The Benefits of Mustard

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

I really love mustard. Yellow mustard is my favorite, and it is something I use regularly in my cooking. But did you know that this popular condiment adds more than just great flavor to your meals? Did you know that it contains very healthy ingredients and that there are a lot of health benefits of mustard?

Mustard seeds and the other ingredients can provide you with nutrients like vitamin A, omega 3s, antioxidants, selenium, and so much more. This allows the condiment to offer some great positive benefit in your body.

In this article, I will cover:

Let's start by understanding what mustard is and how it is made.

Mustard condiment in white dish with spoon, mustard seeds in background on wood table with cloth.


What is mustard?

Mustard is one of the most commonly used condiments across the world – and it is one of the oldest. But what is mustard, really? What is it made of?

Usually, the yellow jar of mustard you find in the grocery store shelves is made up of a few standard ingredients:

  1. Mustard seeds.
  2. Turmeric.
  3. Apple cider vinegar.
  4. Sea salt.
  5. Herbs and spices such as paprika.

At the core of mustard are the mustard seeds. The hulls are removed and they are ground up and made into mustard flour. Then, the other ingredients are added to create the right consistency and to add the right flavor. That process results in the end product you are familiar with.

The combination of ingredients and how they are prepared can be altered to make different types of mustard. You may be familiar with yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, or spicy mustard.

What are mustard seeds?

Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant. The mustard plant is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. This is the same family that other healthy veggies like kale, collard greens, and Brussel's sprouts belong in.

Mustard seeds are the seed of this plant. They come in different varieties such as brown, white, and black mustard seeds. These different kinds can be used to make various types of mustard. They can also be used directly as a spice in cooking, such as in many traditional Indian dishes.

Pile of mustard seeds on white background with mustard flower from mustard plant.

Mustard seeds and the other ingredients used to make mustard are actually quite good for you.

Let's start by looking at the health benefits of mustard seeds.


What are the health benefits of mustard seeds?

Mustard seeds themselves are a rich source of healthy nutrients that are great for your body.

They are packed with things like:

  • Selenium.
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Folate (B9)
  • Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Isothiocyanates.
  • Antimicrobial compounds

As mentioned earlier, the mustard plant is a cruciferous vegetable, part of the Brassica family. Cruciferous vegetables can provide a lot of positive benefits in the body. For example, they can help to support:

  • Improved digestion.
  • Reduced cramps.
  • Lowered inflammation.
  • Decreased levels of toxins when meat is heated and charred

Whole grain mustard in small glass jars on table with mustard seeds and spices around it.

Here are some of the examples of specific ways in which mustard seeds themselves can benefit the body:

  • By providing you with vitamins and minerals. You need a variety of nutrients every day to keep all of the systems in your body running smoothly. Mustard seeds are a great source of many vitamins and minerals.
  • By boosting isothiocyanates. Mustard seeds contain compounds called glucosinolates, which form isothiocyanates. In the body, these compounds can help to remove toxins. They also help to reduce the toxic effect of the kinds of toxins that are created when you heat meat (for example when you char it on the grill).
  • By giving you healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy kinds of fats that your body needs a lot of. They help keep your cell membranes strong, reduce inflammation, and help you make hormones, for example.

The health benefits listed above are just some of many that mustard seeds can support.

Close up of a wooden spoonful of mustard with mustard seeds on wooden table.


The other ingredients are good for you too

Mustard seeds are the main ingredient in mustard, and they account for its unique flavor and color.

But there are also other ingredients that make it into the bottle. If you choose a good brand, the ingredient list should be quite simple and short.

Below are some of the health benefits of common mustard ingredients.

  1. Turmeric. Mustard usually contains the spice turmeric. This has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both inflammation and oxidative damage are linked to common health concerns. You don't want either, and lowering them as much as possible can boost your health. Turmeric is good for supporting that.
  2. Apple cider vinegar. This healthy vinegar is loaded with enzymes and is great for digestion. It helps keep your stomach acid optimal, aids in metabolism, and so much more. Read more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar here.
  3. Sea salt. When compared to table salt, sea salt is so much better for you. It is filled with tons of minerals that help your body function well, and it doesn't impact high blood pressure the same way that table salt does. Learn more about the benefits of sea salt in this video.

Turmeric root in cloth bag next to wooden scoop full of powder turmeric spice.

As you can see, this condiment is full of ingredients that can provide a range of health benefits. The mustard seeds themselves have a lot going from them, but so do the other ingredients like those listed above.


Mustard: a healthy condiment choice

Mustard is an incredibly healthy condiment. So if you are a fan of its unique flavor, then keep adding it to your dishes. And enjoy it regularly as part of your meals.

Mustard made with clean ingredients like those listed above is a wonderful, healthy option to add to your diet.

To review, some of the top benefits include:

  • Providing you with vitamins and minerals. You can benefit from things like vitamin A, selenium, zinc, vitamin C, and more.
  • Upping your antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Boosting omega-3 levels. These are healthy fats that are good for your body.
  • Protecting you from toxins, especially those that are created when you heat and grill meat. This makes it the perfect companion to barbecued hot dogs or burgers.

Personally, I love good old fashioned yellow mustard. My wife, on the other hand, loves the spicy kind. But when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter which kind you like.

Artisanal sausage on cutting board on wood table next to dish of whole grain mustard.

Whether you mix mustard into your sauces, add it to your burgers and hot dogs (grass-fed of course, without a bun or ketchup), or just like to put it on everything, it is a very healthy choice. You can even use it to make easy recipes like homemade mayonnaise, homemade Italian dressing, and so much more.

How do you enjoy eating your mustard? What are your favorite brands and types? How about your favorite mustard-based recipes? Share with the community by leaving a comment below.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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