Mustard: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and Storage

Mehak Shah

June 24, 2022

Mustard is one of the earliest recorded spices the world has ever known. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family. Scientifically it is called Sinapis. The variations included are Brassica nigra (black mustard), Brassica rapa (field mustard), and Sinapis alba L. (yellow mustard).

Mustard has a wide array of usage. For example, as paste, sauce, flavourings, additives, and the most famous spices. It is rich in taste. Some find it ‘vinegary,’ a little ‘tangy,’ or sometimes even ‘bitter.’ Extracted from the mustard seeds, mixed with either water or vinegar, helps gain the prepared mustard. Mustards are not only limited to spice; they are also used to make mustard oil. Mustard oil is the dense, spicy oil generally used to cook or give ‘tadka’ (tempering) to vegetables or meat. 

In earlier times, Greeks used mustard for medicinal purposes, and it probably originated in Ancient Egypt. As medicine and as a spice, this ingredient has won people’s hearts globally. Mustard has proven its popularity from its topical application to combat several diseases and conditions and fight infections. 

Mustard is a potent source of antioxidants. It also has antimicrobial properties, which aid in the body’s detoxification. Its topical application treats colds and coughs, reduces inflammation, and alleviates pain. It also improves heart health and promotes glowing skin. High in minerals, it has proven to make bones stronger. Mustard is rich in MUFA and PUFA, which aids in balancing cholesterol levels. It decreases LDL cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol levels in the body. This article highlights the numerous proven health benefits of mustard and the logic of including it in the diet. 

Mustard: Nutrition Facts

As per USDA, 100g of mustard holds the following properties:

  • Energy: 508 kcal
  • Protein: 26.1g
  • Total lipid (fat): 36.2g
  • Water: 5.27g
  • Carbohydrate: 28.1g
  • Fibre: 12.2g
  • Sugar: 6.79g
  • Calcium, Ca: 266mg
  • Iron, Fe: 9.21mg
  • Magnesium, Mg: 370mg
  • Phosphorus,P: 828 mg
  • Potassium, K: 738 mg
  • Vitamin A: 31 IU 

Health Benefits of Mustard

People must take mustard in recommended amounts. When consumed as a condiment, it does not contribute to any critical health benefits. However, mustard can be a low-calorie dressing from several higher-fat toppings such as mayonnaise. In addition, different types of mustard seeds treat different medicinal conditions. For example, recent herbalists used the Brassica hirta seed to clear the voice when mixed with honey.

Mustard contains two antioxidants of interest: isothiocyanates and sinigrin. Isothiocyanates, the oil answerable for giving the pungent style found in mustard, has anti-cancer capabilities for breast, lung, GI tract, and prostate cancers. However, the mechanism remains unclear, and additional analysis is required to conclude the effectualness of mustard health advantages regarding cancer. Isothiocyanates can also play a role in polygenic disorder management. It cuts back dangerous sterol to produce vas-protecting effects and neurologic benefits that will facilitate folks with autism. But, just like the cancer benefits, more research is needed.

The opposite inhibitor mustard contains sinigrin, which may be a precursor for isothiocyanates till it’s broken or smashed. Once this happens, a catalyst turns it into isothiocyanates or mustard oil. Analysis shows this antioxidant has anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. However, there’s presently not enough scientific proof to support any of those cosmetic or healthful uses of mustard or mustard seed.

Respiratory Relief

Mustard has ‘decongestant’ properties, i.e., it helps relieve nasal congestion. It helps to clear the mucus in the air passage. The steam of the mustard seeds helps in the process. 

Mustard Boosts Metabolism

Magnesium is an essential component of mustard. Studies say, “Magnesium is essential for synthesising nucleic acids and proteins, for intermediary metabolism and specific actions in different organs such as the neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems.” Another vital component is Phosphorus, which aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Muscle Spasm Relief and Pain Relief

Research suggests mustard aids in pain. It relieves pain in various musculoskeletal conditions, i.e., relief from muscle spasms. In addition, it helps in maintaining strong bones and muscles. The calcium and potassium in mustard are vital elements for developing and managing healthy bones and joints. Therefore, incorporating mustard into your daily diet will be beneficial.

Hair Growth

Mustard has beta-carotene, iron, and protein which aids in hair growth. Moreover, mustard oil, massaged on the scalp since ancient times, helps increase the scalp’s blood circulation, allowing the natural growth and texture improvement of hair. Studies indicate it also treats Alopecia areata. 

Mustard Prevents Bad Breath

The best quick home remedy to get rid of bad breath is yellow mustard. Take a few drops of the mustard oil and put it in your mouth; rinse with water afterwards.

Lowers LDL Cholesterol 

Studies have proven the benefits of mustard in increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Hence, it helps balance the cholesterol levels in the body. As a result, it reduces the risks of heart diseases or cardiovascular issues or strokes. 

Aids in Managing Diabetes

Research has proven its benefits in glucose metabolism. Mustard prevents the tremendous destruction diabetes does to the body by inflammation. Since mustard is a rich source of antioxidants, it assists in protecting the body. 

Potential Side Effects of Mustard

Mustard is approved as “generally recognised as safe” (GRAS) by the US Food-associated Drug Administration once consumed in amounts usually found in food. However, if you employ mustard for cosmetic or medicative uses, you should exercise caution.

The Natural Medicines information notes that applying white or Brassica nigra to the skin for an extended amount of your time will cause burns, blisters, or ulcers. The supply additionally notes that overwhelming massive amounts of black mustard seed orally can injure the throat and cause facet effects with heart failure, diarrhoea, drowsiness, respiratory difficulties, coma, and death. 

