In most grocery stores, you’re likely to find mustard greens with bok choy, cabbage and collard greens on the same shelf. These vegetables not only share a similar green, leafy appearance, but belong to the same family of plants. Mustard greens, in particular, have a sharp taste that can spruce up a number of healthy dishes. They provide an abundance of nutrients that can revitalize your health and help you live longer.
Types of Nutrients in Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are qualified to be on the “power foods” lists because of the quantity and quality of nutrients they contain. These greens provide five times the vitamin K quantity you need every day, and more than half the vitamin C. Just one cup gives you up to 85% of the recommended intake of vitamin A and has decent quantities of vitamin E as well.
Mustard Greens and the Heart
To the body, these vitamins offer the support your immune system needs to fight inflammation. Inflammation can be a huge problem for people with heart disease. Another reason why mustard greens are heart-friendly is that they are very low in fat and cholesterol. Eating a cup of mustard greens several times a week can improve your heart’s condition significantly and prolong the life of other vital organs.
Mustard Greens and Weight Loss
Leafy greens are great weight loss allies for several reasons. Firstly, mustard greens contain only 20 calories a cup, which helps to keep your calorie count low. Expert nutritionists have also found that consuming more vitamin C can increase the effectiveness of your workouts by as much as 30%. In other words, you stand to burn more calories if you eat mustard greens and other vitamin C loaded foods.
Mustard Greens and Cancer Prevention
One of the secrets to preventing cancer is increasing the amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients in the body. Unhealthy cells and free radicals are some of the leading causes of cancers. Mustard greens can prevent the onset of malignant growths and diseases by providing a collection of these anti-cancer nutrients.
Mustard Greens and Bone Health
Serving up portions of mustard greens can give you tougher teeth and bones. This is because these vegetables are rich in calcium and magnesium. Magnesium has also been proven to better muscular health as well, which is necessary for people with active lifestyles and muscle-degenerating diseases. Mustard greens have also been discovered to have small quantities of protein.
Cooking with Mustard Greens
The best way to enjoy mustard greens is when they are as raw and crisp as possible. Because prolonged cooking can deplete them of the nutrients, it is advisable to blanch or steam them for a few minutes for tenderness. Sautéing and braising are also good preparation methods.
Mustard seeds are delicious with vegetables of the same group. You can combine them with broccoli, blanched cabbage and collard greens in a salad or as a side dish for meaty meals. You can dice the leaves to add to a stew or sprinkle over soups as garnish. Always buy mustard greens fresh from your grocer.