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Food as Medicine: Mustard Greens



Mustard greens are deceptively simple in their appearance. Masquerading as a dark leafy green, there is much more to them than meets the eye when we start to understand what they really offer our bodies. "Mustard (Brassica juncea L.) is a Brassica vegetable that contains various health-promoting phytochemicals ... [that] are often associated with their ability to act as detoxifiers against oxidative stress". In more simple terms, this means that consumption of mustard greens can assist with curbing the development "of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease". While there's much to learn about these leafy free radical fighters - are their tender micro and baby counterparts as robust in their medicinal properties, we still don't know! - we can be sure that the following recipe is one you'll want to incorporate into your regular rotation.

Stir Fried Mustard Greens


Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp dried de-seeded and chopped red chili peppers

  • 1¼ pounds mustard greens, washed and roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/2 tsp dashi powder, preferably without MSG


Directions:

  • Heat oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium heat

  • Add the garlic and chili peppers and cook for about a minute, stirring to avoid burning the garlic

  • Add the mustard greens, and turn the heat up to the highest setting

  • Add sesame oil, and dashi powder. Mix together well with the greens

  • Cover with a lid, and let cook for 45 seconds to a minute

  • Uncover and stir the greens, add salt to taste. Plate and serve immediately

References:


1.Wu X.L., Beecher G.R., Holden J.M., Haytowitz D.B., Gebhardt S.E., Prior R.L. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004;52:4026–4037.


2. Chu Y.F., Sun J., Wu X.Z., Liu R.H. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common vegetables. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2002;50:6910–6916.


3. Frazie, M. D., Kim, M. J., & Ku, K. M. (2017). Health-Promoting Phytochemicals from 11 Mustard Cultivars at Baby Leaf and Mature Stages. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 22(10), 1749.

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