Mustard Seeds: Small in sizes, mighty in health benefits

What ‘pleasure’ can be said of Mustard seeds – a small round seeds of various mustard plants – in comparison to other plants’ seed? Apparently, quite a number of individuals have attributed no health benefits to this seeds, since it is tasteless and encompass a discouraging size.

The seeds are high in essential oils as well as plant sterols. Some of the important sterols include, brassicasterol, campesterol, sitosterol, avenasterol, and stigmasterol. Some of the glucosinolate and fatty acids in the seeds are sinigrin, myrosin, erucic, eicosanoic, oleic, and palmitic acids.

Being one of the ‘chief’ oil seeds, mustard seeds are very high in calories; 100g of seeds provide 508 calories – a unit of heat used to indicate the amount of energy that foods will produce in the human body. Nonetheless, the seeds are made of quality proteins, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre.

Mustard seeds are also very rich in phytonutrients, minerals, and anti-oxidants, and are an excellent source of essential B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine (vitaminB-6), and pantothenic acid. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.

Also, 100g of mustard seeds provide 4.733 mg of niacin (vitamin B-3). Niacin is a part of icotinamide coenzymes that help lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Mustard seeds contain flavonoid and carotenoid antioxidants such as carotenes, zeaxanthin, and lutein. In addition, the seeds contain a small amount of vitamin antioxidants such as vitamin-A, C, and vitamin-K.

The seeds are an excellent source of vitamin-E, gamma tocopherol; they contain about 19.82 mg per 100 g (about 132% of RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucosa and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

Mustards are rich source of health benefiting minerals. Calcium, manganese, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals especially concentrated in these seeds. Calcium helps build bones and teeth. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Copper required in the production of red blood cells, while Iron is essential for the red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism.

Agro Nigeria 

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