Yellow Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds are rich in a nutrient called selenium, known for its high anti
-inflammatory effects. n The high source of magnesium in mustard seeds helps reducing the severity of asthma attacks and certain symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and lowering blood pressure.
The unique healing properties of mustard seeds can partly be attributed to their home among the Brassica
foods found in the cruciferous plant family.
Phytonutrient Compounds Protective Against Gastrointestinal Cancer
Like other Brassicas
, mustard seeds contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients called glucosinolates
. The seeds also contain myrosinase enzymes
that can break apart the glucosinolates into other phytonutrients called isothiocyanates
. The isothiocyanates in mustard seed (and other Brassicas
) have been repeatedly studied for their anti-cancer effects. In animal studies€”and particularly in studies involving the gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer€”intake of isothiocyanates has been shown to inhibit growth of existing cancer cells and to be protective against the formation of such cells.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects from Selenium and Magnesium
Mustard seeds emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of selenium, a nutrient which that has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and manganese as well as a good source of phosphorus, copper, and vitamin B1.
If you are like most people, the word mustard probably conjures up images of ballparks and barbeques. Yet, once you add mustard seeds to your spice cabinet, the word will take on a whole new meaning, as you will also relish the spicy, aromatic rustic taste and fragrance that mustard can add to your meals.
Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. While there are approximately forty different varieties of mustard plants, there are three principal types used to make mustard seeds: black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Brassica alba) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea). Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, while white mustard seeds, which are actually yellow in color, are the most mild and are the ones used to make American yellow mustard. Brown mustard, which is actually dark yellow in color, has a pungent acrid taste and is the type used to make Dijon mustard.
Mustard seeds are sold either whole or as a ground powder.
Mustard seeds can be traced to different areas of Europe and Asia with the white variety originating in the eastern Mediterranean regions, the brown from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and the black from the Middle East. Mustard seeds are mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings dating back about 5,000 years ago. They are also mentioned in the New Testament in which the kingdom of Heaven is compared to a grain of mustard seed.
While mustard seeds were used for their culinary properties in ancient Greece, it seems that it was the ancient Romans who invented a paste from the ground seeds, which was probably the ancestor of our modern day mustard condiment. The physicians of both civilizations, including the father of medicine Hippocrates, used mustard seed medicinally.
Mustard seed is one of the most popular spices traded in the world today. As it grows well in temperate climates, the areas that produce the greatest amount of mustard seeds currently include Hungary, Great Britain, India, Canada and the United States.