Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant. They are a cruciferous vegetable and member of the Brassica family. A native of the Himalayan plains, they have been cultivated for over 5,000 years and are a staple of southern cuisine in the United States.
Here are 9 health benefits of mustard greens.
Mustard greens contribute to cancer prevention by supporting three critical body systems: antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory. Studies have linked mustard greens to the prevention of bladder, colon, breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers.
High In Antioxidants
Among leafy vegetables, mustard greens provide some of the highest concentrations of three powerful antioxidants: vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C. Only one cup of mustard greens provides 524% the DV of vitamin K, 177% the DV of vitamin A and 59% the DV of vitamin C. They are also a good source of manganese, folate and vitamin E.
The antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients in mustard greens help boost phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification activities in the body. Research suggests the body's detox system is vital in supporting cardiovascular health, preventing cancer and warding off other chronic illness and disease.
Mustard greens support cardiovascular health in a variety of ways. They help reduce cholesterol levels, support the detox and inflammation systems in the body and offer good amounts of folate. Folate is a critical B-vitamin that helps prevent homocysteine build up, a contributing factor in heart disease.
Preventing chronic inflammation is essential in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, arthritis and more. Vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids are two essential anti-inflammatory agents found in mustard greens. Vitamin K directly regulates the body's anti-inflammatory system. Omega-3 fatty acids are important building blocks of the widely complex inflammation system in the body.
Mustard greens are a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes good colon health, regulates the metabolism and aids in digestion.
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of vitamin A have been linked with strengthening the eyes and the prevention of macular degeneration.
A good source of both calcium and potassium, mustard greens may help promote good bone health and help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Highly nutritious, low calorie foods may help aid in weight loss. Vegetables with good amounts of dietary fiber such as mustard greens help regulate the metabolism and maintain a healthy body weight.