Mustard is a familiar vegetable around the world and a popular condiment for enhancing the flavor of meals, but mustard greens' claim to fame rests on their health-boosting qualities. These vegetables originated in the Himalayan Mountains. So it shouldn't be surprising to learn that they are hardy enough to thrive in a range of climates and harsh weather conditions. Mustard greens have become widely used in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cooking. The plant can resemble spinach in appearance, but it comes in a range of shapes and colors. For example, its leaves could be purple in color as well as the dark green of spinach leaves.

1. Helps prevent heart problems and diabetes

High levels of LDL in relation to HDL cholesterol are bad news for heart health and anyone who happens to be in the borderline diabetes category. Accumulations of cholesterol lead to blocked arteries and the serious health problems that are certain to follow. Green mustard is one of the vegetables that help to keep down LDL (or bad cholesterol) and boost HDL (good cholesterol). Including it in meal plans reduces risks of developing heart problems and enables this individual stay on the right side of the diabetes border.

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2. A part to play treating common flues and colds

Sufferers from colds, and flues and even asthmatics, find that adding mustard greens to their diet reduces the frequency and intensity of attacks. The high amounts of vitamin C found in these vegetables is one of the reasons why they do such a good job assisting the body to fight off inflammations and associated respiratory problems. Additionally, they operate as a decongestant to dislodge mucus from nasal passageways. Sufferers from chronic bronchitis also often find this condition improves once they begin to include mustard greens in their meal plans.



3. A valuable source of nutrition

Heavy consumption of processed and junk foods in western countries deprives many people of the nutrition they need to stay healthy. If they start eating mustard greens, they can benefit from its rich nutritional value while at the same time enjoying its unique taste in a stir-fry or spicy curry. From just 100 grams of cooked mustard greens, they find 19% manganese, 59% vitamin C and 10% calcium, and this list is far from exhaustive. The variety of ways it is possible to prepare and cook these vegetables adds to the appeal of getting nutrients in this form.

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4. Especially rich in vitamin K

Vitamin K may not have as high a profile as the much better-known vitamins, B, C, and D, but it nevertheless is vital for maintaining a good bone density. Research reveals that many people fail to get sufficient vitamin K from their food and this makes them more liable to suffer from bone diseases and arthritis. 100 grams of mustard greens contains all the vitamin K needed to keep bones in good shape and the body full of energy.



5. Stay mentally alert with mustard greens

One of the most interesting areas worthy of future research relates to how this vegetable stimulates brain activity. Scientists recognize how the potassium and folate that it contains are good for the brain. Potassium seems to improve the flow of blood and strengthen powers of concentration. Folate could help lower the risks of Alzheimer's and other diseases that atrophy mental powers. Mustard greens provide over a quarter of the recommended daily folate intake.



6. A good food choice for pregnant and nursing mothers

The fact that mustard greens are rich in vitamin B makes them an excellent food choice for expectant women. And it is very good for their babies. In particular, the folic acid type of vitamin B contributes to the development of the fetus. It can help avoid the underweight births and other problems a lack of this chemical may cause. While you can get folate supplements, it is obviously much better to get folate and folic acid naturally in meals.



7. An excellent source of fiber

The body uses the fiber intake from food to produce energy. Fiber is also very important for regular bowel movements that prevent constipation. At the same time, the fiber helps to keep arteries clear of obstruction and blood pressure levels at their optimum. A standard cup of mustard greens provides 3 grams of fiber. This is approximately a quarter of the daily intake a woman requires. Men need to get a significantly larger amount of daily fiber.   



8. Eases the symptoms of menopause

The chemical and physical changes women undergo during the menopause years pose many health challenges. Statistics show that almost half of women experience a reduction in bone density over this period. These natural changes in their bodies expose them to greater risks of developing diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The generous amounts of magnesium, calcium and vitamin K found in mustard greens reduce the probability of bone density problems of this kind.



9. Helps to remove toxins from the body

The compounds that mustard greens contain help to detoxify the body. Poor quality foodstuffs and environmental pollution cause accumulations of toxins in the bloodstream. Without an effective cleansing, the body reaches a point where the smooth functioning of the liver and digestive system could be impaired. Mustard greens bring into the body detoxifying materials. They help rid the body of toxins naturally through the normal bodily waste elimination channels.



10. Reinforce the natural compounds fighting off disease

One view of the workings of human anatomy portrays a struggle taking place between the free radical forces that attack healthy cells and the antioxidant compounds that strengthen the body's defenses. This is obviously a simplistic way to describe the forces at work. But it can still help to explain another important benefit that mustard green eaters enjoy. The vitamin C and A the vegetable introduces to the body enables it to produce more of these antioxidants. Glutathione is the scientific name of one of the antioxidants whose production it encourages. In these ways eating mustard green reduces the risks of serious developing.

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