The tiny mustard seed

The tiny mustard seed

Mustard seeds are rich in phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, which have been studied for their anti-cancer benefits.

Mustard seeds are rich in phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, which have been studied for their anti-cancer benefits.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

The mustard seed has been eaten and used medicinally since ancient times, but due to its connection to the type of mustard used on burgers and hot dogs, we are reminded of fast food. This is unfortunate, since both mustard seeds and the popular condiments they produce contain many significant health benefits.

Mustard seeds are rich in phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, which have been studied for their anti-cancer benefits. Study results suggest that adding more mustard seeds to our diets can help prevent the development of cancer and possibly treat it.

Like many seeds, those of the mustard plant are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and manganese. Two tablespoons of mustard seeds also supply us with 6 percent of our recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids (the beneficial polyunsaturated acids required to build cell membranes in the brain) and approximately 21 percent of our recommended daily allowance of selenium. Selenium, an antioxidant, helps remove disease-causing free radicals, and is also responsible for transforming the sluggish thyroid hormone T4 into the more active T3.

Mustard seeds are a yellow color because they are high in curcuminoids, a group of fat-soluble pigments that are also found in turmeric, ginger and other yellow-colored herbs and spices. Curcuminoids, of which the best known is curcumin, are antioxidants that possess notable anti-cancer benefits. They are also potent anti-inflammatories and can ease the pain associated with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

While mustard seeds can be eaten raw as a snack, their robust taste makes them especially suited to rich, cooked meals, such as curries and rice dishes.

Sources: nutritiondata.self.com, thorne.com and science.naturalnews.com.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 5, October/November 2015.

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