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Mustard greens are an under-appreciated superfood that has a vast array of health benefits. They have been eaten for centuries in the Indian and Chinese cultures but only recently started to gain recognition in North America as trendy healthy ingredients.
Mustard greens are a type of leafy green vegetables that can be cooked in many different ways. They have a mild, slightly sweet taste and crunchy texture. The health benefits of mustard greens include fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting against heart disease. Mustard greens also provide vitamins A, C, and K and iron and calcium.
The bitterness of mustard greens, which is stronger than that of closely related greens like kale, cabbage, and collard greens, is a symptom of their high phytonutrient concentration.
They’re high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial antioxidants like glucosinolates and polyphenols. Yet, their low-calorie count makes mustard greens one of the most nutrient-dense meals in the world.
According to studies, these leafy greens are high in plant-based compounds that may help protect you against various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
Mustard Green and Preparation
Brassica juncea is the name given to a group of plants that produce mustard greens. There are several varieties of mustard greens, each with its own size, color, and flavor.
The majority of sorts are dark green, although there are also red and purple varieties. The following are only a few of the numerous mustard green species planted across the world:
- Mustard Green from China
- Mustard, Southern Giant Curled
- Mustard from Ethiopia
- Broadleaf in Florida
- Purple-Leaved Osaka
- The Red Giant
Mustard plants belong to the Brassicaceae family of plants. Brassica juncea is also known as Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard, and vegetable mustard in different parts of the globe.
Do mustard greens produce mustard seeds?
The mustard plant’s leaves, seeds, and stems are edible and utilized in several ways globally, including in Africa, Italy, and Korea. However, mustard seeds are most popularly used as a spice and blended with water, vinegar, or other liquids to form the condiment known simply as “mustard.”
Mustard greens originated in India’s Himalayan area and have been eaten for over 5,000 years. Today, the largest producers of mustard greens are India, Nepal, China, and Japan, although a significant quantity is cultivated in the United States and Russia, and other countries.
Mustard oil is used in canning, baking, and margarine manufacture and is considered one of Russia’s greatest vegetable oils. In Eastern India, mustard oil is also popular.
Mustard plants are produced in Europe largely for their seeds, which are used to manufacture mustard, one of the few regionally grown spices.
Nutritionally, one cup (about 56 grams) of chopped, uncooked mustard greens includes roughly:
- Calorie Count: 14.6
- Carbs: 2.7 g
- Protein: 1.5
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin K: 278 micrograms (348 percent DV)
- Vitamin A: 5,881 international units (118 percent DV)
- Vitamin C: 39.2 milligrams (65 percent DV)
- Folate: 105 micrograms (26 percent DV)
- Manganese: 0.3 milligrams (13 percent DV)
- Vitamin E: 1.1 milligrams (6 percent DV)
- Calcium: 57.7 milligrams (6 percent DV)
- Potassium: 198 milligrams (6 percent DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams (5 percent DV)
- Iron content: 0.8 milligrams (5 percent DV)
Meanwhile, one cup of cooked mustard greens nutrition (about 140 grams) comprises roughly:
- Calorie count: 21
- Carbs: 2.9 grams
- Protein: 3.2 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Vitamin K: 419 micrograms (524 percent DV)
- Vitamin A: 8,853 international units (177 percent DV)
- Vitamin C: 35.4 milligrams (59 percent DV)
- Folate: 102 micrograms (26 percent DV)
- Manganese: 0.4 milligrams (19 percent DV)
- Calcium: 104 milligrams (10 percent DV)
- Vitamin E: 1.7 milligrams (8 percent DV)
- Potassium: 283 milligrams (8 percent DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams (7 percent DV)
- Phosphorus: 57.4 milligrams (6 percent DV)
- Copper: 0.1 grams (6 percent DV)
- Riboflavin: 0.1 milligrams (5 percent DV)
- Iron: 1 gram (5 percent DV)
- Magnesium: 21 milligrams (5 percent DV)
Spinach vs. Mustard Greens vs. Collard Greens
Is there a difference between collard greens and mustard greens?
