Horseradish is a long, tapering pungent root that is usually used as a condiment in recipes. It happens to possess a sharp, strong and hot flavour. The addition it can be appreciated by its unique, excellent taste. Moreover, there are several health benefits of horseradish which make it one of the most beneficial roots.
Are these health benefits of horseradish significant? Of course, they are. You might not know that apart from its several benefits to the neural, cardiac, bones and immune system, it also prevents cancer. It’s not just a flavour enhancer. You can use horseradish as a spice or condiment more often to reap its numerous health benefits.
Benefits of Horseradish
The several health benefits of horseradish are attributed to its nutritional and mineral value. It contains fibre, folate, Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. Apart from these, it contains organic enzymes and oils like sinigrin, a well-known glucosinolate. The benefits provided by these components are explained here:
Improves Immune System
Your horseradish contains an abundant amount of Vitamin C, which is a well-known immunity booster. Vitamin C helps in making your bones and teeth strong. At the same time, it also increases the production rate of fibrinogen and clotting elements in blood. Thus, it improves the body’s ability to heal from injuries and wounds.
Horseradish’s Vitamin C content is sufficient to keep you immune from most bacterial and viral infections. Combined with the antioxidants already present, Vitamin C also prevents skin damage.
One of the most well-known benefits of Horseradish is preventing cancer. Horseradish contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate that improves the immune system. It is a special type of antioxidant that inhibits the mutation of our body cells into cancerous cells. This way, it slows down metastasis and prevents the growth of cancer in our body.
Free radicals are by-products of cellular metabolism that fuel metastasis. By adding a bit of horseradish to your food, you flush out free radicals from your body.
Facilitates Weight Loss
Horseradish contains no fat and has very less amount of calorie per serving. Horseradish does contain known fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6. However, these are essential for your metabolism and proper digestion. Instead of adding to the fat bank of your body, it gives you proteins for strong muscles.
Horseradish is known to impart a peculiar feeling of satiety, making you feel full. With this feeling, your overeating gets controlled, and weight loss attempts remain uncompromised.
Maintains Blood Pressure
Horseradish contains several essential minerals, one of them being the regulator Potassium. It is essential as it regulates the flow of several cellular fluids in our body. Potassium also helps in easing up the tension in blood vessels. Eating horseradish can help you get essential Potassium that will maintain your blood pressure.
A well maintained and stable blood pressure prolongs the life of your heart, keeping you away from several cardiovascular problems and diseases.
Horseradish contains negligible fat and fewer calories while it provides us with several vitamins and essential minerals. Our body can directly break down the protein for increased energy and muscle matter. Just a serving of horseradish can increase the energy production rate of your body to a great extent.
Sinigrin in Horseradish makes you more focused and aware. At the same time, increased energy from proteins prevents illness from body-generated toxins. Apart from that, sinigrin also provides relief from symptoms of water retention by easing the blood capillaries.
Prevents Neural Tube Defects
Horseradish has high levels of folate that helps keep the mother safe during a pregnancy. Folate ensures that both the mother and child remain safe from pregnancy complications. Folate facilitates the overall development of the foetus, eliminating any risk of neural tube defects. However, there’s a word of caution.
Horseradish in excess amount can be harmful to a pregnant woman and thus, the intake should be restricted.
Has Antibacterial Qualities
Several studies have found that horseradish possesses antibacterial qualities. By just spreading some horseradish in your daily food, you can keep yourself healthy. The main antibacterial component present in horseradish is allyl isothiocyanate. Horseradish can provide a brilliant defence against the infection bearing disease-causing bacteria like E Coli, Staphylococcus and others.
Good Bone Health
Calcium is necessary for a good bone health and repair in case of wearing bones. Horseradish has an abundant amount of calcium that is sufficient to do the trick. Adding sufficient amount of calcium to your diet can help in delaying the ageing effect. So to feel young and energetic, you should consume limited amounts of horseradish.
By consuming it over time, you can reduce the risk of bone conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Helps in Digestion
Horseradish is well known for its facilitation in nutrition absorption and digestion. The plant contains some known gastric stimulants that can have a great positive impact on your digestion. The phytochemicals present in horseradish stimulate salivary and intestinal glands. The fibre content present in the root helps in bulking up the bowel.
After the bowel is bulked up, the peristaltic motion of the intestinal muscles becomes easy. This way, horseradish helps in easy digestion and prevents conditions like constipation and diarrhoea.
Horseradish also possesses diuretic quality, one of many health benefits of horseradish. This means that by adding horseradish to your daily or weekly diet, you help in the proper cleanliness of your body. Horseradish stimulates urination that helps in excretion of toxins produced in the body. This way, your kidneys remain clean and fully functional.
Another great benefit of the diuretic quality of horseradish is that it helps in weight reduction. 4% of your urine is made of body fats. So with easy urination, you lose some harmful fats as well.
Helps in Respiratory Issues
Isn’t that odour and peculiar pungent quality training troubles on your nose and eyes? The same quality of horseradish is going to give immediate relief from several respiratory issues. Horseradish’s odour helps clear mucus in respiratory tubes, especially in the sinus. Just a sniff and your respiratory tracts will be cleared.
Horseradish has several juices that release specific pungent smells on being heated or cut. Inhaling horseradish odour can help you after an allergy or catch a cold and provide immediate relief by clearing your nose.
Anti-oxidant and Detoxification
Your horseradish also contains some known antioxidants that can help you in several ways. Glucosinolate is the major antioxidant in horseradish that prevents spread of waste in the body. The antioxidants in horseradish along with sinigrin keep you energetic and fresh. This helps in overall restriction of the ageing of your body cells.
Dietary Caution- Horseradish is indeed very beneficial, but its quantity should always be kept in check. Also, you should not feed horseradish to a pregnant woman (not more than prescribed amount) or a child below the age of 4. Doing so can cause severe allergies, internal complications and kidney disorders.
Apart from the different minerals it provides, horseradish also contains high levels of sodium. Sodium is known to increase blood pressure in excess amounts. This is a reason why horseradish should be consumed in limited amounts by cardiac patients. After all, too much of anything is bad for health.
Horseradish is indeed one of the most beneficial of all the plant roots that you consume. The health benefits of horseradish have still not been completely discovered. It has been proven in studies and research that by adding horseradish to your diet in a similar manner as wasabi and mustard, you could increase your immunity and strength.
So the next time you walk down the mart and notice horseradish, do pick it up. Just a little amount of it in your sandwich, steak or curry can work wonders!