Horseradish, a popular member of the Brassicaceae family that includes broccoli, cabbage, mustard, and wasabi, has been used for over 3,000 years for its numerous benefits. The strong aroma and flavor of its root make it versatile for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
Hundred grams of prepared horseradish is rich in calcium, dietary fiber, vitamin-C, folate, potassium, proteins, sodium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.1 Sinigrin (allyl-glucosinolate or 2-propenyl-glucosinolate) is a natural aliphatic glucosinolate present in plants of the Brassicaceae family. Simply put, horseradish, broccoli, brussel sprouts and mustard are rich in sinigrin. In fact, it’s the presence of sinigrin that makes it very beneficial for human consumption.2
Here are 8 incredible health benefits of horseradish that will tempt you to include them in your diet!
1. Excellent Immunity Boosting Properties
Horseradish is rich in both sinigrin and vitamin C that can boost immunity by stimulating the effects and production of white blood cells. It also has antioxidant benefits against free radicals thereby protecting the body from oxidative stresses.
Studies have also found that horseradish consumption can inhibit the growth of pathogenic microbes like listeria, coliform, staph, and strep strains. The roots of horseradish don’t show signs of fungal infestation because sinigrin also has fungitoxicity by nature.3
2. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Long-term studies have proven that horseradish extracts have both cyclooxygenase and human tumor cell growth inhibitory effects. Numerous studies have recognized its potent action against tumor proliferation and metastasis in bladder, colorectal and stomach cancer. Its high antioxidant content also helps to protect the tissues from oxidative damage due to free radicals.4
3. A Healthy Diet Food Option
For all of us who are mindful about eating right and maintaining a healthy weight, horseradish is just right. Being low in calories and high in dietary fiber, it’s also a rich source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. These leave you feeling full for a long time without giving way to food cravings. The rich vitamin, fatty acid, and protein content improve metabolism and digestion.
4. Cardio-Protective Effects
The high potassium content in horseradish maintains normal blood pressure and prevents the onset of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, myocardial infarctions, and strokes. Researchers have proven that sinigrin in horseradish has the extra ability to prevent the progression of atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels.5
5. Improves Digestion And Relieves Constipation
In people suffering from an underactive stomach, digestion is delayed and is often associated with acid reflux. Rather than resorting to taking medications to aid in digestion, it’s better to include horseradish in small amounts in your diet daily. It has anti-inflammatory effects that can also soothe irritated gastric lining and diarrhea. It can ease any digestive trouble and improve bowel movements thereby relieving constipation too.6
6. Strengthens Your Bone Health
It isn’t a very rich source of calcium but has a decent amount that makes it good for bone health, growth, and repair. Consumption on a regular basis can prevent the onset of resorptive bone disorders like osteoporosis.
7. Aids In Sinus Drainage
The pungent odor of horseradish gives it not only a distinct place as a savory condiment but also helps to relieve blocked sinuses. When kept inside the mouth or sniffed strongly, the allyl isothiocyanate in horseradish evaporates into the nasal passages and irritates the nasal lining. This leads to its mucolytic and sinus-clearing effects.7
8. Wound Healing Activity
Researchers weren’t aware of the wound healing properties of sinigrin for a long time until studies revealed that it has the potential for cell repair. It specifically enhanced the healing of wounds by acting on keratinocytes.8
Despite these health benefits, it’s important to remember that horseradish shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts due to its high sodium content. Especially people on hypertensive medications, diuretics, and pregnant women shouldn’t consume it without consulting a doctor.
If you are generally healthy, you can add the delicious and nutritious horseradish as a savory to your diet.
|↑1||Horseradish prepared. Nutritional Value|
|↑2, ↑8||Mazumder, Anisha, Anupma Dwivedi, and Jeanetta du Plessis. “Sinigrin and Its Therapeutic Benefits.” Molecules 21, no. 4 (2016): 416.|
|↑3||Park, Ho-Won, Kyu-Duck Choi, and Il-Shik Shin. “Antimicrobial activity of isothiocyanates (ITCs) extracted from horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) root against oral microorganisms.” Biocontrol science 18, no. 3 (2013): 163-168.|
|↑4||Weil, Marvin J., Yanjun Zhang, and Muraleedharan G. Nair. “Tumor cell proliferation and cyclooxygenase inhibitory constituents in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and Wasabi (Wasabia japonica).” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 53, no. 5 (2005): 1440-1444.|
|↑5||Jang, Yeon Jeong, Bongkyun Park, Hee-Weon Lee, Hye Jin Park, Hyun Jung Koo, Byung Oh Kim, Eun-Hwa Sohn, Sung Hee Um, and Suhkneung Pyo. “Sinigrin attenuates the progression of atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice fed a high-cholesterol diet potentially by inhibiting VCAM-1 expression.” Chemico-Biological Interactions 272 (2017): 28-36.|
|↑6||Herz, Corinna, Hoai Thi Thu Tran, Melinda-Rita Márton, Ronald Maul, Susanne Baldermann, Monika Schreiner, and Evelyn Lamy. “Evaluation of an Aqueous Extract from Horseradish Root (Armoracia rusticana Radix) against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Cellular Inflammation Reaction.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017 (2017).|
|↑7||3 Best Home Remedies For Sinus Infection – Without Complications. SinusCure|