Mustard: How It’s Made, Its Nutritional Value, and the Consequences of Overindulgence



Mustard is a popular condiment known for its unique pungent flavor. It is widely used not only in Japanese cuisine but also in Western and Chinese dishes, adding a delightful accent to various recipes. However, many people may not be familiar with the nutritional value of mustard or the consequences of consuming too much. In this article, we will explore the nutritional aspects of mustard, the recommended serving size, and the potential effects of overindulgence.

What is Mustard?

Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of plants in the Brassicaceae family, such as wasabi or mustard greens. The seeds are ground and mixed with water or vinegar to create a paste with a distinctive pungent flavor and aroma. This pungency is attributed to a compound called allyl isothiocyanate. Mustard is used in a wide range of dishes, including sashimi, grilled fish, oden, sandwiches, ham, sausages, and Chinese dim sum.

Differences Between Mustard and Karashi

While mustard and karashi (Japanese mustard) are both condiments made from the seeds of Brassicaceae plants, they differ in terms of the specific plant species used and the manufacturing process. Karashi is primarily made from the seeds of mustard greens or brown mustard, mixed with water or vinegar. On the other hand, mustard is made from the seeds of white mustard, black mustard, or brown mustard, combined with vinegar, wine, salt, and spices. This addition of extra ingredients gives mustard a wider variety of flavors, including sweetness, acidity, and aromatic notes. Mustard is also used as a sauce or dressing, expanding its culinary versatility. In contrast, karashi has a simpler, more pungent taste that pairs well with various dishes, particularly in Japanese cuisine.

Nutritional Value of Mustard

Mustard is known for its pungent flavor and aroma, which stimulate the appetite and enhance the taste of dishes. It also has antibacterial properties, making it useful as a preservative. In terms of health benefits, mustard aids digestion, promotes blood circulation, and has antioxidant effects. Additionally, the components found in mustard provide a balanced range of vitamins and minerals that support metabolism in the body.

The following table presents the nutritional content per 100 grams of mustard:

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Calories314 kcal
Protein5.9 g
Fat14.5 g
Carbohydrates40.1 g
Salt equivalent7.4 g
Sodium2900 mg
Potassium190 mg
Calcium60 mg
Magnesium83 mg
Phosphorus120 mg
Iron2.1 mg
Zinc1.0 mg
Copper0.15 mg
Vitamin A16 μg
Vitamin B10.22 mg
Vitamin B20.07 mg
Niacin1.5 mg

Source: Extracted from the “Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan 2020 (Eighth Edition)”

It is important to note that the actual consumption of mustard per serving is typically around 1 gram, so the nutritional values mentioned above should be divided by 100 to reflect the actual intake. Consequently, the values become quite modest, suggesting that consuming mustard primarily for its nutritional benefits may not be necessary.

In summary, while mustard does not significantly impact overall nutrition, it plays a crucial role in enhancing the flavors of dishes and increasing the enjoyment of meals. Even in small amounts, mustard can offer potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion.

Recommended Serving Size of Mustard

Due to its strong pungency, a small amount of mustard is sufficient to add a flavorful accent to dishes. The general recommendation is to consume about 1/4 teaspoon of mustard per serving. By adhering to this recommended serving size, you can effectively utilize the nutritional value of mustard. Using mustard in appropriate quantities not only enhances the taste of dishes but also contributes to a balanced and nutritious diet. It is essential to avoid excessive consumption and incorporate mustard wisely into your daily meals.

Consequences of Consuming Too Much Mustard

Consuming mustard in excess of the recommended serving size may lead to digestive issues. The pungent compounds in mustard can irritate the stomach lining, potentially exacerbating gastritis or peptic ulcers. Moreover, excessive consumption may interfere with calcium absorption in the body. Overindulgence in mustard can cause digestive discomfort, such as indigestion, stomach pain, and nausea. It is crucial to enjoy mustard in moderation to avoid these adverse effects.


By consuming mustard in recommended amounts, you can enjoy its nutritional benefits and enhance the flavors of your dishes. However, it is essential to be mindful of the potential consequences of overindulgence, as excessive consumption may lead to digestive issues and nutritional imbalances. When incorporating mustard into your daily meals, it is crucial to prioritize moderation. While the pungent compounds in mustard add depth and excitement to dishes, excessive intake can pose health risks. Striving for a balanced diet and being mindful of portion sizes is key to enjoying the delightful taste of mustard while maintaining optimal health.