Horseradish is a common condiment used in fish or meat dishes and sandwiches. Originating from the same family as cabbage and mustard, horseradish is quite well-known for its strong and spicy flavor. Scientific studies over the last several years have also shown that horseradish offers plenty of health benefits. Here are some ways that horseradish can be beneficial for your health and some warnings when including this plant in your diet.
An Ancient Cure
The therapeutic effects of horseradish have been known for centuries. Ancient Indians would gather horseradish roots and chew on them to relieve dental ailments such as toothaches. The roots were also used as an herbal treatment for scurvy - a disease caused by a serious deficiency in vitamin C.
Treatment for Sinus Infections
A sinus infection begins when mucus begins to build up in the sinuses, creating a hospitable environment for bad bacteria to thrive in. Because of this, a sinus infection is not only inconvenient but can be downright painful. If you are prone to colds and sinus infections, you might want to incorporate horseradish into your diet. Horseradish treats sinus infections by making thick and heavy mucus thinner. The thinner the mucus is, the easier it is for the body to expel it. It is recommended that you take horseradish as soon as you feel a cold coming. Lung congestion and influenza are other ailments that can be relieved by horseradish.
Anti-Carcinogenic and Antibiotic
The roots of horseradish are also known to contain high amounts of glucosinolates that can help lower your risk of cancer. Glucosinolates are commonly found in vegetables in the mustard family, such as broccoli and cauliflower aside from horseradish. These nutrients help the liver in eliminating carcinogenics which may potentially cause tumors. Aside from preventing the formation of new tumors, glucosinolates also block the growth of tumors that may already be existing within the body. Glucosinolates are also known as powerful antibiotics that help relieve infections by stimulating blood flow to the affected area and eliminating waste products.
Significant Source of Vitamin C
The vitamin C content of horseradish is exceptionally high, so adding plenty of horseradish in the diet is a good way of increasing your vitamin C intake. As you probably know, vitamin C is an important antioxidant which helps fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are responsible for many signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. Free radicals can also lead to serious health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen more efficiently. Collagen is responsible for bonding bone, muscle and skin cells.
Even though horseradish is mostly beneficial for the health, too much of it can have some unpleasant effects. Eating too much horseradish may cause a stomach upset that can even lead to vomiting. Excessive sweating is also a common effect of eating large amounts of horseradish. Women who are pregnant or lactating are advised not to consume horseradish.