Mustard Greens: Nutrition Profile And Health Benefits

Written by Sindhu Koganti

Did you know that those bitter, spicy mustard greens are packed with loads of medicinal properties? You may be familiar with mustard seeds for their spicy flavor. But, their leafy green vegetables are beneficial for your health. Mustard greens (Brassica juncea) are low in calories and high in nutrients. Consumption of mustard greens can help promote bone health, support the immune system, improve heart health, maintain vision, and fight cancer. In this article, we explore the health benefits of mustard greens, their nutrient profile, their types, recipes, and possible side effects. Keep reading!

Mustard Greens Nutrition Facts

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup (56 g) of chopped mustard greens contains:

  • Calories: 15.1 kcal
  • Protein: 1.6 g
  • Fat: 0.235 g
  • Carbohydrate: 2.62 g
  • Fiber: 1.79 g
  • Calcium: 64.4 mg
  • Iron: 0.918 mg
  • Potassium: 215 mg
  • Sodium: 11.2 mg
  • Vitamin C: 39.2 mg
  • Vitamin A: 84.6 µg
  • Vitamin K: 144 µg

Mustard greens also contain vitamin E, folate, copper, zinc, and selenium in small amounts.

The rich nutrient profile of mustard greens has many health benefits. So, what are the health benefits of mustard greens? Scroll down to know more.

6 Potential Health Benefits Of Eating Mustard Greens

1. Promotes Bone Health

Mustard greens are rich in vitamin K and calcium, which are essential for bone health. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. And, reduced intake of vitamin K diet is associated with hip fractures and low bone mineral density (BMD). According to a study, high doses of vitamin K supplementation reduce the incidence of fractures in postmenopausal women. Also, a dietary intake of one calcium-rich cup of cooked mustard greens is recommended to maintain healthy bones. However, more research is needed to understand the benefit of mustard greens.

2. Supports The Immune System

A study conducted by the Agricultural University of Cracow (Poland) found that frequent consumption of vegetables from the Brassica family helps stimulate the immune system, prevents oxidative stress, and induces detoxification enzymes. Moreover, the presence of vitamin C in mustard greens supports the immune system. Research also suggests that vitamin C supports many cell functions, acts against pathogens, and helps prevent respiratory infections.

Also, mustard greens are rich in vitamin A, which plays a key role in enhancing immune function. T-cells are major components in the immune system and can kill pathogens. A study published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition suggests that vitamin A can regulate T-cell function and prevent inflammatory reactions.

3. Improves Heart Health

Did you know that leafy green vegetables lower your cholesterol? The bile acid-binding potential of mustard greens decreases bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. But, what is the role of bile acid-binding in lowering cholesterol? Bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver. So, if you eat foods high in cholesterol, you may lose the ability to convert the cholesterol in your body into bile acids. On the other hand, leafy vegetables produce more bile acids (and the liver converts more cholesterol), which lowers the level of cholesterol in your body.

According to a study, steam-cooked mustard greens improve bile acid-binding more than raw vegetables. Also, consumption of green leafy vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 15.8%. Additionally, the polyphenol extracts of Brassica vegetables show a significant reduction in cholesterol levels.

4. Good For Eye Health

Mustard greens contain vitamin A, which is essential for vision health. Dark leafy green vegetables also contain carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that help to form macular pigment in the eyes. These dietary carotenoids also prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and retinal detachment. Lutein is a xanthophyll with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that helps in the prevention of AMD.

Mustard leaves are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health. However, more research is required to understand the benefit of mustard greens in humans.

5. Fights Cancer

The presence of phytochemicals like phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and glucosinolates in mustard greens offers protection from many chronic diseases such as cancer. A study conducted by West Virginia University found that mustard greens contain phytonutrients and glucosinolates with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.

Another study conducted by the Chungbuk National University found that mustard leaf extract showed potential against colon and lung cancers. Also, consumption of cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of ovarian and stomach cancers.

6. Supports Liver Function

A study conducted on Wistar albino rats found that a crude methanol extract of mustard leaf greens has hepato- and nephroprotective activities that help support liver function. However, limited research is available on this benefit of mustard greens.

Mustard greens are available in many varieties based on their color, texture, and flavor. What are some popular types of mustard greens? Check them out in the following section.

Types Of Mustard Greens

There are many types of mustard greens beyond the common curly-leafed variety. Some species of mustard greens include:

  • Mizuna
  • Green Wave
  • Ethiopian Mustard
  • Red Tatsoi
  • Southern Giant Curled Mustard
  • Tokyo Bekana
  • Red Giant
  • Florida Broadleaf
  • Chinese Green Mustard
  • Osaka Purple-Leaved

These are some popular types of mustard greens that are grown worldwide. But, how do you incorporate mustard greens into your diet? Scroll down to learn some easy recipes for mustard greens.

