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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Janelle

Mustard greens are a dark leafy green vegetable belonging to the cruciferous vegetables family. They grow out of mustard seeds, which are often sold ground up into mustard powder and can be found in the spice aisle of grocery stores.

Health Benefits of Mustard Greens

Eating mustard greens in both raw and cooked forms has health benefits.  They are rich in the chlorophyll molecule, which may inhibit the body’s uptake of carcinogens and reduce DNA damage of cells. In addition, at least two or more servings of green vegetables like mustard greens are associated with decreased facial wrinkling.

All raw cruciferous vegetables contain the myrosinase enzyme  needed for the production of the anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane. This enzyme is destroyed by heat during the cooking process.  By adding some raw mustard greens or sprinkling ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder onto cooked cruciferous vegetables, a natural source of the myrosinase enzyme is re-introduced and allows for sulforaphane production.  Steamed mustard greens improve bile acid binding, which is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer

Raw cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogenic compounds that can interfere with thyroid function by blocking the thyroid’s uptake up iodine, but only in those whose iodine intake is marginal. 

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