This pungent vegetable DESTROYS cancer cells
Whoever came up with the saying “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” must have been cooking with horseradish.
Before it was ever even called “horseradish,” here in the U.S. we referred to it as “stingnose” — which pretty much says it all, since one bite can clear your sinuses in two seconds flat.
You know the stuff, even if you don’t know it by name. It gives your Bloody Mary a little kick… your roast beef a little zest… and your shrimp cocktail a little tang.
But this spicy treat is actually a vegetable — and the latest research shows it does can do a lot more than just add flavor to your feast.
It can also fight cancer!
Of course, the humble horseradish isn’t new to us. It’s been used for healing purposes for centuries: Ancient Greeks used it to alleviate pain and as an aphrodisiac, while others used it for everything from a nagging cough to tuberculosis.
We’ve even known for a while that, like its cruciferous cousins, horseradish has some anti-cancer properties.
But when researchers from the University of Illinois set off to study HOW horseradish can fight cancer, they found that it has a lot to do with the chemical compounds that give it that pungent smell and flavor.
It turns out the compounds in horseradish can actually force cancer cells to commit suicide — a process known as apoptosis — while leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
I’d like to see chemo or radiation do that!
These compounds occur naturally in some plants to protect them from being eaten by animals, who don’t like the nose-tingling sensation they get from them, so they stay away.
It turns out that those compounds can protect YOUR BODY, too, when they’re released by being cut or chewed.
Now I know horseradish may not be your cup of tea. But it doesn’t look like you need much of it to get the benefits.
Working about a teaspoon a day into your diet may be enough to provide some cancer protection.
You can find grated horseradish pretty much anywhere, but to get the maximum benefit, use the actual root, which you can find in most produce aisles. Just make sure to get the highest grade of it that’s available (and, ideally, organic).
And if you want to dial down the intensity of the horseradish, just add a little vinegar to your recipe.
P.S. On this day, I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the fallen heroes of this fair country. Their service — and sacrifice — has given us the gift of freedom. And that’s something worth celebrating.
Cancer-fighting properties of horseradish revealed
Eating horseradish helps fight against cancer, researchers say