Mustard is getting a lot of press about its nutritional properties that make it a superfood. So let’s talk about mustard and heart disease.
This article will discuss mustard’s nutritional information, the types of mustard, and ultimately answer the question, is mustard good for high blood pressure?
High Blood Pressure
Almost 1 in 4 Americans will be affected by high blood pressure or hypertension (1). High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to severe complications, including heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in North America (2).
Hypertension means your heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body. Over time, your heart overworks itself, leading to damaged and clogged arteries, heart attacks, or even stroke.
There are lots of information that discusses which foods can lower blood pressure and unclog arteries. And endless recipes like this beet smoothie, low sodium pancakes, and even a list of 19 DASH diet smoothies to try.
But the food featured here may surprise you. Keep reading to understand the medicinal properties of mustard and how it relates to lowering blood pressure.
Nutrition in Mustard
Monounsaturated fats are unsaturated fat, also known as “healthy fat.” A study found that monounsaturated fats, or MUFA for short, could lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure (3).
Mustard is particularly rich in MUFAs. They make up the majority of the fat content of mustard oil, roughly 60% (4).
Omega 3 Fats
Mustard seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (5).
ALA and other omega-3 fats play a role in lowering inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is an underlying factor in many cardiac diseases, as it can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.
Studies have shown that increasing the intake of omega-3 fats is connected to a lower risk for heart disease (6).
Does mustard have sodium? Yes, but it is naturally really low in sodium. Mustard seeds fit the definition of a “heart-healthy” food as they are high in healthy fats and low in sodium.
100 g of ground mustard seeds provides a whopping 738 mg of potassium (7)! In the same amount, there is only 13 mg of sodium (7). I know that heart health requires one to be careful with sodium intake, so eating mustard seeds is a great way to protect your heart as it is naturally low in sodium.
Mustard seeds are rich in magnesium, an essential mineral in heart health. In 100g of ground mustard seeds, there is around 370 mg of magnesium (7). That’s over the recommended intake for women, and about 88% of the daily intake for men.
Magnesium is critical in regulating blood pressure as it can help lower platelet aggregation and promote vasodilation. In simpler terms, this means that it can play a role in helping to lower our blood pressure (8).
Mustard also contains selenium. 100 g of mustard seeds provides 208 mg of selenium. This mineral is essential for our bodies. It has various roles, and most are helpful for our body’s day-to-day functioning, such as providing antioxidants and proteins to the body (9).
Mustard oil and greens are excellent sources of vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol. 100 g of mustard greens contain 2.0 mg of vitamin E (10). Canadian adults are recommended at least 15 mg of vitamin E daily, which would provide around 6% of your recommended intake (11).
Vitamin E is great for our bodies as it is known as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect our bodies by fighting off compounds called free radicals.
Free radicals can damage the cells in our bodies, and cell damage can lead to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, which makes eating antioxidants important in the fight against heart disease.
Antioxidants: Carotene And Lutein
The mustard plant is rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids. Carotenoids are a group of chemicals often known for their ability to give color or pigment to vegetables and plants. Two notable carotenoids are beta-carotene and lutein, found in mustard (12).
Beta-carotene is related to vitamin A, an essential nutrient that helps our vision, growth, development, and immune system. Beta-carotene is often found in orange and green-leafy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
Lutein is also another antioxidant with excellent health benefits. Lutein can help protect against atherosclerosis or clogged arteries by lowering very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), both of which can raise our blood cholesterol levels (13).
How Mustard Is Part Of Dietary Patterns
Does mustard help with blood pressure? It certainly can, as it falls under the popular DASH diet.
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) started as a way to see whether or not a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could help lower blood pressure.
Studies have shown that the DASH diet, characterized by an eating pattern high in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and low saturated fat, could lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet outlines:
- Fruits – 4-5 servings daily (1 serving = 1 medium fruit)
- Vegetables –4-5 servings (1 serving = 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables)
- Nuts, seeds, and beans – 4-5 servings a week (1 serving = 2 tbsp of seeds)
- Fats and oils – 2-3 servings (1 serving = 1 tsp vegetable oil)
Mustard is low in saturated fat and high in magnesium, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants, making it a perfect fit for the DASH diet.
