The average Indian kitchen is filled with spices. We use all kinds of different mixtures and concoctions to impart a distinct taste and aroma to our rich cuisine and spices play a huge part in providing an unmatched richness to our food. Mostly, that’s all we think about spices – that they impart flavour and taste to our food. But if you look closely, you can see why hundreds of years of tradition have chosen these spices for us not just for their taste but for their medicinal properties as well.
Mustard is a spice which can be found in our spice cabinets and it has been there for thousands of years. A native of Europe, even in ancient times, this plant was spread all over the world from Asia to Africa and has been used since the times of Romans, Greeks and ancient Indian civilizations. It is available in a number of varieties, Black Mustard being one of the most popular in the world. Its long use can be attributed to its strong flavour and aroma, along with a large number of health benefits, some of which are listed below:-
- They can help in combating cancer
Mustard seeds are incredibly rich in phytonutrients, a class of compounds that are known to protect the body against cancer. In fact, one of the phytonutrients is a compound known as glucosalinate that have been found to be effective against cervical, bladder and colon cancer. Mustard seeds and its constituents are able to cause apoptosis in the malignant cancer cells, which means that the cells auto-destruct without harming nearby healthy cells. Not only can mustard seeds help to destroy cancerous cells, they can also prevent the formation of such malignant cells in the first place.
- They greatly improve the health of the heart
The essential oils present in mustard seeds are of great use for promoting good cardiovascular health. People who are at risk of heart attacks can find great help to ease their problems in mustard seeds as they are extremely effective in improving the rhythmic beating of the heart, reducing chest pains and decreasing the unnatural enlargement of the heart’s ventricles.
Mustard seeds and the omega 3 fatty acids found in it are responsible for exerting such influence on the heart.
- They clean up the respiratory tract
A lot of people are struggling with respiratory problems these days owing to our extremely polluted environment. In such a situation, we should take the help of everything that can alleviate or reduce the respiratory problems and mustard seeds are one such example. A well known decongestant, mustard seeds are able to clear the airways for better breathing. Moreover, they are also useful in removing the phlegm and mucus that get stuck in the lungs and airways, thereby improving the health of the entire respiratory tract.
- They can help treat psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and lesions on the skin. Mustard seeds can reduce this underlying inflammation while at the same time promote the production of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase which are helpful in increasing the body’s resistance to the disease.
- They are helpful against diabetes
Diabetic patients can benefits greatly from the essential oils present inside mustard seeds. Mustard seeds are able to limit the oxidative stress in diabetic patients while at the same time stimulating the metabolism of sugar.
- They are rich in essential minerals
Certain mineral found in mustard seeds are very beneficial for the body. Two such minerals that are found in healthy doses in mustard seeds are magnesium and selenium; together they can help to relieve symptoms of arthritis, reduce the discomfort of asthma attacks, lower blood pressure and decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.
Mustard seeds are truly amazing gifts of nature that are full of healthy nutrition for our body. To learn more about the uses and properties of mustard seeds, click here.