No, the two originate from separate plants, despite being related and belonging to the Brassica oleracea family. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and kale are all cabbage family members, as are collards.
How does the nutrition of collard greens compare to that of mustard greens?
Collard greens are special because they’re high in glucosinolates, sulfur-containing chemicals associated with detoxification, immunological support, and even cancer prevention. In addition, they are high in soluble fiber and one of the greatest sources of vitamins C, K, and A.
The inclusion of diindolylmethane and sulforaphane chemicals gives these greens additional antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. Collards have a milder, earthier flavor and a thicker texture with “veins” running through the leaves than mustard greens.
What is the difference between spinach and mustard greens?
Calories, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates are comparable between the two. They even have the same appearance, yet spinach has a gentler, less peppery flavor.
They’re both high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. Although you may get many of these elements from mustard greens nutrition, spinach contains a little more manganese, calcium, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium.
1. Antioxidants in high concentrations
Mustard greens’ nutrition is strong in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all of which aid in preventing cell damage and DNA mutation. In addition, mustard green cultivars contain antioxidants, according to a 2017 research published in the journal Molecules.
The capacity of mustard greens to protect against free radical damage or oxidative stress is one of the most explored mustard greens’ advantages. Free radicals are formed when specific kinds of oxygen molecules are permitted to flow freely inside the body.
Free radicals are very harmful to the body’s cells and tissues, and they have been linked to cancer, neurological illnesses, and premature aging. However, antioxidants included in mustard greens nutrition have been shown in studies to protect your body from these health issues by fighting free radical damage, lowering inflammation, and safeguarding healthy cells in the digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and brain systems.
2. Help the liver work properly
Mustard greens are good for your liver because they have anti-inflammatory properties and are strong in plant chlorophyll, which helps with detoxification. They also have the unique capacity to neutralize heavy metals, toxins, and pesticides in the body.
According to the findings of one research, dietary sources that produce chlorophyll derivatives may play an important role in cancer prevention.
3. Assist in the reduction of cholesterol and the promotion of heart health
Mustard greens, particularly when cooked, have a unique capacity to promote bile binding.
High cholesterol patients either don’t create enough bile or have trouble converting cholesterol to bile acids. This is frequently owing to a high fat intake and a lack of dark leafy greens in their diets and liver or colon disease.
Mustard greens are still being studied for their capacity to boost bile acid synthesis and lower bad cholesterol. While bile acid has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, bile acid-binding has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
According to a 2008 research, when raw mustard greens were cooked instead than consumed raw, their cholesterol-lowering potential increased dramatically.
Folate, which may be found in mustard greens, has been related to heart health and can help avoid a rise in homocysteine, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk.
4. High in phytonutrients
Natural substances contained in plant meals are known as phytonutrients. These substances defend plants against bacteria, fungus, pests, and other hazards and provide health advantages to humans.
According to research, a diet rich in phytonutrients from plants has been linked to a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease, may help prevent diabetes and obesity, and slows the aging process of the brain. According to one research, chemicals present in mustard greens and seeds may help lower diabetes risk and consequences by reducing oxidative stress.
Glucosinolates are a kind of beneficial substance found in cruciferous vegetables, including mustard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Freshness, storage, and food preparation all affect concentration.
Indoles and isothiocyanates are formed when glucosinolates are broken down, and they have been found to protect cells from DNA damage and counteract the effects of carcinogens. According to the Ackerman Cancer Center, they also contain antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and the ability to trigger cell death (apoptosis) and block tumor blood vessel creation and tumor cell migration.
Eating a high-fiber diet that includes a range of green vegetables is advantageous for several reasons, like lowering cholesterol levels by preventing it from being absorbed in the intestine.
The fiber in the diet promotes smooth bowel movements, which protects against hemorrhoids, constipation, and colon diseases such as colon cancer.
The insoluble fiber in mustard greens nutrition draws water and softens stools, enabling more efficient waste disposal. In addition, increasing your fiber intake will help you reduce the number of toxins in your digestive system, decrease your blood pressure, and regulate your serum cholesterol levels.
