Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A Recipe for Health – Not so Mean Mr. Mustard

Mustard seeds just like their relatives the crucifers family (broccoli, cabbage) are a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. Mustard seeds are a very good source of selenium which has been shown to reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and help to prevent cancer. Mustard seeds are also a good source of magnesium which also helps with asthma, lowers blood pressure, restores sleep to women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms, reduces migraine attacks and helps to prevent heart attacks.

Mustard seeds also qualify as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber. With all the concern about eating fish mustard seeds can help to supplement your omega 3 –fatty acids.

There are three basic types of mustard seeds; black, white and brown. White which are actually yellow in color are used to make standard yellow mustard. The brown seeds are used to make Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.

Mustard seeds date back to ancient Sanskrit writings and the bible. Varieties have been found in Asia, India and Europe. It is one of the most popular spices traded today. Most mustard is sold as seeds or power and used as a condiment for many dishes. When we think of mustard we think of  the yellow kind that goes on hot dogs. But the seeds and the powder have a variety of uses. Mustard seeds can be roasted and added to dishes or you can rub mustard powder into chicken and fish before cooking.

When I was a child I was given a necklace with a mustard seed pendant. I was told it was for good luck and would keep me safe. A mustard seed worn around the neck was supposed to keep demons away. In Biblical terms the mustard seed means that a small amount of faith can grow into the kingdom of heaven. I am not a religious person but it goes something like this;

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which indeed is less than all seeds, but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Biblical parable

Now selenium, tryptophan and omega 3 fatty acids make mustard a very good source for your health, but did you know that mustard can be used as a decongestant, for circulatory problems and as a digestive tonic. Mustard is warming and not only does it taste good, but it helps the digestive system digest foods.

Mustard can be used as a poultice, mixtured and plastered onto the chest to relieve congestion, aches and pains. Use mustard seeds in a  foot bath to relieve achy feet.

I guess Mean Mr. Mustard is not so bad after all!


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