Horseradish at the Polish table appears at least once a year – during Easter holidays. On other occasions it appears quite rarely, served mainly as an addition to meats. This supplement can do more good for your health than you think.
Horseradish has a sharp taste and a distinct smell, from which it can curl up in the nose. Few people know that these culinary values conceal pro-healthy qualities. Consumers who already have this knowledge use it as a home remedy for colds, indigestion, rheumatism and sick bays.
Horseradish is a common plant, unruly in terms of crops, hence relatively cheap on the market. The secret of pro-health properties of horseradish lies in the content of glucosinolates (mainly synigrine and gluconasturcin). It is believed that the most important constituents of cruciferous vegetables (which also include horseradish) with anticancer activity include the glucosinolates mentioned and their decomposition products – isothiocyanates – substances that also give a spicy taste.
A cousin of Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
Horseradish belongs to the family of cabbage vegetables, which also includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, swede and cauliflower and broccoli. Like the vegetables mentioned, it has an anti-cancer effect, but also fungicidal and bactericidal. It owes them to the content of phenethyl isothiocyanate and allyl isothiocyanate. Horseradish reduces the risk of bladder cancer and inhibits the development of lung cancer and esophageal cancer. It can also be used prophylactically against gastric cancer.
Urase fresh horseradish
If you want to use the maximum potential of horseradish, choose a horseradish with a larger diameter – it contains more anti-cancer substances. It is also very important to choose only fresh horseradish. The one stored in jars and grated contains less isothiocyanates. Besides, by choosing fresh horseradish we provide the body with more vitamins. In the root of horseradish there are vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamins B (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9), vitamin A and vitamin E. In addition, horseradish contains quite a lot of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, zinc and manganese.
Additive to dishes that stimulates digestion
The one who first came up with the idea of serving horseradish as an addition to meat dishes probably knew that horseradish supports digestion – or unconsciously created a health- beneficial connection. Horseradish significantly facilitates the absorption of food and improves metabolism. After eating a greasy, hard to digest meat dish, digestive problems may arise – that’s why they were served with horseradish. The tradition of adding horseradish to meat dishes was born in the Old Polish cuisine, probably already in the 17th century. Horseradish also has warming properties.
Horseradish for immunity – only fresh
In 100 g of fresh horseradish there is about 150 mg of vitamin C – this is a large content. In addition, horseradish is a valuable source of antibacterial substances, including phytoncides, lysozyme and phenylethyl alcohol. Therefore, fresh, grated horseradish supports immunity. When cooked, it already contains traces of vitamin C. Horseradish can also be used as an agent for external use – sniffing off grated horseradish (actually inhaling essential oils) clears the nose. The horseradish-based syrup has an expectorant effect.
Wraps of horseradish and rubbing – for various types of pains
The horseradish can be used for wraps and rubbing solutions. Folk medicine values its properties very much. Horseradish compresses cause slight irritation and congestion of the skin and have a warming effect. Therefore, they help relieve muscle aches and contractures, reduce swellings and improve the mobility of joints in the limbs. In phytotherapy, horseradish wraps are used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, sciatic nerve inflammation and gout. The rubbing solution is prepared from 10% ammonia and horseradish (10 ml ammonia per 40 ml of grated horseradish). It is used in rheumatic disease.
Who should not eat horseradish?
Horse radishes, inflammation of the digestive tract, kidney disease, cirrhosis and thyroid problems should avoid horseradish.
You can read also: Diet for autumn