This may explain why studies have revealed that people who consume a lot of dietary fiber have a decreased chance of acquiring a variety of ailments, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and some gastrointestinal disorders.
Because of their filling qualities and low-calorie density, leafy greens may help to prevent weight gain and obesity. Mustard greens are an excellent option for those on various diets, including low-carb, keto, vegan/vegetarian, and Paleo diets, among others.
6. Vitamin K, which helps to build strong bones
Three to five times the daily recommended dose of vitamin K is found in mustard greens nutrition. Vitamin K is a key player in bone mineralization, blood clotting, and even calcium removal from parts of the body where it shouldn’t be.
It also supports brain function and healthy metabolism and protects against cancer.
According to certain research, increasing vitamin K consumption may help persons with osteoporosis prevent future bone loss. Vitamin K is also important for lowering inflammation and preserving the cells lining blood vessels, including veins and arteries.
Vitamin K may also aid with PMS cramps and other period discomforts by regulating hormone activity. It’s also important for preventing and healing bruising.
7. Good Source of Antioxidant Nutrients
According to research, mustard greens may help protect against some forms of cancer, including colon and lung cancer. According to an abstract from 2012:
Phytochemicals have been connected to the positive benefits of Brassica vegetables on human health. They suppress cancer cell proliferation, prevent oxidative stress, trigger detoxification enzymes, boost the immune system, reduce cancer risk, inhibit malignant transformation and carcinogenic mutations, and inhibit malignant transformation and carcinogenic mutations.
The vitamin C in mustard greens nutrition is also good for your immune system, skin, and eyes, among other things. Vitamin C may assist in repairing and preserving your teeth and bones, delay and prevent cell damage in your body, maintain healthy body tissues, strengthen your immune system, combat free radicals, make collagen, and maintain blood vessels, according to studies.
8. Provide protection for the skin and eyes
In only one cup of cooked mustard greens, you’ll get more vitamin A than you’ll need for the day. Vitamin A is involved in the maintenance of good eyesight, neurological function, skin, and the reduction of inflammation.
Foods strong in vitamin A and other antioxidants may help to naturally delay aging and protect against infections, such as the common cold.
Antioxidants, such as vitamin A, have been demonstrated to be essential for good health and lifespan in several studies. In addition, they help with eye health, immunity, skin cancer prevention, and cell development.
Mustard greens nutrition also includes a lot of vitamin C, which is good for your skin. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen in the skin, which aids in producing a firm, healthy skin and preventing elasticity loss.
Both vitamin A and vitamin C may help treat acne and other skin disorders by reducing inflammation.
How to Choose
Look for fresh mustard greens with crisp, dark green leaves when shopping for mustard greens. Spotted, spotted, or yellow leaves should be avoided.
Because mustard greens are winter crops, they are best eaten within November and March in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
What is the best way to keep mustard greens?
Eat mustard greens as soon as possible after purchasing them to get the most nutrients out of them. They’ll wilt rapidly, so keep them in the fridge (for three days) or somewhere cold.
You may wrap washed greens in moist paper towels and keep them in the refrigerator for several days.
How to Make Use of
What Is the Taste of Mustard Greens?
Mustard greens have a pungent odor and a spicy taste that reminds me of horseradish. Their strong taste may be softened by combining softer greens or frying them with pleasant fat sources.
What is the best way to remove the bitterness from mustard greens? In other words, how may mustard greens be made less spicy?
The spiciness of mustard greens may be lessened by adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, towards the conclusion of cooking. These greens were traditionally fried with pig or bacon to offset the taste.
Season them with beef bacon, onions, and red pepper flakes to make a milder taste and eliminate pork, or simmer them with sliced grass-fed beef femur bones, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, onion, garlic, and even some 80/20 minced chuck steak to reduce the acidity in the greens.
How To Eat
Mustard greens may be eaten in a variety of ways. For example, they may be eaten fresh and mixed into salads or juices or cooked in a stir-fry or steamed.
