Mustard lovers exist everywhere. In France, you’ll find many who couldn’t enjoy their salade without Dijon on the side. Some in Senegal would never eat chicken yassa without a mustard-based curry paste. In India, mustard seeds flavour everything, from potatoes to cauliflower, cabbage to lamb.
People don’t only enjoy mustard because it’s spicy and delicious – it’s healthy for you, too. In this piece, we’ll explain everything about mustard’s potent health benefits.
What is mustard?
Mustard is made with the whole, cracked, or bruised seeds of the mustard plant, combined with water, an acid (like vinegar or citrus juice), and salt to produce a paste. Depending on the types of seeds or liquid use to enhance the condiment’s flavour, mustard ranges from bright yellow to gold, and deep, burnt-brown.
Health benefits of mustard
Mustard is associated with many benefits for health and wellness, including:
- Encourages eye health.
Mustard contains potent carotenoids, a kind of antioxidant that scientists believe help preserve eye health throughout later life.1,2
- Protects cells.
Oxidative stress damages cells and is a significant factor in the human ageing process, which, unfortunately, also contributes to disease development.3 Antioxidants within mustard seeds have been shown to protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.4
- Supports your weight loss goals.
Mustard is the lowest calorie offering among the condiments.5 Instead of slathering mayonnaise on your sandwiches, which has approximately 31 calories per teaspoon, swipe on some of the yellow stuff containing only 3.
- Soothes skin issues.
Although these studies have yet to be verified with human subjects, scientific research on animals has found that mustard consumption may help relieve skin complaints like eczema and psoriasis.6,7,8
Mustard nutritional profile
1 teaspoon of mustard contains:9
24.4mg of omega-3 fatty acids (these support heart health)10
1% of your daily recommended allowance of thiamin11
2% of your daily recommended allowance of selenium12
1% of your daily recommended allowance of manganese13
How to get more mustard in your diet
The simplest way to add more mustard to your diet is to buy some high-quality Dijon. Enjoy it on the side of potatoes, Sunday roasts, and root vegetables dishes.
If that’s not your thing, why not cook one of these mustard dishes:
- Senegalese chicken yassa
- Bombay potatoes
- Salmon baked with mustard and herbs
- Root vegetables roasted with a mustard glaze
- Mustard-crust steak pie
Who should avoid mustard
Mustard is one of the most common spice allergies globally and has been known to cause anaphylactic shock.14 If you experience itching, lightheadedness, nausea, or facial swelling after eating mustard, stop eating immediately.
The NHS advise you call 999 for anaphylaxis if you’re experiencing severe symptoms, like trouble breathing, keeping balance, and retaining consciousness.15
Last updated: 22 February 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal
- Joined Holland & Barrett: April 2019
- Qualifications: Masters Degree in Toxicology, BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
Bhupesh specialises in vitamins & minerals nutrition, health benefits & safety of botanicals and traditional herbal medicines. View Bhupesh's LinkedIn profile.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.
Author: Bhupesh Panchal