The Mediterranean diet is another eating pattern that focuses on fruits and vegetables, olive oil as the primary choice of fat, and moderate consumption of fish and poultry with less intake of red and processed meats, sweets, and dairy products.
The diet has shown that it can lower the risk of heart disease (14).
Although the Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on olive oil as its primary source of fat, mustard oil can serve as an alternative due to its similar high monounsaturated fat content.
Types of Mustard To Consume
Mustard oil is a type of vegetable oil that comes from the seeds of the mustard plant. It can be considered “healthy” fat as it is low in saturated fat while high in unsaturated fat, particularly erucic acid (4).
Mustard oil notably has a high smoke point, making it convenient for cooking and is why it is a staple in Indian cuisine.
Like other vegetable oils, mustard oil can have a variety of functions. It can be used for cooking stir fry, roasting vegetables, and as a dressing for salads.
If you plan on purchasing mustard oil, you can buy it at local grocery stores in the oil section. Other places where you can find mustard oil are online stores such as Amazon.
Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant. There are many varieties, such as black, brown, and yellow seeds. Brown mustard seeds, also known as Indian seeds, come from the Brassica juncea plant, while yellow mustard seeds are from the Sinapis alba plant (15).
Mustard seeds have a strong and spicy taste profile, making them a popular addition to mild-flavored dishes. Mustard seeds can be added to stir-fry dishes, toasted or untoasted. The seeds can also be crushed and turned into a paste to be added to salad dressings or sauces.
The seeds can be purchased at local grocery stores near the spices section. As well you can likely find them at nearby bulk stores.
Now that you’ve heard of mustard oil and seeds let me introduce mustard greens. Mustard greens refer to the leaves of the mustard plant. Mustard greens possess a variety of nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin K as well as antioxidants, such as carotene and lutein (17).
Using mustard greens is simple and can be consumed similarly to eating your regular leafy greens. They can be included in salads, smoothies, roasted with other vegetables and spices, and or incorporated into soups.
If you want to purchase mustard greens, you will most likely have luck in finding them at local grocery stores or markets near the fresh produce aisle.
So, you can certainly say that mustard green is suitable for high blood pressure due to its rich nutrient content.
Honey mustard is a dressing commonly used as a condiment for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and dipping! This creamy, yellow sauce has a tangy and sweet taste that is frequently made with a mixture of honey, mustard, and white vinegar.
You can incorporate honey mustard into your meals in lots of ways. A common way to have honey mustard is by using it as a dipping sauce for snacks, added to dressings or vinaigrette, and even atop vegetables for roasting.
Honey mustard can either be purchased from stores or made at home. It can also be made from simple ingredients you can likely find in your pantry, including mustard, honey, vinegar, and mayonnaise, with your selection of spices to taste.
Honey mustard can also be purchased in local grocery stores and in the condiment/sauce section.
However, before going to your local store, it is essential to remember that store-bought products have added sugars and salt. So, if you choose to add honey mustard to your meals, choosing homemade sauces may be the way to ensure you can better manage your sugar and salt intake.
The other popular condiment that comes from mustard is deli mustard, otherwise known as spicy brown mustard. Deli mustard is made from coarse ground brown mustard seeds and has a strong flavor. Its flavor makes it a common pairing for sandwiches and wraps, like this tuna melt wrap.
Deli mustard is a popular product that can be purchased in grocery stores in the condiment/sauce section. But, just like its honey mustard counterpart, these products usually add salt and sugar. So, it’s best to choose the homemade route.
Deli mustard has a distinct spice taste and is popularly served as a condiment on sandwiches or the occasional hotdog.
Bonus (Mustard Can Benefit Your Cholesterol Too!)
Mustard not only can hold a variety of healthy nutrients that can help our blood pressure, but it can help with cholesterol too! Mustard contains the antioxidant lutein. Lutein notably helps lower our cholesterol levels.
Lowering cholesterol is an essential aspect of improving heart health. A high level of cholesterol could lead to a buildup in our arteries and result in clogged blood vessels.
