by Jenna Koroly, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDN
Although horseradish is typically thought of as a condiment, it is a root vegetable. You may also be familiar with horseradish on Passover, as it often makes up a portion of the symbolic seder plate. Horseradish is a good source of folate, vitamin C, and fiber, and also contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium [i]. Compounds called glucosinolates are found in horseradish, which are also components of other pungent plants such as mustard and cabbage.
Glucosinolates and Cancer
These compounds found in horseradish and other crucifers including broccoli, cabbage, mustard, wasabi, and watercress produce isothiocyanates when going through hydrolysis. These products may play a role in cancer prevention through blocking certain cancer initiation pathways as well as inducing cell apoptosis [ii].
Although some use horseradish as a remedy for the common cold, there is not sufficient research evidence to recommend horseradish for cold prevention or treatment.
Ways to Eat
Try sprinkling some horseradish in your homemade hummus or mashed avocado. Use it in sauces or with other condiments. You can also experiment with it as a seasoning when roasting vegetables, fish, poultry, or meats. Because horseradish has a pungent flavor, start with small amounts in your dishes and add more as desired. And of course, keep an eye out for our recipe of the month, featuring horseradish, coming soon on the blog!
[i] Horseradish, prepared. Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/223/2https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2005/2.
[ii] Keck AS and Finley JW. (2004). Cruciferous vegetables: cancer protective mechanisms of glucosinolate hydrolysis products and selenium. Integrative Cancer Therapies 3(1): 5–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735403261831.