People crave mustard because they have a dietary deficiency of calcium, as stated from the Nature Works Best Cancer Clinic. Other foods that help fulfill this dietary need are green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, legumes, and dairy products such as cheese.
Mustard has many other health benefits besides fulfilling the need for calcium. According to About.com, ancient civilizations used mustard medicinally in poultices to cure stings and appease toothaches. Mustard was in fact considered a medicinal plant rather than a spice for cooking for hundreds of years.
Mustard is so useful in curing ailments because it contains gluconsinolates in its seeds, according to The Guardian. Gluconsinolates break down into isothiocyanates, which seem to play a role in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. The element selenium present in mustard also obstructs the growth of cancerous cells.
WebMD points out that mustard is an excellent low-calorie condiment. It provides foods with plenty of flavor while keeping them healthy. It can be used in both dips and sauces as well as in marinades. According to the Guardian, mustard seeds may be dry-roasted, ground or sauteed in oil. Mustard is especially useful in vinaigrettes and sauces. In vinaigrettes, mustard helps the liquid to emulsify, or disperse, so that it is well-mixed; it also helps in thickening sauces.