LifestyleThe spicy savior: Horseradish's role in enhancing health and fighting disease

The spicy savior: Horseradish's role in enhancing health and fighting disease

Why is it worth eating fresh horseradish?
Why is it worth eating fresh horseradish?
Images source: © Adobe Stock

9:02 AM EST, November 28, 2023

Horseradish, particularly its root, is a cherished addition to numerous world cuisines, including Polish culinary traditions. While it was a staple in times gone by, today, we tend to reach for fresh vegetables less often. However, the powerful horseradish root can provide excellent support for digestive issues and boost resistance against colds.

The root of the horseradish not only enhances dishes with its unique taste and aroma, but also supports our immune, digestive, and respiratory systems. If you're not fond of its spicy punch, simply pour boiling water over the root beforehand. But remember, cooking horseradish robs it of its beneficial properties.

The health-boosting properties of horseradish root

Digestion is improved by horseradish because it promotes the secretion of gastric juices and bile, thereby aiding the digestion of fats and proteins. The fiber in horseradish root can also prevent constipation by regulating bowel movement. Furthermore, its low calorie and carbohydrate content does not spike blood sugar levels, making it an excellent addition to the diets of those with diabetes, overweight issues, or insulin resistance.

Additionally, horseradish exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can be useful in treating rheumatic, joint, and muscle pains. It is also reputed to alleviate allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, cough, and teary eyes, acting as a natural antihistamine.

Health wonders of horseradish

The horseradish root is a rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient for optimal body function. Vitamin C boosts our immunity, shields us from infections and assists in wound healing. One tablespoon of grated horseradish contains about 6% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.

You should add horseradish root to anti-cold mixtures.
You should add horseradish root to anti-cold mixtures.© Pixabay

Horseradish is also rich in glucosinolates, plant compounds known for their anticancer abilities. When glucosinolates break down, they produce isothiocyanates which can stop the growth of cancer cells and may even provide protection against brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Who should limit their consumption of horseradish?

Eating horseradish in large quantities is contraindicated as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse sweating. Moreover, people suffering from diseases of the kidney and digestive system, especially liver failure, gastric and duodenal ulcer disease, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, and functional dyspepsia should monitor their horseradish intake.

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