Mustard seeds (Brassica napus) are also famous as rai or sarson ke beej in India. All parts of the mustard plant (leaves, flowers, and seeds) are edible and possess numerous essential nutrients. These seeds are globally the third most common source of vegetable oil, after soya bean and palm oil.
There are numerous varieties of mustard seeds, but three are most suitable for culinary use, brown, black, and yellow seeds. We can find a Black variety of mustard seeds as a common spice ingredient in various Indian cuisines. The yellow and brown variants come in use for making mustard sauce, spreads, and condiments.
Mustard seeds have a sharp and slightly bitter flavor with a rich aroma. Before adding to any dishes, mustard seeds are stir-fry with other aromatic ingredients (commonly known as tadka in India). Regardless of their culinary uses, mustard seeds have numerous medicinal properties.
These tiny seeds are rich in numerous essential minerals, which have the following health benefits:
- Each part of the mustard plant is rich in various nutrients. But the mustard’s leaves and seeds contain copious amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, which are crucial for fighting chronic diseases, better vision and eye health, and blood clotting mechanisms.
- Mustard seeds are rich in fibers, selenium, manganese, and magnesium, which boost our immunity, maintain various bodily mechanisms and are crucial for bone health.
- Mustard seeds contain numerous glucosinolates-derived antioxidants, including isothiocyanates and sinigrin. Apart from these, mustard seeds are also rich in isorhamnetin, kaempferol, and carotenoids. All these antioxidants help protect our body against oxidative damage, several infections, and chronic diseases. They also possess antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
- Regular consumption of a mustard seeds-rich diet reduces inflammation and activates the healing process in psoriasis-caused lesions and contact dermatitis.
- Mustard green extract benefits people with diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.
Generally, mustard seeds are safe for eating, but some people encounter problems when consuming a large amount or applying their paste directly to the skin.
Mustard seeds are a familiar condiment spice in our kitchen that enhance the flavor and aroma of the dishes with numerous health benefits.