Mustard seeds come from mustard plant. This plant belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family just like cabbage, Brussels sprout, and broccoli. There are around 40 unique varieties of mustard plant.
However, only three main types are sources of mustard seeds including brown mustard or Brassica juncea, white mustard or Brassica alba and black mustard or Brassica nigra. Brown mustard seeds are actually dark yellow colored and have a strong flavor. These are used for making Dijon mustard. White mustard seeds are actually yellow-colored and have the mildest flavor; these are used for making the American yellow mustard. Black mustard seeds have the strongest flavor.
Similar to other Brassica foods, mustard seeds have a rich supply of phytonutrients known as glucosinolates. These glucosinolates are broken apart by tyronisase enzymes into other form of phytonutrients known as isothiocyanates. These isothiocyanates that mustard seeds contain have been the focus of numerous studies because of their cancer-fighting effects. In studies that involve colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal cancer, isothiocyanate intake has demonstrated to prevent the progression of existing cancer cells and protect against the development of these cells.
Based on the food ranking system, mustard seeds turn out to be a great selenium source. Each serving of mustard seeds equivalent to 2 teaspoons or 4 grams contains approximately 11.8% selenium. Studies show that selenium helps in reducing the severity of asthma, decreasing some rheumatoid arthritis-related symptoms, and preventing cancer. Mustard seeds also qualify as a good magnesium source; each serving contains approximately 3.7% magnesium.
Similar with selenium, magnesium helps in reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, restoring normal sleep patterns in menopausal women, reducing the frequency of migraines, and preventing heart attack in patients diagnosed with diabetic heart disease or atherosclerosis. With the selenium and magnesium contents of mustard seeds, they help provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Furthermore, mustard seeds are not only a great source of selenium and magnesium. These seeds are also a good source of phosphorus, tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, and manganese.
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