Horseradish is one of the most popular natural condiments in the world. You may find it in sauces served alongside roast beef sandwiches, prime rib, or shrimp. It is typically consumed in small quantities, but instantly noticeable when added to a dish thanks to its distinct flavor. Apart from making meals taste better, horseradish can also improve your overall health. Although it’s mostly consumed in Southeastern Europe and West Asia, horseradish is becoming more and more popular in other countries as well, which is a good thing, as we could all use more of it in our diets.
Top 16 Health Benefits of Horseradish
Improved Bone Health
Horseradish is a solid source of calcium, a mineral known for improving bone health. Maintaining healthy calcium levels is essential in order to help your bones grow and regenerate. Consuming the right amounts of this mineral on a daily basis will also protect you from certain bone conditions, such as osteoporosis.
Lower Blood Pressure
Thanks to its potassium content, horseradish can improve your blood flow and widen your arteries. If you don’t consume enough potassium, you have an increased risk of suffering from a stroke and heart attack. The way this mineral improves your cardiovascular health is by helping you maintain normal blood pressure levels.
Stronger Immune System
Horseradish contains a variety of essential phytochemicals, minerals, and antioxidants that your immune system needs in order to stay strong. Having a strong immune system is critical to your overall health, as it will help protect you from different diseases.
Considering the fact that horseradish is both extremely low in calories and contains no fat, it’s a great food to include into your diet if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. Horseradish is packed with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids as well, which are essential to your body’s metabolism. This plant is high both in protein and dietary fiber, two nutrients that will help you feel full for extended time periods, thus lowering your chance to overeat throughout the day.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Horseradish contains different compounds that are able to eliminate cancer-causing toxins from your body. The most notable compound that will reduce your risk of cancer is known as glucosinolate. This compound actually activates enzymes that detoxify your body.
Improved Digestive Health
Consuming the right amount of fiber on a daily basis is essential to good digestive health. This nutrient will help you overcome certain conditions like bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s worth mentioning that horseradish contains other compounds and phytochemicals that help stimulate digestion.
Thanks to the fact that horseradish is filled with important vitamins, proteins, and minerals, it can help the way protein gets metabolized by your body. By increasing your metabolism, horseradish will also improve your energy levels.
Horseradish is considered to be a natural diuretic, since it helps stimulate the volume and frequency of urination. By serving as a diuretic, horseradish will do a good job of detoxifying your body and helping you shed excess water weight. However, it’s worth noting that consuming too much horseradish can cause some problems if you’re already taking diuretic medications.
Improved Respiratory Health
Anyone who enjoys horseradish is probably very familiar with its pungent and eye-watering aroma. This odor is exactly what makes it so good for your respiratory health. Horseradish is known for helping you clear up any excess mucus in your respiratory system. By inhaling fresh horseradish, you will breathe more comfortably.
Horseradish boasts some great antibacterial properties. By consuming it, your body will become more equipped to fight off bacteria, infection, and fungi. Horseradish is especially known for helping eliminate bacteria that cause bronchitis.
Muscle Pain Relief
By mixing horseradish with olive oil and then applying the mixture onto your skin, you can experience muscle pain relief. This mixture will increase blood flow in the particular area that you applied it to, which will help reduce your muscle pain.
Improved Nervous System Health
Horseradish is known for providing your brain with all the nutrients it needs, such as essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Horseradish is a great source of folate, a vitamin known for improving your nervous system health and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved Sleep Quality
Getting quality sleep is incredibly important for your overall health. Thankfully, horseradish will make you sleep better thanks to its high magnesium content. This plant may also lower your risk of suffering from insomnia.
Improved Dental Health
Chewing horseradish will make you experience intense stimulating effects that help in the treatment of periodontitis. By eating horseradish, you will strengthen your gums in a natural way. This root is also noted for being able to act as a natural medicine to cure toothache.
Prevents Hair Loss
This root can have a very positive effect on your hair health. Horseradish is known for improving circulation to the scalp, which in turn regenerates your hair roots.
Reduces Tumor Growth
Horseradish can be really effective in restricting the growth of tumors in your body. This is due to the fact that this root contains certain compounds that improve the effectiveness of your liver when it comes to eliminating carcinogens.
12 Fun Facts about Horseradish
- Horseradish has only 2 calories per teaspoon.
- Despite all the technology available today, horseradish is planted and harvested mostly by hand.
- During medieval times, the roots and leaves of horseradish were used for medicinal purposes.
- The most ironic fact about horseradish is that it’s actually toxic to horses.
- There is an International Horseradish Festival held in the city of Collinsville, Illinois every year.
- Considering that they are in the same plant family, horseradish is the cousin to cauliflower and broccoli.
- In its raw form, horseradish actually isn’t that spicy. However, when it gets sliced or grates, the spicy oil that’s inside the root gets released.
- The first written reference to this root was in 1597, when a botanist named John Gerarde included it in a book.
- The term “prepared horseradish” refers to the grated raw root mixed with vinegar and salt.
- In the United States, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish gets made every year.
- Despite its name, horseradish actually isn’t a type of radish.
- Horseradish is one of the first condiments to hit the market, considering the fact that bottled horseradish became available in stores during the 1860s.
Tips to Add More Horseradish into Your Diet
It’s always a good idea to have a jar of prepared horseradish in your fridge, as you can use it in most meals. It doesn’t really matter if you’re preparing ribs, seafood, or a sandwich, horseradish can always be a great addition to your meal, especially if you like spicy food. However, instead of buying prepared horseradish, you can prepare it yourself, simply by grating this root and adding some vinegar and salt.
Dangers and Side Effects of Eating Too Much Horseradish
Despite offering a number of health benefits, horseradish can also harm you if you consume it in excess. First of all, it is a spicy substance, which means that it can irritate delicate or sensitive parts of your body. Horseradish can cause irritation to areas that involve mucous membranes, such as the inner lining of your stomach, mouth, eyes, intestines, and urinary tract.
When eaten in large amounts, horseradish can also cause you to experience an upset stomach. This side effect is caused by the toxicity of this root.
If you’re currently suffering from a thyroid condition, then you need to talk to your doctor before adding horseradish into your diet. This root can interfere with hormones that get produced by the thyroid, thus having a negative effect on your thyroid function.
If you’re currently pregnant or breastfeeding, then you should avoid horseradish at all costs. This root can cause a miscarriage. In fact, it’s even sometimes used to induce abortions. Additionally, horseradish contains certain toxic chemicals that can get excreted during lactation, which is why you should avoid it if you’re breastfeeding as well.
Horseradish can be used in preparation of many different sauces. Thanks to its spicy flavor, it goes well with a variety of dishes. However, it’s much more than a condiment. Even though you’ll consume it in relatively small quantities, this root will still have a positive impact both on your taste buds and your overall health. Apart from being a tasty addition to a meal, horseradish will provide you with a number of health benefits, including improved digestive health, a stronger immune system, improved nervous system health, lower blood pressure, improved bone health, and reduced risk of cancer. Considering the diverse health benefits it offers, it’s no wonder that this root was used for medicinal purposes during medieval times.
Having a jar of prepared horseradish in your refrigerator is always a good idea since it will be handy for whenever you want to improve the taste of your meal and experience all of the above-mentioned health benefits. However, remember not to overeat on this root, as consuming it in excess can lead to certain health problems.