Plain yellow, spicy brown, tangy Dijon, pebbly whole grain: However you like your mustard, its uses extend far beyond your sandwich, burger, wrap, or hot dog. In addition to adding flavor and depth to foods, all varieties of mustard have plenty of notable health benefits. Here are five new ways to enjoy this tangy condiment and do your body some extra good too.
1. Benefit: Fight or prevent cancer and other diseases
Mustard seeds come from a plant that’s in the same Brassica botanical family as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Brassica vegetables have several notable nutritional and health benefits, and pairing them with mustard can unlock another promising benefit. Mustard can help turn on a cancer-fighting compound in these because it contains the enzyme myrosinase. Plus, other compounds and nutrients in mustard can further inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Add mustard: Make homemade dressings, marinades, and other dishes
Making a dressing, marinade, or sauce can be an opportunity to add mustard to your meals. If the recipe calls for mayo, replace some of it with mustard (to taste or up to half the amount). You’ll gain tang and depth of flavor. As an added bonus, mustard can emulsify an oil-based salad dressing just as well as mayo.
Mustard can also be mixed with honey, molasses, butter, sour cream, yogurt, or other toppings. When making a savory sauce to go on foods such as steamed corn, baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, or grilled meats, mustard pairs beautifully.
2. Benefit: Ease sore, achy, painful muscles
Mustard, which has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years around the world, can also ease sore muscles. Whether your feet are achy from a long day or you overdid a workout, mustard can soothe those aching muscles and help you feel ready to go again.
Add mustard: To a hot bath
Combined with Epsom salts, baking soda, and essential oils, mustard can transform a soothing hot bath into a truly restorative soak. You can mix up a big batch in advance and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. Or when those aching muscles have you reaching for the hot water tap, just sprinkle some in as you fill the tub. Either way, aim for a solid 20- to 30-minute soak.
3. Benefit: Soothe a sore throat
Whenever a sore throat strikes, mustard is a surprise ally in your fight to feel better. Sulphur and other nutrients and minerals give mustard anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral superpowers, helping you fight infections and ease pain.
Add mustard: To a gargle rinse with honey
Combine your choice of mustard with some honey (or use a honey mustard for a double-dose of honey goodness). Add salt and lemon juice, then whisk into one cup of freshly-boiled water. Let cool, gargle, and spit. Repeat as needed to help your body fight what’s ailing you and get back to normal sooner.
4. Benefit: Reduce headache and migraine pain
Headaches are debilitating, especially when they transform from a simple dull ache to the throbbing agony of a migraine. When you feel a headache coming, before reaching for the medicine cabinet try grabbing the mustard jar instead. Research suggests that the magnesium in mustard can mitigate a migraine, so turn to mustard first for some potential relief.
Add mustard: Soak your feet to reduce headache pain
Mustard powder really shines for this remedy. Reducing pressure in your head such as by increasing blood flow to your feet and lower legs can help ease headache pain. Mix hot water and mustard powder in your tub, have a sit, and soak your feet. After about half an hour, you may notice your headache fading away.
5. Benefit: Fight skin ailments such as psoriasis and ringworm
Instead of slathering a sandwich with mustard, slather your own skin for more benefits. Ailments such as psoriasis and fungal diseases such as ringworm cause discomfort, itchiness, and inflammation. Oils and compounds in mustard seeds, however, can ease those effects and fight the underlying causes, helping you achieve healthier skin.
Add mustard: Scrub with mustard seed
Whether yellow, brown, or black, mustard seeds contain powerful oils and minerals. Grind mustard seeds, mix with aloe vera, and apply to the affected areas. Let soak a few minutes and then gently wash and pat dry.
6. Bonus tip: Don’t waste the mustard left in an empty jar!
With so many new ways to use mustard, you may quickly find that you have bottles or jars that are nearly empty, except for the sides or bottom. You don’t have to let that goodness go to waste.
Use the container as a mixing jar for your next batch of mustard-based dressing or sauce. Add your ingredients, close the lid, and shake to combine.
You don’t have to limit mustard to the condiment shelf of your fridge. Think beyond sandwiches with these tips to benefit your food and body.
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