Easy Mustard Green Recipes

1. Mustard Greens Salad

What You Need

  • Mustard greens – 1 bunch
  • Lemon juice – 3-4 tablespoons
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Minced garlic cloves – 2
  • Salt – To taste

Process

  1. Place the mustard greens in a bowl and quickly massage the leaves.
  2. In a jar fitted with a lid, whisk or shake together the lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic.
  3. Pour the dressing all over the mustard greens.
  4. Toss the mustard greens to coat them with the dressing.
  5. Season to taste with salt.

2. Mustard Green Soup

What You Need

  • Mustard greens – 2 bunches
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Minced garlic – 3 cloves, chopped
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese – 2 tablespoons
  • Fennel bulb -1
  • White beans – 15 ounce
  • Chicken stock – 4 cups
  • Kosher salt – to taste

Process

  1. In a large pot, heat up the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and fennel and cook for about 7–8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and mustard greens and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes until the greens have wilted.
  5. Add the white beans and stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer gently until it thickens slightly. This should take about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges.

3. Mustard Greens Juice

What You Need

  • Mustard greens – 2 leaves
  • Black plum – 1
  • Cucumbers – 2
  • Celery – 2 stalks
  • Apple – 1
  • Lemon – 1, peeled
  • Ginger root – 1-inch piece
  • Lime – ½, peeled

Process

  1. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly.
  2. Chop the apple, cucumbers, and plum.
  3. Blend all the ingredients in a juicer.
  4. Serve the juice cold with ice.

This is how you include mustard greens in your diet. You can also make pickled mustard greens. Check out the next section for the recipe.

How To Make Pickled Mustard Greens

Pickled mustard greens are a popular dish in Chinese cuisine. Here is the recipe for pickled mustard greens.

What You Need

  • Mustard greens – 1 kg
  • Salt – 2.5 tablespoons
  • Boiled water – As needed
  • Airtight glass jar – 1
  • Sichuan peppercorn seeds – 1 teaspoon (optional)

Process

  1. Cut the mustard greens into large chunks and rinse them under running water.
  2. Lay the washed mustard greens on a clean gridiron and make sure that there is no water on the leaves.
  3. Transfer the withered mustard greens to a large bowl.
  4. Rub the leaves with salt until they are withered and begin to lose water.
  5. Transfer the mustard green leaves to the glass jar.
  6. Add the Sichuan peppercorn seeds and remaining salt to the jar.
  7. Pour water into the jar to soak the leaves.
  8. Use a weight to make sure the mustard greens are soaked in water.
  9. Cover the jar completely, store it in a shaded place, and wait for 7 to 15 days until the water turns bright yellowish-green.

When buying and storing mustard greens, you should remember some important points. Scroll down to learn more about them.

How To Select And Store Mustard Greens

Always look for fresh mustard greens with dark green and crispy leaves. Avoid yellow-colored leaves and leaves with spots and holes. Wrap them in a paper towel to remove moisture and store them in a plastic zip-top cover in the refrigerator.

There are many alternatives for mustard greens. Scroll down to learn about the mustard green substitutes.

Mustard Green Substitutes

The best mustard green substitutes are:

  • Swiss chard
  • English spinach
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Turnip

Mustard greens are safe for most people. But, are there any recorded adverse effects of mustard greens? Scroll down to know more.

Possible Adverse Effects Of Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are generally considered safe for most people. But, they may cause adverse effects in some people. Mustard greens are rich in vitamin K, and a high intake of vitamin K may interact with blood-thinning medication. Also, the presence of oxalates in mustard greens may increase the risk of kidney stones in people who consume them in excess. However, limited research is available on the side effects of mustard greens.

Conclusion

Mustard greens are leaves of the mustard plant, which is known for its spicy seeds and nutritious value. The antioxidants and phytochemical compounds in mustard greens treat many health ailments. From improving bone health to supporting liver function, this leafy green vegetable helps in maintaining your overall health. You can add these spicy leaves to your salads or soups. However, people who are on blood-thinning medication should consult their doctor because of the high vitamin K content of mustard greens.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can you eat mustard greens raw?

Yes. You can eat mustard greens raw. You can add them to your salads or smoothies. They provide a spicy flavor to your foods.

How long do you cook mustard greens?

It does not take much time to cook mustard greens. Roast them in the oven for 3-4 minutes on high.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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Sindhu Koganti is a Biotechnology graduate and has been in the writing field for over 4 years now. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has hands-on experience in writing articles and press releases on Life Sciences and Healthcare, Food and Beverages, and Chemicals and Materials. When she’s not writing, she loves watching movies and listening to music. She also enjoys traveling.