Health Benefits Of Mustard Greens

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Health Benefits Of Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are the leafy parts of the mustard plant; they are also known as mustard leaves. This green vegetable is reaped in winters. Formally mustard seeds were cultivated because of mustard oil. But now this plant serves its oil, seeds, and greens. This plant is native to the plains of the Himalaya and is also widely cultivated in sub-continent areas. During the winter season, more specifically, from November till March, mustard greens can be consumed fresh as it grows during this time of the year. The leaves of the mustard plant are tender, broad, and crispy. The mustard plant's standard height is four to five feet, but greens are picked when it reaches 2 to 3 feet height. A fully mature mustard plant contains yellow flowers that yield mustard seeds within. Besides a right looking plant, it is also filled with nutrients that help the body stay strong and healthy.

A close up of a greens

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Nutritional value of mustard greens 

Mustard leaves contain many nutrients, including antioxidants, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Following is the chart that carries the nutritional value of mustard greens per hundred grams.

Nutrition value per 100 g

Principle

Value

Percentage of RDA

Fiber

03.20 grams

09.00 %

Carbohydrates

04.67 grams

03.60 %

Protein

2.860 grams

05.00 %

Total Fat

0.420 grams

02.00 %

Energy

27.00 K Cal

01.00 %

Vitamins

Vitamin A

3024 IU

101.00 %

Vitamin E

0.00 milligrams

00.00 %

Vitamin C

70.00 milligrams

117.00 %

Vitamin K

257.50 ug

215.00 %

Pantothenic acid

0.210 milligrams

05.00 %

Thiamin

0.080 milligrams

07.00 %

Pyridoxine

0.180 milligrams

14.00 %

Folates

12.00 ug

03.00 %

Riboflavin

0.110 milligrams

08.00 %

Niacin

0.800 milligrams

05.00 %

Electrolytes

Potassium

384.00 milligrams

08.00 %

Sodium

20.00 milligrams

01.30 %

Minerals

Zinc

0.250 milligrams

02.00 %

Copper

0.165 ug

18.00 %

Phosphorus

08.00 milligrams

01.00 %

Iron

1.64 milligrams

20.00 %

Manganese

0.480 milligrams

21.00 %

Selenium

0.90 ug

01.50 %

Magnesium

32.00 milligrams

08.00 %

Calcium

115.00 milligrams

11.50 %

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene-α

0.00 ug

---

Crypto-xanthene-ß

40.00 ug

---

Lutein-zeaxanthin

3730.00 ug

---

Carotene-ß

1790.00 ug

---

Healthy benefits 

Mustard greens contain typical nutrients that can be found in many fruits and vegetables, but these typical nutrients cause a massive positive change in the body by fighting certain diseases and keep it healthy and fit. 

  1. Full of antioxidants 

Antioxidants present in mustard greens fight against free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Such oxidative stress leads to many unhealthy conditions and eventually a person to fatal diseases. Free radical is a dangerous process that harms the cells of the body and paves the way to diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease. There are different types of mustard greens all over the world, and all of them contain a distinctive amount of antioxidants. Dark leafy mustard greens contain many antioxidants, including beta carotene, flavonoids, vitamin C, lutein, and vitamin E. Other varieties of mustard greens, including red varieties, are blessed with anthocyanins that decrease the chance of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart issues. Anthocyanins can be detected on fruits and plants as it is red or purplish dots on the surface of leaves or fruits. 

  1. Helps in maintaining the functions of the eye

Eye health is totally dependent on two major components: zeaxanthin and lutein. There are certain functions of these two components regarding the eye.

  • Zeaxanthin and lutein are the two antioxidant compounds that protect the eye from blue light and guard the retina against the process of oxidative stress. 
  • Consuming food that is high in antioxidants may lead to a reduced risk of macular degeneration. 

Mustard greens are a rich source of antioxidants that eventually help the health of an eye. 

  1. High in Vitamin K 

Cooked or raw, mustard greens are the rich source of vitamin K in both forms. Vitamin K helps in thickening the blood that proves to be important for bone and heart conditions. The deficiency of vitamin K brings in some serious health issues, including heart issues and weak bones (osteoporosis). Different studies also proved that the insufficient amount of vitamin K could damage brain cells and result in dementia, improper brain functioning, and Alzheimer’s disease. To avoid such diseases, it is recommended that greens should be added to the daily meal. 

