Mustard oil is a superhero in the range of oils used culinary as well as therapeutic uses. So, the oil comes from the seeds of mustard plants which has got a strong taste. It contains low saturated fats and contains a high value of MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) that reduces cardiovascular disease. In addition, the optimum ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids elevates the goodness of this edible oil.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 tablespoon of mustard oil contains 126 calories.
Here are some amazing facts about the mustard oil that may surprise you.
1. Monounsaturated fatty acids help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In several studies, researchers have found that the consistent intake of monounsaturated fatty acids in the diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Mustard oil has anti-fungal properties as it contains a compound Allyl Isothiocyanate. When applied to the body it cures and prevents fungal infections.
3. Though mustard oil is being used in several recipes across the country, but it is the traditional cooking medium in Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Nepal. The oil is also used in a number of Kashmiri dishes.
4. Even in Ayurveda, mustard oil has a very predominant role to play.
5. The pungent odor of the oil helps in repelling mosquitoes and ants. So, you can use it as a repellent spray.
6. It even aids in reducing the risk of cancer as mustard oil has potent cancer-fighting properties. It contains a good amount of linolenic acid, which, when converted to omega-3 fatty acid, helps prevent stomach and colon cancers.
7. Mustard oil is a natural stimulant that helps in stimulating digestive juices and bile in the liver and spleen. Consequently, it improves digestion.
8. In addition, it improves blood circulation as it stimulates our circulatory system and sweat glands. When applied on skin it ensures improved blood circulation throughout the body and enlarged skin pores through sweating. This diaphoretic ability of this wonder oil results in lowered body temperature and removal of toxins from the body.
9. The heating property of the oil clears up the congestion in the respiratory tract. Hence, it acts as an excellent remedy to cure a cold and cough for decades.
10. Regularly massaging the oil works amazingly well in curing joint aches and arthritis by increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
11. Before going to bed, pour two or three drops of mustard oil in your navel. This would help you to get rid of chapped lips.
12. Over the centuries, this wonder oil has been in use for massaging newborns. Studies showed that the common reasons to use mustard oil for massaging were to promote strength, maintain health, and provide warmth to the body.
The mustard plant is a native to Europe. It has various nutritional content which includes monosaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids.
Dangers and side effects
Apart from health benefits they might also have health issues because it contains high levels of erucic acid. In small doses, erucic acid is safe, but higher levels may be dangerous. Because, erucic acid may cause a heart condition called myocardial lipidosis.
In 2016, the FDA issued a warning that mustard oil is not safe to use in cooking because of its high erucic acid content. This means that the FDA do not permit its use as a cooking oil in the United States.