Generally perceived as health benefiting spice, mustard seeds are indeed very rich in phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Being one of the chief oil seeds, mustards are indeed very high in calories; 100 g of seeds provide 508 calories. Nonetheless, the seeds are made of quality proteins, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
The seeds are high in essential oils as well as plant sterols. Some of important sterols include such asbrassicasterol, campesterol, sitosterol, avenasterol and stigmasterol. Some of glucosinolate and fatty acids in the seeds include sinigrin, myrosin, erucic, eicosenoic, oleic, and palmitic acids.
Mustard seeds are an excellent source of essential B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin,thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine (vitaminB-6), pantothenic acid. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.
100 g of mustards provide 4.733 mg of niacin (vitamin B-3). Niacin is a part of nicotinamide co-enzymes, helps lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Mustard seeds contain flavonoid and carotenoid antioxidants such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, and lutein. In addition, the seeds compose a small amount of vitamin anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, C, and vitamin K.
The seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, gamma tocopherol; contain about 19.82 mg per 100 g (about 132% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Mustards are rich source of health benefiting minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, seleniumand zinc are some of the minerals especially concentrated in these seeds. Calcium helps build bone and teeth. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for the red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism.
Mustard seeds and its oil has traditionally been used to relieve muscle pain, rheumatism and arthritic pain.
In India, mustard oil is applied over scalp and is believed to stimulate hair growth.
Its ground seeds act as a laxative, stimulant to gastric mucosa and increase intestinal secretion.
In general mustard seeds and its oil consider being safe for human consumption when used in small amounts. Large quantity of mustard may cause gastric irritation, bleeding from stomach and intestinal mucosa. It may cause skin burn when applied over skin for longer time. Erucic acid in musatrds has been found to have possible genotoxic and carcinogenic effects in laboratory animal studies.
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