It has been used by Romans, Greeks and Indians since ancient times.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Mustard oil is one of the healthiest edible oils.
- Mustard oil is healthier than olive oil because it has no trans fats, has low saturated fats, high mono-unsaturated fats, high polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3.
- It is stable at high temperatures, which makes it ideal for Indian cooking and even deep frying.
- In India, mustard oil is often heated almost to smoking before it is used for cooking. However, high heat can damage the omega-3 fatty acids in the oil, reducing its unique role in health.
- Mustard is also a cheaper alternative as edible oil and makes the food tastier.
- Mustard oil has a higher proportion of MUFA and is also a rich source of the PUFA.
- Mustard oil is sometimes adulterated with argemone oil, which is toxic. It is very difficult to tell when this kind of adulteration takes place.
- It is suitable for all types of cooking including frying, but should be used along with other cooking oils to reduce the erucic acid content.
- Mustard oil is also used for rub-downs and massages
All about mustard oil
There are two different types of mustard oil.
- Fatty vegetable oil resulting from pressing the seeds
- Essential oil resulting from grinding the seeds, mixing them with water and extracting the resulting volatile oil by distillation.
- Mustard seed extracts can beinfused with another plant based cooking oil such as soybean oil.
Mustard oil is prized for its characteristic flavour (pungent and sharp). It is generally available as filtered oil; refined mustard oils are sold as vegetable oil.
When cooking with mustard oil, the oil is usually brought to its smoking point before using because this causes a taste change to occur, resulting in a smoother flavour. Most other oils break down and cause an unpleasant taste when they reach their smoking point. Mustard oil is used in Indian cuisine for vegetable stir-fry and to deep-fry certain wafers and crackers. It is available in Indian and Mid-Eastern grocery stores and once opened it will keep for several months to a year if stored in a refrigerator.
Mustard oil and health
- Mustard oil can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.
- Mustard oil is rich in unsaturated fats and reduces cholesterol.
- The linolenic acid, which is present in abundance in mustard, is converted in the human body into Omega-3 fatty acid. It helps in preventing common cancers like colon cancer and stomach cancer.
- It is helpful in preventing many gastrointestinal diseases as well as gastrointestinal cancers.
- It decreases fats from blood thus prevents formation of thrombus.
- It also contains omega 3 fatty acid and other anti oxidants like Vitamin E which helps to fight against dangerous free radicals responsible for many diseases of skin and cardiovascular system.
- It is also considered useful for disease like asthma, arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
- Mustard oil has 30 per cent protein, calcium, phytins, phenolics and natural anti-oxidants.
- Mustard oil contains high amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and a good ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is good for heart. It contains the least amount of saturated fatty acids, making it safe for heart patients.
- Glucosinolate, the pungent principle in mustard oil, has anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti-carcinogenic properties, which account for many medicinal utilities of the oil.
- The relatively high level of oleic acid and the favorable balance between linolenic and linoleic acids is present in mustard oil. It may be said that it is the safest oil and is as good as any other edible oil.
- Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, reported in October, 2003 that they had found that dry mustard mixed into hamburger could kill E. coli bacteria. Mustard, it seems, is an “antimicrobial”—that is, it can destroy or at least impede the growth of microorganisms.
However, it also contains erucic acid, a fatty acid that has undesirable effects on health when consumed in large amounts.
- At 5%, mustard seed oil has the lowest saturated fat content of the edible oils
- Frying foods in mustard oil lowers the risk of heart attacks by 71 percent. *Diets that include green leafy vegetables splashed with mustard oil can help lower the chances of a heart attack, according to research.
- Mustard oil is the third most produced edible oil in the world, after Soy oil and Palm oil. At 13-14 million tons, it accounts for about 12% of the total World's edible oil production.
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy states that mustard oil should never be used for aromatherapy. Smelling it can cause irritation and inflammation to the nose.
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