Have you heard of or seen mizuna before? Well, this supergreen is rich in essential nutrients but low in calories. Not only that, it boasts a lot of health benefits. Commonly found in various Japanese cuisines, it has started to make its way to the kitchens all over the world. In this article, we are going to discuss more about it and what it can do for you.
What is Mizuna?
Scientifically, mizuna is called Brassica juncea var. japonica, but this plant actually has a lot of names, including kyona, water greens, Japanese mustard greens and spider mustard. This particular green is in fact a variety of mustard green, and it is also closely connected to other plants in the plant family Brassica, like rutabaga, mustard, turnip, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Mizuna lettuce is available in various forms. In fact, about 16 varieties of it have been identified already. This includes Purple Mizuna, Kyona Mizuna and Early Mizuna, among others. Mizuna is a common ingredient in salads, but its peppery, mild flavor also makes it a great topping for pizzas, stews, soups and pasta dishes. In Japan, they often pickle it and serve it as an appetizer.
Not only is it easy and fast to grow, this unique green may withstand extreme conditions and temperatures. This makes it ideal for expert or even novice gardeners. Apart from being a powerhouse of flavor, this particular green is high in various essential nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. It is also rich in antioxidants and may come with various unique health benefits.
Nutritional Facts of Mizuna
Mizuna is an astoundingly nutrient-rich food, which just means that it has lots and lots of vitamins and minerals in each serving, yet very few calories. One cup of mizuna may contain the following essential nutrients:
|Principles||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Dietary fiber||1.8 grams||–|
|Vitamin K||278 micrograms||348%|
|Vitamin A||5881 IU||118%|
|Vitamin C||39.2 milligrams||65%|
|Vitamin E||1.1 milligrams||6%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 milligrams||5%|
Health Benefits of Mizuna
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of mizuna:
- Helps promote eye health. There is an ample amount of vitamin A in mizuna. This is a vital nutrient for eye health. Not only that, but mizuna is also a good source of lutein, a kind of carotenoid that has antioxidant properties which may help protect the eyes.
- May help reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest that greens rich in nutrients, together with other vegetables of the same family, may help reduce the risk of various types of cancer. This is obviously one of the best health benefits of mizuna.
- Helps improve immunity. Due to its amazing nutritional profile and rich antioxidant properties, it is beneficial in keeping the immune system working efficiently. It is also rich in vitamin C, which is an amazing antioxidant good for the overall health.
- Helps strengthen bones. The vitamin K of mizuna is oozing. This has a direct impact on bone metabolism and positively affects calcium balance.
- Helps support blood clotting. The vitamin K content of mizuna is essential promoting the healthy formation of blood clots.
- Rich antioxidant properties. Almost all of the health benefits of mizuna are due to its high antioxidant properties. These are beneficial in neutralizing the free radicals in the body, thus preventing damage to the cells and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.
Precautions for Consuming Mizuna
There is a high amount of vitamin K in mizuna. This nutrient plays an important role in the blood clotting, but if you are taking a blood thinner, you must be careful about your vitamin K intake as it can interfere with your medication. In addition, foods that are in the Brassica plant family, like mizuna, tend to be high in oxalates. If you have issues with oxalate kidney stones, you must moderate your consumption of mizuna to prevent the formation of oxalate stones.
However, for most, this highly nutritious green may be consumed safely with a nominal risk of side effects. If you do experience any adverse side effects after eating it, make sure to consult with your doctor straightaway.