Health Benefits of Horseradish

Did You Know…horseradish is SO much more than a condiment?

Nowadays most people think of horseradish as a flavorful addition to a sandwich, but for thousands of years, this “condiment” has been used as an herbal remedy for many different ailments.  In fact, you may be using it that way without even knowing it!

There’s a good reason—in addition to its distinctive, spicy flavor—that horseradish is often eaten with meats.  Horseradish is a powerful digestive aid that assists your body as it breaks down food.  That assistance is especially key when your digestive system is breaking down tough proteins.

A Little Bit of Horseradish Brings Big Benefits 

A little bit of horseradish goes a long way, experts say.  Only 15 to 20 drops are needed to significantly improve digestion and bring about benefits such as…

  • Stimulation of the secretion of gastric and intestinal juices
  • Repair of digestive epithelium (your stomach lining)
  • Restoration of intestinal bacterial flora, key to a healthy digestive tract

     Horseradish also provides a powerful boost to your immune system.  It contains high levels of vitamin C, which may contribute to its proven capacity as an antibiotic.

 

Fights Infections

Studies show horseradish can effectively treat infections by destroying the bad bacteria that cause them.
Horseradish appears to be especially useful as a treatment for… Bronchitis
 Coughs and colds
 Ear infections
 Strep throat
 The flu
 Pneumonia


Curing Colds… and Fighting Cancer? 

Not only can horseradish help your body fight off the common cold, but it may also be able to aid in the prevention of cancer.  According to tests carried out at the University of Illinois, horseradish can help your liver detoxify carcinogens while simultaneously suppressing the growth of any existing tumors and quashing the formation of new ones.

These impressive effects come from compounds called glucosinolates.  These natural compounds give foods like horseradish (and mustard, and cabbage) their pungent taste.  They have also been linked to a wealth of health benefits, including cancer prevention.  “Our analysis of various horseradish varieties shows they are a rich source of these compounds,” commented Mosbah Kushad, an associate professor of food-crop systems at the University of Illinois.

Two of the most abundant of these compounds in horseradish are sinigrin and gluconasturtiin.  Once inside the body, these glucosinolates break down into two potent derivatives (isothiocyanates and indoles, respectively) that are believed to be the key chemopreventative components of horseradish and other glucosinolate-containing plants.

How to Use Horseradish 

Because horseradish contains such high concentrations of nutrients, you don’t need much to see results.  “A little dab on your steak will go a long way,” said Mosbah Kushad.  There’s even some evidence that processing horseradish increases its efficacy, since some of its compounds must be broken down in order to reach their strongest, must useful state.

Regardless of the form or quantity you choose to incorporate into your diet, it’s easily found horseradish at health food or grocery stores.  It’s also a snap to grow horseradish at home.  All you need is a piece of the existing root.  Simply plant the piece in soil, water daily, and watch it grow!

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