Mustard and seasonal allergies aren’t uncommon. Consistent with the hypersensitivity reaction campaign within the United Kingdom, different foods derived from the mustard plant can cause reactions. Hence, it is called a mustard hypersensitivity reaction. It can happen from mustard leaves, seeds, flowers, mustard seeds, mustard oil, and foods containing these.

Symptoms of a mustard allergy are also delicate or severe, including rashes or a tingly, fretful feeling in the mouth, itchy skin, swollen face, lips, or tongue. The allergic reactions typically come back when overconsumed. The respiratory issue is additionally possible. In such cases, restrict or limit its consumption. 


The production process varies. Commonly, some grinding is needed within the preparation process, either to provide the mustard powder from the seed or to interrupt the seed to unharness the starches and acquire the thickening effect. The method is summarised as follows: 

  • Sleek mustard gets produced by dispersing mustard flour and alternative ingredients into the water, or a mix of water and vinegar, and mixture till homogeneous. 
  • Coarse grain mustard can be factory-made in many stages. The mustard seed would first be pre-soaked within the vinegar (typically overnight) or pre-mixed with alternative dry ingredients before being sided to the vinegar. Then, the product is ground (traditionally in stone mills) to the specified consistency.

Coarse grain mustards are also made by disintegrating seasoning into sleek finished mustard to administer an unsmooth product.

Mustards, in various forms, with varied flavours and textures, can be made. However, you can divide them into two basic categories- Sleek mustards are fine ground mustard powder (“mustard flour”).

In every case, the mustard would contain vinegar, water, or a mix of the two. In addition, you could add a variety of alternative ingredients like sugar, salt, honey, herbs, and spices. Some merchandise also contains antioxidants and an acidity regulator, for instance, acid. The starches contained within the mustard seed give the required thickening effect, but some recipes might contain further thickening agents such as wheat flour.

Selection and Storage

Mustard is easy to find in nearly each grocery store. You’ll find prepared yellow mustard within the flavouring aisle of most markets. If you visit a speciality store, you’ll be able to find a lot of exotic flavours conjointly. For example, you’ll see mustard created with honey, spicy peppers, and wine. You may also see coarse mustard varieties with a definite texture with intact seeds. It’s good to shop for mustard in tiny quantities. Seasoning may lose flavour over time. Since you almost certainly will use mustard in limited amounts, you don’t want to shop for an oversized instrumentality that will doubtless spoil. 

Once opened, store mustard within the white goods for at least one year. You must keep it away from sunlight and heat. A dark and cooler place is preferred. Mustard imparts a robust and spicy style that pairs well with meat and seafood.


In conclusion, mustards are loaded with nutrients and have several health benefits. It can be consumed and also be topically applied. Mustard oil, seeds, and leaves, all parts of this plant are edible. Some recipes like okra mustard curry, mustard fish, mustard paneer, and many more are popular in India. Also, you can put the leaves in salads. In some parts of India, mustard leaves are paired with cornflour flatbreads and are winter delicacies. The United States ranks the highest in consuming mustard. However, it is no secret that consuming anything too much is detrimental to health. Therefore, advised eating in suitable amounts. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the taste of mustard?

A. The taste description of every individual differs; however, in general, ‘vinegary,’ a little ‘tangy,’ or sometimes even ‘bitter’ is described by most. The taste also varies with its type. For example, yellow mustard has a vinegary or tangy taste, whereas white mustard tastes peppery, and black mustard has a spicy and pungent flavour.  

Q. Is Mustard vegan?

A. Yes, mustard is 100% vegan. There are a few exceptions, like honey mustard and Dijon mustard. Except for these two, generally, mustards are vegan since it is a plant extract. In addition, Dijon Mustard may have albumin, casein, or isinglass, making it non-vegan. 

Q. What food goes with mustard?

A. Many foods go with mustard. The mustard sauce goes with fries, hot dogs, veg and non-veg burgers, salads, toasts, etc. It is also used as a sauce to make pickles and chatnis tastier. Mustard oil makes curries, fries and vegetables and meat-based preparations. It goes well with veggies but also with non-veg products. 

Q. What are the side effects of mustard?

A. Black mustard has few side effects; it includes skin blisters if kept for long. However, a large intake of it can cause breathing difficulties and heart problems, including failure and drowsiness, and in extreme situations, it can also lead to coma and death.

Q.What can I replace Dijon Mustard with?

A. Dijon mustard is pale yellow; it’s more peppery than yellow mustard. Stone Ground Mustard is the best option to replace Dijon Mustard with. If not Stone Ground, you can even use milder yellow mustard.

Q. Is Mustard Sweet or Sour?

A. Mustard cannot be concluded as fully sweet or sour. Its taste ranges from pungent to bitter. Depending on your pairing option, the taste varies. Many people have also described its taste as umami flavour. 

Q. Why mustard is the best condiment?

A. According to the survey of 1000 Americans conducted by Synovate, Mustard was their second favourite choice. Its taste and very low-calorie, fat-free essence, and the flavour and texture it brings to the food.

Q. Does mustard contain pork?

A. No, mustard does not contain pork. Mustard is a plant; therefore, not linked with pork. In addition, except for the Dijon Mustard and honey mustard, the mustard itself is vegan. Consequently, it is not an animal-based product.

Q. What is the difference between Dijon mustard and English mustard?

A. The difference lies in their unique flavour and ingredients. English mustard has a milder taste compared to the intense, dense, and complex flavour of Dijon Mustard. In addition, English mustard is made by grounding yellow mustard seeds and turmeric, whereas dijon mustard is made by grounding mustard seeds with vinegar, salt, and many other ingredients. 

About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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