Mad about mustard

Mustard seeds are also called an elixir for the lungs because they open up the bronchi and make breathing easier
Image for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)
Image for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

We use cold pressed mustard oil  for cooking purposes because it adds an interesting flavour. But there’s more to this mighty seed and oil and it was used by our ancestors. We have discussed mustard seeds earlier but here we will talk more about yellow mustard, which is a powerful spice found in nature. Mustard seeds are as such called an elixir for the lungs and lung-related diseases like cancer, COPD, asthma, respiratory issues, etc., because it plays a huge role in reducing inflammation and training the immune system to switch off and switch on the chronic inflammation as and when required to maintain good organ health. Yellow mustard seeds are balanced in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids), which help in improving HDL cholesterol and reducing LDL cholesterol.

It has a pungent flavour and belongs to the cruciferous family and hence, is rich in sulphurophanes as well as phytochemicals known as glucosinolates, that is where the magic lies. It helps in reducing inflammation from the body and helps with almost all types of cancers. Sulphurophanes play a very important role in the human body against cancer, along with other crucifers like broccoli, arugula, radish, cabbage, and cauliflower.

To get the benefits of mustard seeds, they can be used as a whole, as oil and even as powder and can be used to add in gravies and salad dressings. I use yellow mustard in my salad dressing by mixing a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother), a teaspoon of raw unpasteurised honey, a tablespoon of mustard, a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs. You too can use this recipe to make your salad more interesting.

Mustard seeds and oil have shown therapeutic benefits in people with asthma, COPD or lung cancer because they open up the bronchi and make breathing easier. Selenium content in mustard seeds helps the body with resistance against cancer cell formation, acts like an antioxidant and slows down the rate of development of tumours.

Cold-pressed yellow mustard oil has a warm effect that helps in clearing congestion from the respiratory tract, a good massage with mustard oil improves blood circulation and due to its warm effect, prevents joint and muscle pain during cold weather. It also promotes healthy skin and hair cell growth. It is a good source of potassium as well as magnesium, which helps strengthen the bones as well as increases metabolism, which further helps in burning fat.

With so many benefits in this tiny seed, it becomes even more important that we start using this superfood in our daily routine.

Deepika Rathod
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. 
The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.

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