Sometimes, the answer to our biggest health struggles is sitting right in our pantry. That’s the case with whole grain mustard, according to researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In a 2021 study, they found that whole grain mustard can lead to better cholesterol and blood sugar levels. And you don’t even have to go out of your way to get the benefits. Just one teaspoon makes a difference.
Whole grain mustard is made from whole mustard seeds. The seeds are lightly ground, just enough to create a paste-like spread but keeping the majority of the seeds intact. The result is a thick and coarse texture that brings the natural flavors of the seeds. The taste varies depending on the spices added, but it ranges from a more bitter flavor to a sweeter bite and can even be spicy.
The research found that just a teaspoon of this mustard can tame blood sugar levels and boost good cholesterol. The study was conducted on pre-diabetic participants, which means they had higher than normal blood sugar but didn’t yet qualify for type 2 diabetes.
Participants ate a teaspoon of whole grain mustard, either by itself or on a cracker, every night before bed for 12 weeks. The participants were all between 40 and 70 years old and either overweight or obese. From a total of 42 participants, 86 percent saw a significant drop in their blood glucose and their cholesterol levels. Three participants had a 46 percent drop in their glucose levels out of the 24 percent of participants who saw a change. Cholesterol levels dropped 10 percent on average towards the safe limit of cholesterol.
While the research is promising, you should always consult with your doctor before starting a new treatment. Researchers also made sure to underscore how important it is to continue any medication you might currently be taking. To incorporate more of this healthy mustard in your diet — after getting the green light from your physician — keep reading for a few easy-to-execute ideas.
How to Eat Whole Grain Mustard
Since it’s rich in flavor, whole grain mustard is extremely versatile. It can be used as a sandwich spread or on its own as part of a charcuterie board. It also serves wonderfully as a vinaigrette if you add some olive oil and other mix-ins. If you don’t already have a jar at home, it’s incredibly simple to make!
Jamie Oliver’s recipe combines black and yellow mustard seeds with beer, sea salt, malt vinegar, and honey. You first soak the seeds in beer overnight, then blend half of them in a blender while the other half waits in a bowl. The blended paste is put back in with the whole seeds and combined with the salt, honey, and vinegar.
This is just one version of whole grain mustard. Other recipes use white wine instead of beer and different kinds of sweeteners as well. However you choose to make it, pair it with your favorite foods for a tasty and healthy treat!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.