Mustard is not only good for blood pressure but also for cholesterol!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mustard Good For HBP?
In terms of its seed, oil, and leaf forms, mustard provides potent heart-healthy nutrients that can lower blood pressure. These nutrients include unsaturated fats, omega 3s, magnesium, and potassium, and antioxidants in vitamin C, carotene, and lutein.
But if we’re talking about the popular condiment, it’s a different story. Mustard sauces, especially when purchased at stores, have added salt and sugar content and may not be suitable for our hearts if consumed in larger amounts regularly.
Is A Spoonful Of Mustard A Day Good For You?
A tablespoon of mustard sauce provides 24 mg of potassium and 8 mg of magnesium but an overwhelming 174 mg of sodium (18). Store-bought mustard wouldn’t be an excellent choice to have on the daily.
Instead, focusing on incorporating whole versions of mustard, such as mustard seed and leaves, for a more effective way to promote health.
Is Yellow Mustard Good For Your Heart?
Yellow mustard has its fair share of healthy nutrients. 1 tbsp or 15 mL of yellow mustard sauce provides potassium, magnesium, unsaturated fats, and our antioxidant friend, lutein (18).
However, consuming a lot of processed sauces, such as the ones provided in grocery stores, is not great for your health as it is high in salt and sugar.
Yellow mustard seeds would be a better choice for your heart as they provide potassium, magnesium, selenium and unsaturated fats, and some fiber without the added salt and sugar (18).
What Does Mustard Do For The Heart?
The research on mustard’s benefits for heart health is limited and needs further exploration (19). But mustard shows potential as it is full of all the right nutrients our heart needs.
Mustard in its whole forms, whether in seed, oil, or leafy variant, possess nutrients that follow the heart-healthy dietary patterns of the DASH and Mediterranean diets.
How Much Mustard Should I Eat A Day?
As mustard seeds and leaves have many heart-healthy nutrients, they can help reach the DASH diet recommendations. The DASH diet recommends 4-5 servings of vegetables a day. So 1 cup of mustard greens can serve as 1 serving of your vegetables.
How Much Mustard To Take For High Blood Pressure?
Although mustard is full of healthy nutrients, it is not an elixir for blood pressure. The same rings true for all healthy foods, as we cannot eat just one food and expect that our health will improve.
The true solution to improving heart health is through a balanced diet. This means incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
Is Mustard Leaves Good For High Blood Pressure?
Mustard leaves or greens are excellent foods for high blood pressure and heart health. Mustard greens have antioxidants, particularly lutein. Lutein helps unclog our arteries by lowering our blood cholesterol levels.
Along with lutein, mustard greens are excellent sources of heart-healthy minerals such as potassium and vitamins C, K, and A.
Is Mustard Oil Good For High Blood Pressure?
Mustard oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. This means it could be a healthy addition or alternative fat option in your meals.
Some studies have been published that suggest mustard oil could have benefits for lowering weight gain and could improve high cholesterol levels in the blood. But more research on this area is needed (20).
Is Yellow Mustard Good For High Blood Pressure?
Yellow mustard would be a great addition to a diet, especially in its whole forms such as in seeds or the leaves of the mustard plant.
Yellow mustard seeds are a great source of monounsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and fiber.
The leaves of the mustard plant are also great for antioxidants such as vitamins C, K, and A.
When talking about processed yellow mustard, otherwise known as the mustard condiment, these have added ingredients that are not as heart-healthy as salt. So, consuming these should be limited with a focus on eating more mustard in its whole forms.
High blood pressure is a serious health condition that can be difficult to manage, and uncontrolled can lead to more severe health complications.
But I am here to help you and let you know that there are things that you can do to get your blood pressure in check, and that’s through adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
So is mustard good for high blood pressure? Yes, particularly mustard seeds and greens. It provides healthy nutrients such as omega-3s, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, and antioxidants.
As noted throughout this reading, improving blood pressure is not just about eating right. Be sure to also engage in physical activity, and get the right amount of sleep, as other small steps to improving blood pressure.