Horseradish is a plant from the Brassicaceae family, that includes wasabi, mustard, cabbage and broccoli. This plant is native to Western Asia and Southeastern Europe, but is now grown around the world.
In culinary, “prepared horseradish” or “horseradish” refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant combined with vinegar. Grated horseradish should be eaten or used immediately or preserved in vinegar for the greatest flavor. Once exposed to heat or air, it will begin to lose its strong flavor, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter.
The health benefits of horseradish are attributed to its high mineral and nutrient content, which includes dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese,and zinc, as well as its organic chemical composition of enzymes and oils, like sinigrin, a powerful glucosinolate. These components work together to provide the health benefits below.
Health Benefits of Horseradish:
1. Cancer Prevention
The glucosinolates present in horseradish were reported to activate its cancer-fighting enzymes, and this can prove beneficial to patients who are fighting cancer. These glucosinolates, in the plant world, protect the plants from the toxic environments. Also, horseradish contains 10 times more glucosinolates, as compared to broccoli.
There are other preliminary studies that shows how horseradish can induce cell death in the case of colon cancer. This only accentuates the possibility of glucosinolates to be used as a potential cancer cure.
2. Fights Inflammation
An Italian study reported that horseradish can help fight inflammation. This is achieve by reducing the release of reactive oxygen species.
Several parts of Chinese medicine have suggested the use of horseradish to help in preventing inflammation, be it in the case of relief from arthritis pain or injury.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Potassium is an essential part of your body that helps in regulating the tension of blood vessels and flow of cellular fluids. Potassium deficiency results in higher blood pressure, and this means a higher risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases and other health conditions including heart attack, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
Consuming horseradish, which is a rich source of potassium, can help to improve your heart health by regulating the passage of fluids and nutrients between cellular membranes, and lowering your blood pressure.
4. Treatment for Respiratory Illness
Horseradish’s contains antibiotic properties, that have been used for years in traditional medicine for the treatment of sinusitis, bronchitis, common cold and cough.
In a German study, a herbal drug that used horseradish root was tested against conventional antibiotics. The findings showed a comparable result in treating acute sinusitis and bronchitis, with the natural extract when compared to conventional treatments.
5. Urinary Tract Infections Treatment
Horseradish root’s contins antibiotic properties, which is very successful in treating acute urinary tract infections, much better than conventional antibiotic treatments, that usually have a number of unpleasant side effects.
The glycoside sinigrin, present in horseradish, is known to help in preventing water retention and therefore, makes it a successful diuretic. This can can help in preventing urinary and kidney infections.
Also, the allyl isothiocyanate content, which is expelled through the urine and has proven anti-bladder cancer capabilities, may also be a reason for the positive effects on the urinary tract.