*Mustard is the seed of the plants in the genus Brassica, which are used as a spice and condiment.
*It is one of the oldest and most widely used spices throughout the world.
*Different varieties of mustard available are – black (Brassica nigra), white (Brassica alba), and brown (Brassica juncea).
*The seeds do not have any flavor, but when ground they have a very pungent odor and a sharp fiery flavor. Freshly ground mustard can cause irritation in the eyes, nasal passages and palate.
*The seeds are usually ground into a powder or paste along with other ingredients like vinegar, water and used to flavor meat dishes like stews, soups, curries, pickles, etc.
*Grinding the seeds into a paste releases a sulphur-containing compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which is responsible for the irritation and lacrimation of the eyes and nasal mucosa, and gustatory heat.
*Mustard oil is also made from these seeds, specifically Brassica juncea seeds.
*Mustard is available as – whole seeds, mustard powder, and prepared mustard.
*Buying and storage: Select whole seed that are round and uniformly sized without any wrinkles or spoilt seeds. Store them in a cupboard in an airtight container. While buying powdered or prepared mustard, select good quality mustard. Unopened containers can be stored at room temperature in a cupboard, but opened containers have to be refrigerated where it keeps well for a few weeks.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, fresh whole mustard seeds and powdered mustard are raw.
*No, prepared mustard is not raw, as other ingredients like vinegar, wine, water, etc are added to it. Make sure you read the label.
1. Mustard is rich in sulphur-containing compounds like isothiocyanates and glucosinolates, which are responsible for their pungent odor and flavor. The mustard seeds have a glucosinolate called sinirgin, which combines with the enzyme myrosinase (released from grinding the seeds) and is converted to allyl isothiocyanate.
2. These phytonutrients also have beneficial health effects. The glucosinolates are metabolized into thiocyanates, which have powerful anti-cancer properties. These compounds inhibit the growth of existing cancer cells reduce the risk of cancers of kidneys, bladder, prostate, GI tract and ovaries.
3. Excellent source of selenium, which is an antioxidant and is very effective in scavenging the free radicals.
4. Excellent source of magnesium that helps in relieving fatigue, relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus relieving the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches, tension, soreness in muscles.
5. Selenium and magnesium together reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
6. Low sodium and high potassium help maintain normal blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension.
7. Good source of iron, which is necessary for the synthesis and maintenance of hemoglobin in blood.
8. Very good source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in many enzymatic reactions in the body, especially in the production of energy and antioxidants defences.
9. Good source of calcium and phosphorus, which help build the bones.
10. Very good source of B-group vitamins, which are essential to enhance the energy production from the foods, maintain normal protein metabolism, enhance the immunity, and are also cofactors of many important enzymatic reactions in the body.