow spread.
Today’s mustards typically start with powdered mustard seed, vinegar and water as a base, but then have a variety of other ingredients added in. Common additions include oil, sweeteners, beer and wine. And the United States favorite mustard, the common yellow variety, often contains turmeric to give it that distinct yellow hue.
It’s those added ingredients that determine whether the mustard you’re eating is more or less healthy. The more basic the “recipe” the more health benefits your mustard is likely to deliver. A simple mustard made with organic seeds, distilled water and organic apple cider will pack FAR more nutritional punch than a yellow variety that contains unhealthy artificial sweeteners or alcohol.
So the next time you pick up a bottle of mustard be sure to pay close attention to the label and skip the bright yellow mustard that’s filled with artificial flavors colors and chemicals. Pick an organic brand with a few simple straightforward ingredients instead.
1. Bradley P Ander, BSc, Chantal MC Dupasquier, BSc, Michele A Prociuk, BSc, and Grant N Pierce, PhD FACC FAHA. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their effects on cardiovascular disease. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2003 Winter; 8(4): 164–172.
2. Lee Hooper, Roger A Harrison, Carolyn D Summerbell, Helen Moore, Helen V Worthington, Andrew Ness, Nigel Capps, George Davey Smith, Rudolph Riemersma, and Shah Ebrahim. Omega 3 fatty acids for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004; (4): CD003177.
3. Arno Vikhoever et al. Studies In Mustard Seeds and Substitutes: I. Chinese Colza (Brassica Campestris Chinoleifera Viehover). Journal of Agricultural Research. vol. xx, NO. 2.
4. Bourderioux A, Lefoix M, Gueyrard D, Tatibouét A, Cottaz S, Arzt S, Burmeister WP, Rollin P. The glucosinolate-myrosinase system. New insights into enzyme-substrate interactions by use of simplified inhibitors. Org Biomol Chem. 2005 May 21;3(10):1872-9. Epub 2005 Apr 14.
5. Gupta C, Prakash D. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents. J Complement Integr Med. 2014 Sep;11(3):151-69.
6. Du LN, Zhu WN, Liu XY, Chen WY, Yu X, Li M, Jin YG. Preparation, in vitro and in vivo evaluation of cataplasm of white mustard seed varnish to prevent asthma. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2014 Dec;39(23):4596-602.
7. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Basic Report: 02024, Spices, mustard seed, ground. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.
8. Bañuelos GS, Walse SS, Yang SI, Pickering IJ, Fakra SC, Marcus MA, Freeman JL.Quantification, localization, and speciation of selenium in seeds of canola and two mustard species compared to seed-meals produced by hydraulic press. Anal Chem. 2012 Jul 17;84(14):6024-30. doi: 10.1021/ac300813e. Epub 2012 Jul 6.
Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!
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