What is Horseradish: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses
Over the years, many people have come to know horseradish as one of the spicy condiments often used in serving dishes like roast beef sandwiches or steak. What’s more, it also comes in handy with dressings and sauces. The root vegetable, also known by other names such as can de bretagne, armoracia lopathifolia, and great raifort, offers a wealth of benefits for users. Continue reading to find out more about horseradish, the health benefits, uses, and nutritional value.
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What is Horseradish
Horseradish is a root vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family, which is also referred to as the mustard family comprising of other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. It equally encompasses the likes of mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, kale, and wasabi. They are equally called cruciferous vegetables and are majorly cultivated for their tapered roots that come white and large.
People that have used the roots in cooking or chopped and diced it will know that crushing or cutting horseradish releases that signature pungent aroma. Any damaged root will release some mustard oil comprising of glucosinolates known as natural compounds. The Glucosinolates come with a plethora of biological functions, and therein lies the medicinal value of this powerful root vegetable called horseradish.
Health Benefits of Horseradish/ is Horseradish Good for You?
Below are some horseradish health benefits:
- Fortifies the immune system
One known horseradish benefit is its ability to reinforce our body’s immune system, thanks to its sinigrin and isothiocyanate content with antioxidant effects. The root vegetable is replete with vitamin C, which also functions as a powerful antioxidant warding off viral infections. The vegetable still militates against free radicals, and as a result, prevents infections and inflammation.
- Acts as a pain reliever
Horseradish aids in the stimulation of blood flow both beneath the skin and on the surface thus helps in assuaging the pain. Over the years, people have treated symptoms of arthritis, gout, as well as chilblains by covering the affected area with horseradish. The roots bring a great deal of relief to swollen muscles and joints.
- For the treatment of urinary tract infections
This medicinal root comes with antibiotic and diuretic properties, thanks to the presence of specific chemicals; what’s more, it also aids in urine production. The enzyme content of horseradish facilitates the removal of toxins and prevents them from building up. We also have sinigrin in the root, and it functions to stimulate the blood capillaries, which in turn prevents us from developing urinary tract infections, reducing the chances of getting Kidney stones.
- Aids in the prevention of cancer
The glucosinolate called sinigrin might also work against the development of cancerous cells. This is so because, the sinigrin content of horseradish fights free radicals, preventing them from transforming healthy cells into cancerous ones. Adding the root to our meal might help in the fight against cancer as well as setback the multiplication or metastasis of cancerous cells.
- Aids in the regulation of blood pressure
Horseradish is replete with potassium, and adding it to your diet might go a long way to help reduce the risk of developing heart conditions and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes. Besides, potassium is crucial to the maintenance of our blood pressure with its regulation of the natural flow of our body’s cellular fluids. It also functions to control the tension in the blood vessels. With enough potassium in the blood, your heart will be in good condition, with your blood pressure under control, as the flow of nutrients and fluids will be regulated.
- Great for the treatment of sinus infections
Sinus infections occur when you have an accumulation of mucus in the sinuses, giving rise to the development of harmful bacteria. Horseradish can halt this painful condition in its tracks, thanks to its content of some volatile compounds which act on the mucus, thinning them out in the process. In addition, the root vegetable also gives you relief from cold, influenza, and congestion.
- Aids digestion
The potent root comes with elements that function as gastric stimulants, aiding in food digestion, and eases nutrient absorption. There is the presence of phytochemicals in the root, which stimulates the gastric, salivary, and intestinal glands. It also aids in the normalization of bowel movement, and guards against irritable health conditions like diarrhea and constipation. Horseradish can accomplish this through the stimulation of the peristaltic motion experienced in the body’s smooth intestinal muscles.
- Good for the teeth
The root vegetable is used in the treatment of periodontosis, thanks to its powerful stimulating effects. A cure from toothache is also possible by chewing the roots of horseradish, which is also good in the treatment of scurvy and improves the health of the gum.
- Useful in pregnancy
The folate content of horseradish aids in the protection of both mother and unborn baby from possible complications that might develop in pregnancy. It assists in the proper formation of the fetus, eliminating the chances of developing neural tube defects.
- Aids in metabolism
The protein content in horseradish can be converted into energy through the process of metabolism, and in turn, functions in repairing and strengthening the body’s defense against diseases. The energy also aids us in accomplishing our daily tasks much more easier.
- Great for nutrition
Horseradish is bursting with a plethora of essential nutrients and minerals, which are of great benefit to our body. For instance, it is rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and folate. The roots are also replete with zinc, magnesium, and manganese, in addition to the potent organic chemical composition of oils and enzymes, such as sinigrin, which is known to be a powerful glucosinolate.
Both in Poland and the UK, they use horseradish sauce as a condiment (the sauce comes from a mix of grated horseradish roots and vinegar). In addition, they use the condiment in serving roasted beef as part of their customary Sunday lunches. Moreover, you can use horseradish on your salad and sandwiches to enhance their tastes. The leaves of this powerful medicinal root vegetable is also edible, and you can eat it cooked or raw.
- HORSERADISH – Web MD