Mustasa, or mustard greens (Brassica juncea), is a cool season crop cultivated in temperate regions in Europe. It originated in the Himalayan region in India but can be found in several parts of the world. Asian cuisine often includes mustard greens as an ingredient to some dishes.
Mustard greens contain ample amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, calcium and vitamin E that helps reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. It is also a great source of fiber that offers several health benefits.
If you are a picky eater and not a fan of leafy vegetables, what you’ll read below might convince you to include mustasa in your dishes.
So, what are the health benefits you’ll get in eating mustasa?
1. Prevents cancer
Mustard greens are packed with phytonutrients, the natural chemicals found in plants, that help prevent cancer. Mustard greens are cruciferous vegetables that contain glucosinolate that is responsible for its pungent aroma and bitter flavor. It contains antioxidants that prevent certain types of cell damage and DNA mutation especially those caused by oxidative stress. Indoles and isothiocyanates form from broken down glucosinolates that protect cells from damage and inactive carcinogens. Mustard greens also contain flavonoids that protect the body from free radicals that damage the cells and metallic ions. Fiber also helps in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
2. Prevents cardiovascular diseases
Mustard greens contain a high amount of fiber that is essential in controlling cholesterol levels. It also contains nitrate and magnesium that help control hypertension. They dilate blood vessels to make it easier for the heart to pump blood. The phytonutrients found in mustard greens aid in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin K also prevents minerals from building up in the arteries. It allows the heart to pump blood smoothly through the body which results in lower blood pressure.
3. Slows the aging process
“Eating greens make you look young”. You’ve probably heard this a lot. Hate to break it you, but this is definitely true. Leafy vegetables like mustard greens are rich in vitamin E that helps the skin look young and healthy. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and slows the aging process of our cells. There are vitamin E supplements in the market but eating leafy vegetables is always a better option.
4. Improves cognition and memory
A cup of boiled green mustards improves cognition and memory thanks to Vitamin K. Higher levels of vitamin K are linked with improved memory in adults.
Studies have shown that people who eat mustard greens regularly slows down the deterioration of their cognition by 11 years than their counterparts. Iron and calcium in mustard greens aid the brain development of children and adults.
5. Reduces skin problems
Most people opt for creams, toners, and other chemically produced skin care products to prevent breakouts. However, some products contain ingredients that some people are sensitive to and products for sensitive skin are expensive.
Eating mustard greens can be a cheaper alternative. Mustard greens contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation which can reduce pimples, wrinkles, breakouts, and dark spots. Mustard greens also contain vitamin A that helps build collagen in the body that is responsible for maintaining the elasticity in the skin; thus, reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.
6. Detoxifies your body
Detoxification is important for the body. There are various ways to flush out toxins in our body including sweating, urinating, and defecating. Mustard greens are helpful in the detoxification process. The antioxidant properties of mustard greens flush out metal ions and toxins that are harmful in the body. These toxins cause breakouts in the skin.
Mustard greens also contain a high amount of plant chlorophyll that literally pulls toxins in the bloodstream that helps in the circulation of blood.
7. Reduces pre-menstrual cramps and menstrual pains
Menstrual cramps may be mild and tolerable but some menstrual cramps are severe that cause nausea and dizziness to some women. Mustard greens are abundant in vitamin K that reduces pre-menstrual cramps and menstrual pains.
8. Boosts the immune system
Mustard greens can help prevent diseases. Mustard greens contain vitamin C that helps boost immunity. Most leafy vegetables like mustard greens may not look appetizing but it wouldn’t hurt to include them in your diet sometimes.
9. Helps maintain a healthy digestive system
Mustard greens are a great source of fiber that controls the cholesterol levels in the absorption in the gut. It helps in the process of cholesterol to make acids called bile binding.
The body needs 3 grams of fiber daily. Fiber lowers the number of toxins in the digestive tract and ensures smooth digestion. It also aids in maintaining healthy metabolism in your body. Mustard greens contain water-soluble fiber that prevents constipation and colorectal inflammation. It also prevents constipation and lowers the risk of developing hemorrhoids.
10. Smooth bone movements
A high amount of vitamin K can be found in mustard greens that are essential in bone-building in the body. Vitamin K is involved in bone mineralization and aids in smooth bone movements. This could prevent future injury.
11. Improves eye health
Mustard greens are the 5th best source of vitamin A that is essential in keeping the eyes healthy. Vitamin A in mustard greens is in the form of carotenoids. Carotenoids are plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables yellow, orange, and bright red hues.
12. Improves blood health
Mustard greens contain a significant amount of vitamin K that is essential in producing prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor that is vital in blood clotting and bone metabolism.
Mustard greens offer several health benefits but it is important to eat it in moderation. The optimal amount of mustard greens to consume daily is ¾ cup. Mustard greens are full of fiber that it may lose nutrients such as iron, calcium, and magnesium which helps in digestion. The phytonutrients found in mustard greens can also prevent diabetes and obesity. Mustard greens are to be consumed as soon as it’s cooked. It is highly advisable not to reheat mustard greens since bacteria may form. Moreover, avoid eating mustard greens when you are taking blood thinner medications since the blood clots easily that may cause complications.
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