Mustard Health BenefitsJuly 11, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
One of my favorite condiments is organic Dijon mustard. I slather it on most of my sandwiches – peanut butter and jelly not withstanding. As with most of my other culinary and dietary choices, my decision to use this ingredient is based on the fact that I enjoy the flavor, while hopeful that it will impart certain benefits. If you’ve never thought of mustard as a health promoting ingredient, then please read on.
First things first. The ingredients in your mustard matter. The product I use, which shall remain nameless, is pretty pure and straightforward. It only contains four familiar components: organic mustard seeds, organic vinegar, water and sea salt. And, best of all, you can taste every single ingredient. This mustard has some serious kick to it!
There haven’t been many clinical, human studies published about mustard. In fact, most of the clinical data about mustard has looked into its potential to protect against various malignancies in animals. A little known fact about mustard is that it’s a member of the Brassica family. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale are more familiar members of this very same family of plants. Brassicas, including mustard, contain a class of phytochemicals known as glucosinolates and enzymes which convert these chemoprotective substances into even more powerful phytochemicals (isothiocyanates). In rat models of disease, mustard seeds have been shown to discourage the growth of colon, stomach and uterine cancer. Preliminary studies also reveal that dietary mustard improves insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress and unhealthy lipid profiles. These findings suggest, but do not prove, that mustard may be beneficial with regard to some of the most prevalent diseases of today such as diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
Two recent human trials have, likewise, spurred new interest in the use of mustard as a bona fide health food. The first, presented in the December 2011 issue of the journal Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, reports that mustard consumption protects against DNA damage – an integral stage in cancer development. While a just published study goes on to explain that including 21 grams of mustard in a meal increases the amount of calories burned, a process referred to as diet-induced thermogenesis. All of this is not to say that mustard ought to used as an excuse to overindulge in nitrate-laden hot dogs stuffed in refined buns and drenched in ketchup containing high fructose syrup. But, given a more reasonable context, such as a mustard vinaigrette, this is one condiment that seems like a terrific option indeed.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 - Dietary Mustard Seeds (Sinapis alba Linn) Suppress … (link)
Study 2 - Mustard seeds (Sinapis Alba Linn) Attenuate Azoxymethane … (link)
Study 3 - Novel Mucilage Fraction of Sinapis Alba L. (Mustard) Reduces … (link)
Study 4 - Chemopreventive Effects of Mustard (Brassica Compestris) on … (link)
Study 5 - Brassica Juncea (Rai) Significantly Prevented the Development of … (link)
Study 6 – Effect of Feeding Murraya Koeingii and Brassica Juncea Diet … (link)
Study 7 – Anti-Oxidant Effects of Curry Leaf, Murraya Koenigii and Mustard … (link)
Study 8 - Biochemical Response in Rats to the Addition of Curry Leaf (Murraya … (link)
Study 9 - Isothiocyanate-Containing Mustard Protects Human Cells Against … (link)
Brassica Vegetables May Protect Against DNA Damage
Source: Mutagenesis. 2010 Nov;25(6):595-602. (link)
Tags: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Health
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition