Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia Armoracia) is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage. This plant is native to southeastern Europe and western Asia but is now grown around the world. In the culinary arts, “horseradish” or “prepared horseradish” refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Grated horseradish should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for the greatest flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its strong flavor, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter over time.
Here are the 7 health benefits of horseradish.
1. Horseradish can assist in the antioxidant defense.
Horseradish contains the essential mineral called manganese, which is important for some enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, some enzymes disarm free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), which require manganese.
2. Horseradish is great for keeping the hair and skin vibrant and strong.
Sufficient vitamin C intake is essential for your body to create and maintain collagen, an important protein found in hair and skin.
3. Horseradish can help individuals fight infections.
Horseradish is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
4. Horseradish can also improve your nervous system.
Horseradish also provides the brain the necessary amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Some vitamins, including vitamin B9, or folate or folic acid, play a significant role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Horseradish is helpful for pregnant women and their babies.
Horseradish is an excellent source of B-vitamin complex, such as folate. Folate has shown to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns.
6. Horseradish can help you sleep better.
Horseradish has been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Horseradish also helps regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.
7. Horseradish can contribute to improving respiratory conditions.
The strong odor of horseradish that makes one’s eyes water can also help clear the nose and respiratory system. Taking pure horseradish can stimulate the secretion of various juices that help to clear out congestion that may have developed due to a cold or allergy.