The Incredible Health Benefits of Horseradish
Horseradish is part of the Brassicaceae family with cabbage; mustard and wasabi; and broccoli. Broccoli gets all the press for health benefits, but horseradish is even better than broccoli in certain ways!
By the way, wasabi is a root plant that is related to horseradish but native to Japan. Wasabi is actually slightly hotter than horseradish. Unfortunately, most of the wasabi sold in the U.S. is just horseradish blended with dry mustard and food coloring.
Both horseradish and wasabi contain a powerful plant chemical called “allyl isothiocyanate” or AITC for short which gives them their heat. AITC is a powerful chemopreventive agent that is one of several “glucosinolates”. Glucosinolates increase the liver’s ability to detoxify chemicals and carcinogens and suppress he growth of tumors. Although broccoli and brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables contain these compounds, horseradish and real wasabi contain up to 10 times more!
Once inside the body glucosinolates break down into powerful derivatives called isothicyantes and indoles, which are the main cancer-preventive contributors of horseradish and cruciferous vegetables. Horseradish contain an enzyme that breaks down glucosinolates called myrosinase which is the key to obtaining the benefits of glucosinolates. For example, one of the key chemicals from broccoli is sulforaphane which is created by the action of myrosinase on glucosinolates in broccoli. Since there is much more myrosinase in horseradish than broccoli you actually get more of the potent chemopreventive chemicals from horseradish, and for a double whammy add some horseradish to your broccoli to get even more benefit. A little goes a long way – just a teaspoon of grated horseradish will generate powerful benefits.
These beneficial chemicals dramatically ramp-up the body’s production of key antioxidants and accelerate detoxification dramatically so having a couple of doses of horseradish each week can potentially provide big health benefits!
Horseradish is also a mild antibiotic and stimulates urine production, so it’s been used to relieve urinary infections. Other benefits of horseradish include:
Helping to relieve joint and muscle pain
Helping to relieve chest congestion
Reducing water retention
Helping with Sinus Infections*
Assisting with reduction of dandruff
Assisting with reducing the symptoms of colds and flu