Mustard oil is used in cooking especially in Eastern and North Eastern India. Well yes it smells pungent but then by time you get familiarized with its pungency. Mustard oil has many health benefits.
Mustard oil has medicinal properties. It is used to treat cold, boost immunity, help in hair growth, give nourishment to skin ( babies are massaged with mustard oil during winters and made to sit in sun and absorb some vitamin D from the sunlight), oral health.
"Cooking oils form an integral part of Indian lifestyle. However, one is confronted with an array of well marketed edible oils asserting host of health claims. In Indian cooking conditions, which mostly involve deep frying, our age-old oils like ghee, coconut oil and mustard oil score better than refined and other oils in overall health benefits," said Dr. SC Manchanda, Department of Cardiology, Ganga Ram Hospital.
Benefits of mustard oil:
1. Good Source of MUFA
"Mustard oil is highly recommended for the reason that it is full of monounsaturated fatty acids. Our body needs oil in the ratio of 3:1 - three parts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and one part of saturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) come under polyunsaturated. Mustard oil is full of MUFA which is very essential for our health. It's good for the heart, lightens skin, helps in hair growth, prevents premature graying of hair, etc," says Dr. Anju Sood.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study tells that by including mustard oil in your routine diet could be really benificial for your heart’s health. Mustard oil is a rich source of MUFA, it lowers bad cholesterol in the body. And thus it keeps a check on blood fat levels that further help in circulation.
2. Helpful in healing cracked heels and brittle nails
Bharti Taneja, Aesthetician, Cosmetologist and Founder-director of ALPS Beauty Academy and Group, says, "Cracked heels is a bothersome problem during monsoon and winter. You can use waste candles to say good bye to cracked heels. Just create a mixture by heating the candle wax with equal amount of mustard oil so that it becomes a thick mixture. Fill your cracked heels with this mixture and sleep with cotton socks to make your heels smoother."
3. Protects Against Infection
Mustard oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Its external as well as internal usage helps in treating infections, including digestive tract infections.
4. Improves blood circulation
According to Ayurveda, body massage with mustard oil is very beneficial as it improves blood circulation, skin texture and releases muscular tension. And you will be amazed to know that it activates the sweat glands helping in throwing out toxins from the body.
5. Good for skin
Mustard oil contains Vitamin E. It is said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Anshul Bhatnagar, a Delhi-based nutritionist, says, "Mustard oil has many topical uses and is good in various ways. However, one with oily skin should avoid massaging it on the face and it should also be avoided for body massages for those who have sensitive skin."
6. Helps in hair growth
"Mustard oil contains beta-carotene which is excellent for hair growth when massaged into the scalp. It activates blood circulation, and its anti-bacterial properties prevent scalp infections," says Priya Singh, a Delhi-based beauty expert.
7. Relief from Cough and Cold
"This is because of its heating property that helps in clearing congestion from the respiratory tract. Mustard oil steam treatment is often recommended as a home remedy, and you can also rub about a teaspoon of it on your chest before sleeping to let it work its magic," says Saumya Reddy, a Bangalore-based nutritionist. It is perhaps the very pungency that helps in clearing sinuses, much like wasabi.