  1. Strong immunity 

To give boost to your immunity, it is necessary to inculcate mustard greens to your diet as they contain a large amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is assumed to be the shield for the immune system. Deficiency of vitamin C may weaken immunity in the body, and as a result, the body becomes prone to illness and diseases. White blood cells in the body fight against different infections with the help of T cells. Vitamin A helps a lot in the growth and development of T cells. Mustard greens also contain vitamin A and consuming the right amount of these greens may protect the body from infections and diseases. 

  1. Reduce the risk of heart diseases

Mustard greens also contain nutrients that are good for the heart. Fatal heart diseases can be controlled by taking the right amount of antioxidants, including beta carotene and flavonoid. A study proved that people who use more greens in their diet are less prone to dying from heart diseases. A proper digestion needs to bind bile acid that is protected by the nutrients present in mustard greens. This process lowers down the cholesterol in the body and eventually keeps the heart in good condition. It is suggested that mustard greens should be used in cooked form rather than in salad to avoid heart issues. 

  1. Treats cancerous cells 

Besides the above health benefits, mustard greens are also useful for cancer patients as mustard greens contain glucosinolates compounds that help DNA to fight against cancerous cells and prevent those cells from growing. Mustard greens are overall healthy and also reduce the chances of distinctive kinds of cancers. 

How to select and store mustard greens

There are certain tips that should be kept in mind while selecting mustard greens. 

  • First and foremost, fresh leaves should be picked. Avoid picking up leaves that have blemishes. It should not be withered or yellow. Dark green leaves are preferred.
  • Secondly, look for its stem. The stem of the leaf should not be dried or discolored. Freshly picked branches of the mustard greens are thin and look vital. 

Some of the following are the tips to store mustard leaves as they change color quickly. 

  • Mustard leaves should not be left at room temperature; that is why it should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • To get all the nutrients, it is observed that it should be consumed freshly picked. However, mustard greens can stay for three to four days in decreased temperature. 
  • It is strictly prohibited to wash the greens before storing in the refrigerator.
  • It is suggested that if you plan to store mustard greens for a longer time, it should be kept in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper and then placed in a refrigerator. 

Above are the tips for selecting and storing mustard greens as they become dry soon after picking up.

How to prepare and serve mustard greens 

Greens are always recommended to wash with cold and clean running water. It should be noticed that all the dirt is rinsed, and you have the clean greens. It is also suggested that these leaves should be kept in saline water for thirty minutes to kill insecticides and their dwellings. Leaves should be kept wet until cooked. Before cooking, the thick part of the leaves must be removed containing thick leaves or thick stems. 

There are specific ways in which mustard leaves can be served.

  • It is served mostly in salads, but people also get the juice of mustard leaves along with other green vegetables. It is also used in smoothies etc. 
  • In sub-continent areas, mustard leaves are adequately cooked, boiled, stew, and fried with spices and other vegetables like onion, tomato, garlic, etc. it is also cooked along with other greens including fenugreek and spinach to enhance the taste.
  • In the western part of the world, mustard greens are also served alongside pork, ham, and bacon. 

Health risk

  • Though mustard greens are considered very safe to consume, it presents several healthy nutrients, but some potential risks should be taken into account. 
  • The high amount of vitamin K can cause blood clotting. Mustard greens are a rich source of vitamin K. People who are on the medication of blood-thinning should avoid mustard greens.
  • If you apply mustard on the skin for a more extended period, it may produce itching, burns, or even ulcers.
  • Consuming a large number of mustard seeds is extremely dangerous for the mouth and throat health.
  • Other side effects of consuming too much mustard include heart attack, breathing problems, dizziness, coma, and in severe cases, even death.
  • Mustard allergy is although very uncommon, but when mustards are used in different other foods, they can cause allergies. The symptoms of mustard allergy are itching in the mouth, rashes, breathing difficulty, and tingly.

Final Words

Mustard greens are incredibly nutritious plants with many vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin C. The presence of vitamin A makes this plant a particularly good antioxidant and helps in reducing the spread pace of cancer. While vitamin C makes this plant exceptionally good for the immune system. They are amazingly good for the health of the vision, heart, and digestive system. Mustards greens have a spicy taste that makes them taste enhancers in different salads, casseroles, and soups. Besides these benefits, if they are consumed in huge quantities, they cause many allergies and heart problems. In some people, excess intake causes breathing issues as well. So, mustard greens should be consumed in moderate quantities after your doctor's advice to avoid the extreme side effects.

References

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mustard-greens.html

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mustard-greens-nutrition#benefits

https://www.verywellfit.com/mustard-health-benefits-4584218

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