- The author of this article is Mr. Ajay Data, Health Expert and Managing Director, Data Group of Industries
Mustard oil has been a staple in our kitchens and medicine cabinets for centuries. The mustard plant, which grows across India, yields more than a fragrant oil. We also use the seeds, which lend an earthiness to dishes like lemon rice, and the peppery leaves, a critical ingredient in saag paneer. This versatile oil is an essential ingredient in many culinary traditions worldwide and holds numerous health and healing benefits.
Culinary and Nutritional Significance: It is used for frying, sautéing, and as a base for various condiments and dressings due to its unique, pungent flavour. Mustard oil is often heated until it reaches its smoking point to remove its inherent bitterness, giving dishes a distinct taste. Its rich flavour enhances various dishes, making it a beloved ingredient in kitchens worldwide.
Good for the heart: Mustard oil is healthier than olive oil with the absence of trans-fatty acids, the least amount of SFA, and a huge amount of MUFA and PUFA. Mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are considered heart-healthy and can contribute to maintaining optimal cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Throat and eye-protective: When fat and oil are heated at high temperature, decomposition occur, and finally, a point is reached where fat is broken down to glycerol and free fatty acids and produces smoke. This point is called the smoke point. Oils with higher acid value result in excessive smoking and unsatisfactory levels, which create irritation in the throat and eyes. Mustard oil is even being used by our grandparents since ages to make ‘Kajal’ for babies.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Mustard oil contains compounds like glucosinolates that have anti-inflammatory properties. These properties may aid in relieving joint pain and inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis.
Skin and Hair Health: The application of mustard oil can have positive effects on the skin and hair. It can be used as a natural moisturiser, helping to hydrate and nourish the skin. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of mustard oil prevent the development of acne and keep our skin clean and glowy.
Mustard oil contains alpha fatty acids that keep our hair hydrated, lively and help them to grow faster. It is also a rich source of antioxidants, minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium and vitamins like A, D, E and K, all of which are important for hair growth.
Respiratory Health: This oil plays an important role in the catalyst in our digestive system. It contains linoleic acid, which leads to semipermeable arteries to control sweating during summer. The formation of different juices for the digestion of food depends on a healthy diet.
Reduces the risk of cancer and maintains normal body temperature: This oil contains substances of phytonutrients such as glucosinolate, which serves antibiotic, fungicidal and anticarcinogenic properties, which reduces the effect of chronic diseases. These phytonutrients protect against colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers. Dietary glucosinolate plays an important role in reducing the effect of cancer.
Importance of Pure Mustard Oil: The purity of mustard oil is of paramount importance due to potential health risks associated with impure or adulterated varieties. Pure mustard oil contains erucic acid, which, in moderate amounts, is safe for consumption. However, some dishonest producers may mix or adulterate mustard oil with other oils that could contain harmful components.
Harmful Effects of Impure Mustard Oil: High levels of erucic acid, found in some varieties of mustard oil, have been associated with potential health risks, including cardiovascular issues. Therefore, consuming excessive amounts of impure mustard oil can be detrimental. It might contain additives or other oils that could be toxic when ingested. These adulterants can lead to digestive problems, allergies, or severe health complications. Impure mustard oil can compromise the flavour of dishes and their nutritional value.
However, as important as it is to use mustard oil, as it has the most nutrient properties for the human body, it is vital to ensure that the oil we choose is pure, has no chemical adulteration, and is processed well. Agmark is a standard by the Indian government for agricultural products that ensures that a product is edible and made purely. Scooter Agmark Grade 1 Kacchi Ghani Mustard Oil is one of the best mustard oils in the country that has also received certification from Agmark for processing the most premium quality.
Mustard oil is not just a culinary delight, it’s a treasure of health benefits when used responsibly. Its unique flavour and potentially positive effects on cardiovascular health, inflammation reduction, and skin and hair health make it a valuable addition to our lives. However, choosing pure, high-quality mustard oil from trusted sources is crucial to avoid potential health risks associated with impurities or adulteration. By enjoying mustard oil in moderation and prioritising its purity, we can harness its many benefits while safeguarding our well-being.