What to do with Mustard greens

    Mustard greens nutrition facts

    Peppery, crispy mustard greens, also known as leaf mustard, is indeed one of the most nutritious green-leafy vegetables available around. Its lovely top greens have actually more vitamin A, carotenes, vitamin K, and flavonoid anti-oxidants than some of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
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    This crispy leafy green is obtained from mustard plant belonging to the Brassica family, which also includes?cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. Scientific name: Brassica juncea.
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    The mustard plant is native to sub-Himalayan plains of Indian sub-continent, commonly cultivated for its?leaves and oil seeds since ancient times. Several cultivars of leaf mustard exist. Mustards are winter crops, when their leaves are more flavorful from November until March.
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    In general, its young tender green leaves?are gathered when the plant reaches about 2 feet in height and used as green-leafy vegetable. If left alone, it continue to grow, reaches about 4-5 feet in height and bears golden yellow colored flowers which subsequently develop into mustard seed pods.
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    Fresh mustard leaves feature deep green, broad leaves with flat surface and may have either toothed, frilly or lacy edges depending up on the cultivar type. Its light-green stem branches out extensively into many laterals.
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    Mustard seeds used as spice are being used extensively in cooking as well as in oil production n many parts of South-Asian regions.

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    Health benefits of mustard greens

    • Mustard greens, like spinach, are the storehouse?for many phyto-nutrients that have health promotional and disease prevention properties.

    • Leaf-mustard is very low in calories (27 calories per 100 g raw leaves) and fats. However, its dark-green leaves carry ample amounts of phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, it contains very good amount of fiber that helps control cholesterol level by interfering with its absorption in the gut. Adequate fiber in the food aids in smooth bowel movements and thereby offers protection from hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.

    • The greens are very good sources of?vitamin K. 100 g of fresh leaves carry about 257.5 μg or about 215% of daily requirement of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has found to have a potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone. It also has established role to play in Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

    • Mustard greens are rich source of anti-oxidants flavonoids, indoles, sulforaphane, carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin. Indoles, mainly di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane have proven benefits against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.

    • Fresh leaves are also a moderate source of B-complex group of vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin, riboflavin etc. 100 g fresh leaves provide about 12 μg (about 3% of RDA) of folic acid. This water-soluble vitamin has an important role in DNA synthesis, and cell division. When given to women during peri-conception time as a supplement, this vitamin may help prevent neural tube defects in their newborn babies.

    • Fresh mustard leaves are an excellent source of vitamin-C. Provides 70 μg or about 117% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful natural anti-oxidant that offers protection against free radical injury and flu-like viral infections.

    • Mustard leaves are also incredible sources of vitamin-A (provide 3024 IU or 101% of RDA per 100 g). Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for?maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is required for good eye-sight. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

    • Fresh mustard greens are an excellent source of several essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese.

    • Regular consumption of mustard greens in the diet is known to prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia and believed to offer protection from cardiovascular diseases, asthma and colon and prostate cancers.

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