#Health and Hygiene

Six Reasons Why Mustard Oil is a Superfood

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Indian kitchen features some unique ingredients that form an essential component of many regional cuisines. One of such ingredients is mustard oil. It might take a while for your tastebuds to get used to its pungent flavour but once you get past it, you will find yourself drawn to its distinct taste. Health benefits of mustard oils far beat any other oil on the market shelf.

In many cuisine cultures across Eastern and North Eastern India, mustard oil is a staple and believed to have a positive impact on health. Additionally it is used topically as a remedy to prevent cold and seasonal flu, boost immunity and strengthen hair. Babies are massaged with mustard oil to strengthen their bones. 

Mustard oil (or sarson ka tel) is produced from mustard seeds and is reddish brown in colour. Although it is banned for use as a vegetable oil in the US, Canada and Europe, it comes with a plethora of benefits. 

Here are 6 benefits of mustard oil that sets it apart from other edible oils available in the market:

  • Rich in MUFA

Mustard oil is highly popular because it is super rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) – a type of unsaturated fat found in foods like nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils. Human body requires oil in a 3:1 ratio – three parts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and one part of saturated fatty acids. MUFA come under polyunsaturated fatty acids and has been linked with a variety of health benefits.

  • Cuts the risk of cancer

One of the reported benefits of Mustard Oil is that it contains biologically active components called glucosinolates that are found in pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish. These compounds are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties and provide protection against colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.

  • Promotes cardiovascular health

A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition mentioned that Mustard oil when incorporated in a regular diet can have a positive impact on heart health as it helps in lowering triglyceride, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels — all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

  • Relief from cough and cold

Pure mustard oil is used in many home remedies to treat cold symptoms such as coughing and congestion. It might be because of its pungent nature like wasabi that helps in clearing sinuses. One home remedy is to make a mixture of about one tablespoon of warm mustard oil and two to three cloves of garlic and rub it on your feet.

In another, it can be mixed with camphor, a compound often found in creams and ointments, and applied directly to the chest. One can also try adding a few drops of pure mustard oil to boiling water and inhaling the steam.

  • Reduces inflammation

Another benefit of Mustard oil is that it has been known to relieve arthritis symptoms and reduce inflammation caused by pneumonia or bronchitis. The presence of Omega-3 fatty acids may also help in decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. 

What else has Omega-3 fatty acids? Read here

  • Promotes skin and hair health

The presence of vitamin E in mustard oil when applied on the skin is known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Also, it helps in moisturising and revitalising the scalp with essential fatty acids and helps prevent hair loss by warding off dandruff and fungal infections. 

Besides using mustard oil for cooking, you can even use it for massage if your skin reacts normally to the oil as it will help in improving your blood circulation and making your skin healthy. Be sure to perform a patch test by applying a small amount to your skin and wait at least 24 hours to check for any redness or irritation.

 

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