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 Diet & Nutrition

April 2012
Tangy, Tart, Tasty Mustard!
Dr Panchali Moitra
The tiny seed or the popular spice that goes for mustard or rai or sarson has such unique medicinal properties that they almost mock its size. As whole seed or in powdered form or as liquid paste, mustard has been used over the centuries for the treatment of scores of ailments.

Poultices made from mustard paste find traditional use as decongestants and they also help alleviate respiratory problems like sinusitis, pneumonia and bronchitis.

Strengths And Benefits
  • Mustard aids in improving appetite and digestion by stimulating salivation and gastric juice production manifold.
  • Mustard seeds contain many phytonutrients and enzymes whose anti-inflammatory properties are being researched for use in the treatment of cancer and cardio vascular disease.
  • Being a good source of selenium and magnesium, mustard seeds help to contain the severity of asthma, migraine, arthritis and hypertension. Mustard also contains omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, calcium and zinc.
  • Since mustard belongs to the cruciferous family (same as cabbage and broccoli), it contains sulphur, making it useful for treating skin disorders. The presence of mucilage in mustard also qualifies it as a good laxative.
  • Mustard baths (prepared by placing a cloth pouch containing approximately 200 g of mustard seeds in Tangy, Tart, Tasty Mustard! Dr Panchali Moitra water) is known to decrease body aches, headaches and muscular cramps.
  • Hangovers can be managed by drinking a glass of water with a spoonful of mustard powder taken on empty stomach.
  • Mustard greens are a great way to add Vitamin C and fibre to one’s diet for detoxification.
  • This aromatic spice must be a regular in the spice cabinets of weight watchers. It can easily replace fatladen dressings like mayo and ketchup. Mustard seeds are also known enhancers of metabolic rate.
  • In cosmetic care, mustard oil is known for revitalizing hair growth and soothing dry skin.
Prolonged use and excessive consumption of mustard may cause stomach upsets and irritation, especially in people with a history of ulcers, hyperacidity and urinary tract infections. It is best to consume it in moderation or under guided supervision.
Dr Panchali Moitra is Nutrition Expert, Weight Management
Consultant Kolkata

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