Mustard seeds nutrition facts
Mustard seeds have been highly prized medicinal as well as culinary spice being in use since ancient times. The seeds are obtained from mustard plant belonging to brassica family which also includes cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts etc. Scientific name: Brassica juncea.
Mustards are native of Asia minor, but now cultivated as a main commercial crop in Canada, India, China, and temperate climates of European region.
Mustards are winter crops. The plant reaches about 4-5 feet in height and bears golden yellow colored flowers. Its tiny, round seeds measuring about 1 mm in diameter are encased inside a fruit pod in a similar fashion like green pea pod.
In general, 3 main varieties of mustard are grown worldwide for use.
White mustard seeds (Brassica alba): The seeds are light straw yellow colored and are slightly larger than the other two varieties. White seeds are mild pungent.
Black mustards ( Brassica nigra): The seeds are commonly seen in South Asia. The seeds are sharp and more pungent than other two varieties.
Brown mustards (Brassica juncea): The seeds are native to sub- Himalayan plains of Northern India.
Health benefits of mustard seeds
Generally perceived as health benefiting spice, mustard seeds are indeed very rich in phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
The seeds are high in essential oils as well as plant sterols such as brassicasterol, campesterol , sitosterol, avenasterol and stigmasterol. They also contain sinigrin, myrosin, erucic, eicosenoic, oleic and palmitic acids.
Its seeds are high in calories; 100 g of seeds contain 508 calories. However they are good source of dietary fiber; recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Mustard greens 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 antioxidants such as carotenes, zeaxanthin and lutein. In addition, the seeds have small amount of vitamin anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, C and vitamin K.
The seeds are an excellent source of 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 many health benefiting minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, selenium and 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, rheuamtism 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.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||36.24 g||121%|
|Dietary Fiber||12.2 g||32%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.810 mg||16%|
|Vitamin A||31 IU||1%|
|Vitamin C||7.1 mg||12%|
|Vitamin E-?||19.82 mg||132%|
|Vitamin K||5.4 mcg||4%|
Selection and storage
Whole mustard seeds have no smell at all. The hot pungent taste of mustard is released when the seeds are crushed and mixed with water due to activation of enzyme myorisinase. In the spice stores one may find all varieties of whole seeds, ground seeds, pastes and different mustard sauces.
Wholegrain dry mustards keep well for months at room temperature when stored in cool, dry and humid free conditions. However ground seeds and other preparations of mustards should be kept in tight air seal containers and placed in the refrigerator.
Mustards are used extensively in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Mediterranean and German cooking. Whole seeds, ground or powdered form, prepared pastes, sauces and oil are all used in cooking.
The aroma and pungent flavor of mustard comes from the essential oils sinalbin which releases isothiocyanate upon enzymatic reaction by myrosinase.
Here are some serving tips:
Mustards exude pungent nutty flavor when gently roasted under low flame.
Brown as well white mustard are used in pickling with raw mango, bitter gourd etc in India.
- Mustard fish curry, prepared with thin mustard paste, coriander powder, chillies and nigella is popular in Bangladesh and West Bengal in Indian subcontinent.
Different kind of mustards uses mustard seeds mixed with herbs, spices, honey, tomato etc in many parts of the world.
Mustard paste is used in salad dressings, sandwiches, and hot dogs and in mayonnaise.
American mustard is prepared with white seeds, vinegar, spices, turmeric and sugar.
Mustard oil is used in many North Indian and Pakistani recipes.
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