Horseradish is a plant that predominantly grows in the southeastern Europe and parts of Asia. This plant is categorized in the same family as cabbage and broccoli. This plant has a strong flavor that makes it stand out from the other plants within this category of Brassicaceae. Its unique taste also makes it a delicacy that is popular in different parts of the world.
When the root of Horseradish is intact it hardly has any aroma but when grated or sliced it releases enzymes that can be irritating to the eyes just like onions. When sliced or grated Horseradish turns dark in color due to oxidation and may be preserved in vinegar or used.
Uses of Horseradish
Horseradish has found uses both as a vegetable and also as a condiment. It is used together with vinegar to make condiments that is popular world over. It has also been useful in producing enzymes used for biology and chemistry.
The strong enzymes produced by Horseradish make is a very potent medicinal plant and has found uses both in culinary and treatment. Horseradish has a very potent antibacterial property since it produces an active compound known as allyl isothiocyanate. It also contains oils that are used for medicinal purposes such as mustard oil. It has also been used as a potential source of vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Horseradish
There are innumerable health benefits of eating Horseradish. The following are some of the known health benefits of eating Horseradish:
- Good Source of Antioxidants
It has been proven that eating foods rich in antioxidant s is an important step toward reduced chances of cancer attack. Antioxidants fight free radicals that are harmful to body cells. Horseradish has abundant antioxidants and mineral salts making it a good source of antioxidants.
- Anti-inflammatory and Diuretic
Horseradish have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects that are attributed to its compounds such as allyl isothiocyanate and phenylethyl isothiocyanate it is also a potent diuretic since it elevates the urine output. It also helps in the detoxification process.
- Good Source of Ascorbic Acid
Horseradish produces high amounts of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with fresh Horseradish having up to 40% of recommended daily allowances of vitamin C.
- Dietary Fiber Source
Horseradish contains a high amount of dietary fiber that is important for promoting proper food digestion and reducing occurrence of digestion conditions like constipation.
- Increases Appetite
Horseradish has been known over the years to be a very good appetizer. It is a gastric stimulant that promotes appetite and helps in food digestion. Its phyto-compounds are important for stimulation of salivary glands and intestines to produce necessary digestion enzymes thus increasing appetite.
- Potent Source of Mineral Trace Elements and Rare Vitamins
Horseradish has been found to contain vitamin B6 and riboflavin besides the ample amount of ascorbic acid. It has also been found to contain sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium that are essential for promoting metabolism at the cell level.
These are some of the many health benefits of eating Horseradish. You can consume Horseradish as a condiment, ingredient in different recipes as well as a vegetable.