TikTok Debunked: Is mustard really a health cure-all? We asked the experts

Mustard can be a tasty and versatile condiment, but does it really have the ability to fight deadly diseases?

Welcome to TikTok Debunked, a new series where Yahoo Canada digs into the truth behind popular TikTok health, beauty and food trends.

Is mustard really a health cure-all? Yahoo Canada investigates the TikTok trend. (Photo via Getty Images)
Is mustard really a health cure-all? Yahoo Canada investigates the TikTok trend. (Photo via Getty Images)

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

TikTok has 3.2 million active monthly users in Canada, and while many people use the app to wind down after a long day, or to share funny videos with friends, it's also a place to find the latest beauty trends and DIY projects.

One viral trend highlights the supposed health benefits of mustard. Celebrities such as Marie Osmond and athletes including Zachary L’Heureux have backed the condiment, saying that it helps them relieve cramps and promote immunity.

But is mustard really a health cure-all? Read on for everything you need to know about this social media trend — and whether or not health experts endorse it.

The claim — and how it started

  • While mustard's supposed health benefits have been studied for some time, weight loss TikToker @paulybweightloss went viral for posting a video that highlighted why he thinks mustard is a superfood.

  • His video, which has been viewed over a million times, explained that allegedly mustard has the ability to relieve muscle cramps and spasms, can help respiratory disorders and cure body aches. He also explained that he thinks mustard can prevent bad breath, fight cancer, promote heart health, aid metabolism and strengthen bones.

  • To participate in this trend, all you have to do is consume one tablespoon of mustard per day and see if you notice a difference in your health.


  • Since @paulybweightloss posted his original video, the tag "mustard health benefits" has garnered thousands of videos.

  • Users either post about how they think mustard has helped their health, or how they think it's a healthy food to eat in general.

  • However, some TikTokers can't stomach eating one tablespoon of the condiment at a time, and many have been hesitant to believe that mustard is actually a health cure-all.

An expert weighs in

To get an expert's opinion on the trend, Yahoo Canada interviewed dietitian Abbey Sharp and a media representative from Health Canada.

When asked her thoughts about the viral clip, Sharp was skeptical and urged viewers to be aware of overblown health trends — even if it is a tasty addition to meals.

"Drinking condiments seems like a strange way to meet your nutrient needs... A lot of the claims around mustard like 'curing cancer' are obviously sensationalized," she said. "But mustard is one of the most low calorie and nutrient dense condiments, so I think there's value in incorporating it into meals if you enjoy it."

Sharp added although mustard seeds are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, you'd have to consume an excessive amount of mustard to actually see measurable health outcomes.

"We have no research on consumable prepared mustard and these health outcomes, so we have no idea what the dose would need to be to reach these health benefits," she explained.

Mustard seeds in the wooden scoop and mustard sauce in the bowl isolated on white background.
Although mustard seeds are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, you'd have to consume an excessive amount of mustard to actually see measurable health outcomes. (Photo via Getty Images)

Health Canada agrees with the dietitian, and believes Canadians should instead follow Canada’s food guide and make healthy dietary changes that you can maintain.

"There is no evidence to suggest one food or food product can cure various health conditions. Rather than basing one’s food choices on food trends, Health Canada recommends eating a variety of healthy foods and limiting highly processed foods which can contribute excess sodium, sugars, or saturated fat to the diet," the organization said.

Additionally, Health Canada explained while food trends may be marketed as optimal health, it doesn't mean it's a healthy choice for you to try.

Ultimately, while mustard contains antioxidants like glucosinolates, which can help reduce inflammation, experts like Sharp are hesitant to add a bottle of mustard to their next grocery list.

"I wouldn’t recommend squirting it into your mouth every day. This also would likely be hard on your teeth due to the vinegar content. I think a tablespoon of yellow mustard is very unlikely to move the needle on any health parameters," Sharp concluded.

Is it debunked?

Mustard can be a tasty and versatile condiment. Many celebrities, athletes and TikTok users swear by the tangy treat for it's supposed ability to fight off deadly diseases and improve your health and immunity.

However, both Health Canada and a registered dietitian want people to know that while mustard does contain antioxidants and is nutrient-dense, consuming one tablespoon a day is unlikely to give you any real benefit.

As a result of the expert opinions, Yahoo Canada has debunked this TikTok trend.

If you're a sauce or condiment lover and still want to keep your wellness in check, check out the eight best condiments for your health.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.