Deriving from the Brassica family, mustard greens are essentially cool-season crops, plants that are harvested for summer harvest in cool seasons in May or June, such as kale, cabbage and collards. These greens grow quickly and extremely adaptable and resilient; they can be grown almost anywhere. Mustard greens are noted for their numerous benefits; let’s delve deeper into some of these, shall we?
Benefits of Mustard Greens
Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
Packed with magnesium and nitrates, mustard greens consist of important fatty acids and essential phytochemicals, all of which boost cardiovascular health. This, in turn, prevents heart diseases and other heart conditions. Our blood and tissues require nitric oxide, hence it is necessary that the body receives adequate amounts of nitrate. The magnesium found in the mustard greens lower the risk of hypertension by dilating the blood vessels in the body. Mustard greens are full of dietary fibre, which works to keep the blood cholesterol in the body in check and prevents constipation. These plants also have the ability to combat the harmful effects of free radicals in the body, this is due to the antioxidant-rich properties found in mustard greens. Free radicals have been related to chronic diseases and an excess of free radicals can potentially cause oxidative stress in the body. Over time, free radical damage can accumulate and lead to premature ageing.
Improve the Health of the Skin
As we’ve discussed earlier, mustard greens are a rich source of antioxidants. They are packed with vitamin A, K and C, which are responsible for eradicating free radicals and eliminating heavy metal ions and other toxic intermediates that taint the bloodstream. This essentially prevents premature and stalls visible signs of ageing, including wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin. Moreover, the accumulation of free radicals can increase the risk of pimples, breakouts, blemishes and dark spots. The vitamin A and carotenoids found in mustard greens are potent enough to lower the risk of cancer developing in the body.
Boost Vision Health
Mustard greens are comprised of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which are extremely crucial for the health of your eyes. They also work to prevent eye disorders that are caused by age, including cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, they play a significant role in fighting certain conditions such as retinoblastoma and glaucoma, at the same time, these plants shield the eyes from harmful carcinogenic agents.
Lower Cholesterol and Enhance Bile Interaction
Mustard greens have the ability to boost bile-binding in the body, this essentially helps to significantly lower cholesterol in the body. By doing so, mustard greens prevent hypercholesterolemia or high blood cholesterol levels, which is responsible for increasing the risk of heart disease. The best way to get the most of these foods is to consume cooked mustard greens after cooking them for 20 minutes. This will ensure that the fibre and phytochemicals are released and ready for absorption by the body. Additionally, cooked mustard greens have been proven to prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the body and work better with bile juices. Incorporating cooked mustard greens into your diet is said to not only lower the cholesterol levels in the body but also protect the liver.
Improve Cognition and Memory
Age-related memory loss and impaired control and coordination can be prevented and stalled by consuming mustard greens. Studies have shown that green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens are potent enough to have a positive impact on the brain and its cognitive faculties. Try to include more spinach, collards, kale, mustard greens, and cabbage into your diet. These plants are packed with calcium and iron, which are crucial for cognitive development in both adults and children.
Mustard greens are cruciferous vegetables, not unlike cauliflowers. Essentially most cruciferous vegetables are comprised of compounds that are identified as glucosinolates. These compounds are known for their pungent aroma and bitter flavour. Usually, the glucosinolates in these vegetables break down to produce active compounds such as nitriles, indoles, isothiocyanates, thiocyanates when they are chewed and broken down. These compounds have been shown to impede cancer development and DNA damage in specific organs in the body, including colon, liver, lung, bladder, stomach and breast. Mustard greens are also noted for boosting your immune system by nourishing the body with crucial nutrients. This inadvertently lowers the risk of inflammatory disorders and cancer.
Remedies Constipation and Hemorrhoids
The high fibre content in mustard greens goes a long way to ease and stimulate the bowel movements in the intestinal tract. In fact, one cup of boiled mustard leaves contains about 3 grams of fibre, this supports regular bowel movements, and in turn, keeps bowels clear and healthy. The presence of water-soluble fibre prevents the buildup of fat in the intestines. This lack of fat accumulation in the intestine stops and lowers the risk of constipation, consequent haemorrhoids from forming and colorectal inflammation.