Mustard Greens Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Mustard greens annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Like other dark, leafy greens, mustard greens deliver lots of nutritive value along with their flavor. They're also a good source of fiber while being low in calories and fat, making them easy to incorporate into a variety of healthy eating plans.

You're probably familiar with mustard, the condiment. Like the condiment, mustard greens—which are the leafy part of the mustard plant—also impart a peppery, spicy flavor when used in salads and other dishes.

Mustard Greens Nutrition Facts

One cup of raw, chopped mustard greens (56g) provides 15.1 calories, 1.6g of protein, 2.6g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 15
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 11mg
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Sugars: 0.7g
  • Protein: 1.6g
  • Vitamin A: 84.6mcg
  • Vitamin C: 39mg
  • Vitamin K: 144mcg

Carbs

Mustard greens are primarily a complex carbohydrate. Consume one cup of chopped greens and you'll get 2.6 grams of carbohydrate. You'll also benefit from nearly 2 grams of fiber and just under 1 gram of naturally occurring sugars. 

Mustard greens have a low glycemic index. This means that eating them shouldn't cause blood sugar levels to spike.

Fats

There is almost no fat in mustard greens—only 0.2 grams per serving. The small amount of fat that is in this leafy vegetable is primarily monounsaturated fat.

Protein

Each one-cup serving of mustard greens provides your body with 1.6 grams of protein. So it is not a significant source of this macronutrient.

Vitamins and Minerals

One serving of mustard greens offers 120% of the daily recommended vitamin K intake for adult males and 160% for adult females. It also provides roughly 9% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. 

Mustard greens are rich in vitamin C. A one-cup serving gives you approximately 44% of the recommended daily intake, which is 75 milligrams for adult women and 90 milligrams for adult men. Mustard greens are also an excellent source of the B vitamin folate.

When you consume mustard greens, you'll get smaller amounts of vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin. Minerals in mustard greens include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium, and sodium.

Calories

Mustard greens provide just 15.1 calories per cup if you consume them raw. If you prefer your greens cooked, one cup still only offers 36.4 calories per serving. Either way, they are still a low-calorie food.

Summary

Mustard greens are primarily a complex carb, offering a healthy dose of fiber too. They're also loaded in a variety of nutrients, most notably vitamins K, C, and A.

Health Benefits

Like other dark, leafy greens, mustard greens are a healthy addition to your diet due to their many benefits.

Improves Heart Health

An analysis of eight studies found that increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables, like mustard greens, may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease by 15.8%. Replacing starchy or empty-calorie foods with these types of vegetables can also help you manage your blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. 

Promotes Bone Health

Mustard greens are loaded with vitamin K, a fat-soluble micronutrient that boosts bone health. If you are deficient in this vitamin, it may put you at greater risk for osteoporosis, a condition characterized by reduced bone mineral density and mass.

Supports the Immune System

In addition to promoting good vision and healthy skin, the vitamin A in mustard greens supports optimal immune system function. (It's sometimes called the "anti-inflammation vitamin.") The vitamin C in mustard greens assists with this as well.

Protects Cells From Damage

The vitamin C in mustard greens also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the cells from free-radical damage. It even aids in iron absorption—an important mineral needed to transport oxygen throughout the body that also supports muscle metabolism.

Plays a Role in Traditional Medicine

Some people use certain types of mustard greens for medicinal purposes. Black mustard greens (Brassica nigra), for instance, are sometimes used for ailments ranging from the common cold to rheumatism and osteoarthritis.

Black mustard seed is sometimes also taken as a diuretic, an appetite stimulant, or to induce vomiting. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of mustard greens for these purposes.

Allergies

Mustard allergies are not uncommon. However, much of the published literature refers to allergies to mustard seed rather than being allergic to mustard greens.

Still, foods derived from the mustard plant—including mustard leaves, seeds, and flowers; sprouted mustard seeds; mustard oil; and foods that contain these items—may cause reactions in people with mustard allergies.

Food allergy symptoms generally come on shortly after consumption and may be mild or severe. You may experience a rash, a tingly itchy feeling in the mouth, or difficulty breathing is also possible. If you suspect a mustard allergy, seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider. 

Adverse Effects

Because vitamin K helps regulate blood clotting, people who take certain blood thinners (like warfarin) need to consume consistent amounts of vitamin-K-rich foods, such as mustard greens and other dark, leafy greens.

The right amount of dietary vitamin K intake varies from person to person. So, if you are taking blood thinners, discuss your diet with your doctor.

Varieties

There are several varieties of mustard greens. The most common garden variety is Florida broadleaf. You may see bright green mustard greens (Florida broadleaf) or deep purple greens (like ruby streaks). There are also curly varieties.

When It's Best

Mustard greens are a cool-weather crop, but you can likely find them in your supermarket all year round. Many grocery stores carry mustard greens in the produce section. Look for fresh, bright green leaves with few blemishes.

Storage and Food Safety

Wash your greens immediately when you bring them home from the market. Since greens can be contaminated with bacteria, it's important to wash them thoroughly. Cooking also helps kill bacteria.

Store mustard greens in the refrigerator the same way that you would other fresh greens. Put them in a large bowl covered in plastic wrap, or in a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel inside. (The paper towel helps absorb and reduce moisture.)

When washed and put in the refrigerator, your mustard greens should stay fresh and crunchy for three to five days.

How to Prepare

You can use mustard greens in the same way as other leafy greens, such as spinach or kale. Toss them into a salad, blend them into a smoothie, or sauté them and enjoy them with eggs or fish. Keep in mind, however, that mustard greens cook more quickly than greens like kale and collards.

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13 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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