Is Mustard Good For You?

As common as mustard is in our households and on menus across the country, it is often mustard's counterpart, mayonnaise, that receives more attention in regard to health. And due to the condiment's oftentimes overshadowed presence in our kitchen, many of us are unaware that mustard is actually a plant-based condiment and comes from seeds of a mustard plant, per

Mental Floss claims the yellow spread has been used for centuries, dating to when the Egyptian pharaohs took mustard seeds into their tombs for the afterlife. The Egyptians may have been packing the flavorful spicy seeds for eternity, but it is the ancient Romans who are credited for inventing this famous spread. They were the first to grind the seeds of the mustard plant and blend them with liquids like vinegar and wine to make the zesty topping. So is this ancient spread, which may stand as a top contender for most popular condiment choice in modern times, actually good for you?

Mustard can help defend against diseases

Now, there isn't enough research to claim that mustard has definitive cancer-fighting powers. However, Verywell Fit notes that the yellow spread is rich in two antioxidants, isothiocyanates and sinigrin, that may contribute to cancer-fighting capabilities in the breast, lung, GI tract, and prostate. Particularly, isothiocyanates may help manage diabetes and help reduce bad cholesterol levels, but again, more conclusive research is needed to definitively support these claims. 

Mustard is also very low in calories. Different types may have more or less, though 1 teaspoon of yellow and spicy varieties contain approximately 3 calories each. Given the low-calorie amount in a serving, mustard does significantly contribute to a person's daily calorie intake (via Verywell Fit).

Healthline states that mustard is also rich in glucosinolate. Glucosinolate is a powerful compound that is found both in the leaves and seeds of a mustard plant and is known to help stimulate the body's antioxidant defenses that protect us from diseases.

All signs indicate that mustard may be beneficial to our health. It's clearly a winning choice for calorie counters, too. So don't be afraid to squeeze or smear a little extra onto your sandwich or into your sauces if you're a fan of the popular yellow spread.