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OILS AND FATS

Mustard Oil: Beyond the Boundaries of the Kitchen
Monday, 12 September, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Richa Khandelwal
Some pantry ingredients can never be replaced in India, and mustard oil is one of them. Although it is a pivotal cooking and pickling medium, the benefits of mustard oil extend beyond the confines of the kitchen.

The nearly mystical healing properties of Sarsonka Tel have made it a go-to remedy for all kinds of aches and pains. So much so that it has evolved into a crucial household product that people appreciate in many ways.

The real and manifold benefits of using mustard oil
Mustard seeds are tiny but mighty and packed with a variety of potentially good-for-you culinary and therapeutic nutrients. So, while the oil extracted from them is essential in cooking it is also beneficial for the skin, heart and more.

A flavour booster
Mustard oil has a pungent, eye-watering flavour that lends a warm, spicy, and sharp kick to any dish. Even when sparingly used, it enhances the taste of any recipe, which is why it is commonly used in marination, regional delicacies, or drizzled over salads.

A perfect preservative
Mustard oil is chock-full of antimicrobial properties. Essentially, it creates an inhospitable environment for harmful bacteria, making it useful for the preservation of pickles and extending shelf life.

For healthier gut
Since the oil is a powerful natural stimulant, it boosts digestive juices, which improves digestion. Additionally, it combats infections of the digestive tract. Add to it the traces of B vitamins like folate, thiamine, and riboflavin, mustard oil is very beneficial for the gut. They speed up metabolism and help build an appetite, keeping the overall digestive system healthy.

Better oral health
An underappreciated benefit of mustard oil is teeth whitening. Rinsing the mouth with the oil and some salt removes bacteria and plaque build-up in the teeth. It also strengthens the gums and prevents bleeding.

Add lustre to hair
The antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamins C and K in mustard seeds promote hair growth, reduce hair loss and stave off greying. Moreover, the oil is antifungal, so when massaged into the scalp, it prevents dandruff and fungal infections.

Nourish the skin
Mustard oil is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Combined with vitamin E, it is particularly beneficial for the skin. There is enough anecdotal evidence to support its restorative abilities, from broken heels to wrinkles, from tans to chapped lips. It also has the power to nourish and lubricate nails, as it is more absorbent than coconut or almond oil.

A healthier heart and body
When it comes to heart health, mustard oil is a star because it has the optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as low levels of saturated fat and high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.

A joint study by AIIMS, Delhi; Harvard School of Medicine; and St. John's Hospital, Bengaluru, examined the relationship between dietary habits and heart disease. It found that households using mustard oil for cooking, especially deep-frying, had a 71% lower chance of coronary heart disease.

It is not merely the heart that benefits from using mustard oil for cooking over other oils in the market. It contains selenium, a powerful mineral with anti-inflammatory properties, so the oil is fantastic for cooking dishes for people who have diabetes. Applied externally, it reduces swelling and eases joint pain.

Mustard oil: a must for every household

Suffice to say, no oil can beat the versatility of mustard oil. It is an ideal household product that can be used as a cooking medium, for body massage, as a preservative, as a dressing and for so many other health benefits. And if people opt for ‘kachighani’, which is chemical-free, they also get the healthiest and most pocket-friendly cooking oil on the market by far.

(The author is brand spokesperson for BL Agro)
 
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