Cooked mustard greens are preferred by most people, particularly when combined with other ingredients such as onion, tomato, garlic, or a little butter.
How To Clean
When preparing mustard greens, be sure to properly wash them to remove sand, dirt, surface dust, and pesticide residue (if they aren’t organic). This may be accomplished by rinsing them under cold water or placing them in a cold water dish before cooking.
How to Cook
A well-balanced and layered meal is created by combining the peppery flavor of mustard greens with milder seasonings. Here are some culinary ideas for you to attempt in your own kitchen:
- To preserve the taste of mustard greens, sauté them rather than boiling them. They may be sautéed with garlic and a little oil, then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Curry powder, red pepper flakes, or fresh lemon juice may also be used to season sautéed mustard greens.
- Making drinks with these vitamin-rich greens is a simple method to get the benefits of mustard greens nutrition. Mustard greens may be juiced together with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Combine mustard greens with carrots, cucumbers, celery, apple, lemon, or ginger for a delicious salad. By adding leafy greens with a milder flavor, such as spinach or kale, you can mask the spicy flavor of mustard greens.
- Making a soup with these antioxidant-rich greens is another fantastic way to get them into your regular diet. The possibilities are infinite! Add veggie stock and chopped mustard greens to lentils or white beans.
- Any soup may be made with any meat, such as turkey, pig, or chicken. For example, to make a mustard green soup with tofu or noodles, combine carrots, celery, onions, and mustard greens.
Mustard greens are now used in a wide range of healthful meals all around the globe. Each nation has its own method of adopting these healthy greens into its culture.
People in Africa cook fish with mustard greens, a dish known as sarson da saag. The plant’s stem is pickled in India, while the seeds are used to create mustard in China.
Brown mustard is the mustard that is formed from these seeds. Mustard greens are eaten with pleasure and steamed rice by the Gorkhas of Darjeeling and Sikkim, and grilled bread.
Mustard greens are used in stir-fried meals in Japan, and a stew made with mustard greens, tamarind, pork, and dried jalapeño peppers is particularly popular.
Mustard greens are seasoned by being roasted for hours with ham hocks or smoked pork in soul food cuisine, which is popular in the Southern states of the United States. Greens cooked with onion, vinegar, chicken stock, and thick bacon are popular Southern mustard greens dishes (you can sub in turkey bacon for a healthier twist).
Radish greens, spinach, kale, bok choy, and collards are all good replacements for mustard greens. Radish greens are a nice alternative if you’re seeking a green with a similar spicy flavor, while spinach and kale are milder.
Side Effects and Risks
Reheating leftover mustard greens may cause nitrates to be converted to nitrites, leading to the formation of germs. When consumed in significant numbers, these substances may be hazardous to your health, so eat your mustard greens as quickly as possible after boiling them.
Because of the vitamin K in mustard greens, if you consume them in large quantities, you may notice a difference in how your blood clots. If you’re taking a blood thinner like Warfarin, you’ll want to avoid this.
Certain persons with oxalate urinary tract stones should avoid eating plants from the Brassica family, such as mustard greens since the natural chemicals in the food might cause oxalate stones to crystallize.
- Is it possible to consume the leaves of the mustard plant? Yes!
- Mustard greens are spicy greens that originate from the same plant that produces mustard seeds, which are used as a spice and in the preparation of the condiment and mustard oil.
- Mustard greens nutrition is advantageous owing to the high antioxidant content, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and other nutrients found in this vegetable.
- Boosting liver function, controlling cholesterol, supporting eye and skin health, protecting against cancer and heart disease, and aiding digestion are all advantages of mustard greens.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are mustard greens good for your body?
A: In general, mustard greens are good for your body because they have a lot of vitamins and minerals. They also contain some antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body.
What are two interesting facts about mustard greens?
A: Over 300 types of mustard greens grow in the Northern Hemisphere. Mustard greens have been used to fight off insect pests, including fleas and ticks, and prevent plant diseases such as powdery mildew
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