Health Benefits of Mustard
From spicy gourmet mustard to plain yellow, many people enjoy the pungent flavor of mustard. You might enjoy mustard on your hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels, and other foods, but did you know mustard is pretty good for you as well? Mustard provides a range of health benefits, some of which might surprise you.
Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant, which typically grows to around 10 feet and is a member of the Brassica foods found in the cruciferous plant family, which includes broccoli, cabbage, and other incredibly healthy vegetables. Mustard, in one form or another, has been used for over 3000 years, starting with when it was being grown and used in China, then spreading many decades later to Europe and the rest of the world. There are three main varieties of mustard seed: white, brown, and black. The white type is the mildest. Mustard is used both medicinally and in the kitchen to prepare foods.
Mustard has been used to treat headaches, cold and coughs, asthma and other respiratory problems, lack of appetite, menopause, and other conditions. Some methods used to treat such afflictions include mustard baths, applying mustard powder mix or paste to the skin or chest area, a mustard tea, or by other consumption methods.
Mustards contain abundant amounts of phytonutrients and contains a good supply of omega-3s, iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, magnesium, fiber, protein, selenium, tryptophan, and some B vitamins. Mustard seed has been researched for its anti-cancer effects, and has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory agent.
Young children under the age of 5 and those suffering from untreated or pre-existing thyroid conditions may want to avoid mustard. According to WHFoods.com, "[m]ustard seeds contains goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances in certain foods that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland." Also, if administered for a prolonged period of time, mustard can produce somewhat toxic and/or irritating effects, so limit prolonged use when using medicinally.
Mustard can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or salad dressing. Simply combine with any of the following to make your own mustard concoctions: wine, oil, lemon juice, chopped scallions, garlic, and other herbs and vegetables of your choice. Of course, it is popularly used as a condiment for a variety of foods. It can be used to enhance the flavors of many savory dishes such as chicken, salmon, and other meats and fishes, potatoes, beans, and other vegetables, and also with spicy breads and crackers.
Obviously there are many purposes and uses for mustard. It contains a bit much of sodium typically when it's prepared, but it also contains very few calories and very many nutrients. ...And you thought mustard was just a condiment!
(Content originally published at Yahoo! Contributor Network [Associated Content], a site no longer in operation.)
Image Credit » Image is a simple personal creation I made using MS Paint.