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Friday, 26 July 2013

for dinner tonight: horseradish greens

Horseradish is a powerful and pungent plant that is connected to a wide variety of health benefits, including its ability to aid weight loss, lower blood pressure, alleviate respiratory conditions, build strong bones, improve immune system health, stimulate healthy digestion, promote heart health, and lower the chances of neural tube defects in infants. Perhaps most notably, horseradish can prevent cancer due to its extremely high levels of glucosinolates.



A few weeks ago I was really suffering with sinus problems, and as I sat in the allotment I wonder what could help me naturally balance my body. And there it was, the massive and beautiful Horseradish leaves just awaiting me. I have been watching them grow near the potato patch and didn't know what it was until yesterday.
Horseradish Greens by Sally Hares
During the 18th century, the most popular documented way to get rid of a sinus infection was to put 1/4 tsp of freshly grated horseradish on your tongue and ‘hold it in your mouth until all the flavour is gone’. It goes on to say that ‘this will immediately cut through the infected mucus and let it drain down the throat. This will relieve the pressure in your sinuses and help clear infection.’ ! I’ve never tried this remedy- it makes sense – but if you’ve ever peeled and grated fresh horseradish root, you’ll know that the smell affects your eyes and nose far more than any strong raw onions, so I think I’d only try it as an absolute last resort…
Now’s the time for you to look out for horseradish growing wild. It’s easy to spot if you know what Dock leaves look like, they’re very similar. If you’re unsure, rip a piece of the leaf off and give it a smell. You’ll know immediately whether it’s Dock or Horseradish, the leaves have the same delicious fragrance as the root.
Horseradish Greens as a side dish
Most people know that horseradish root tastes amazing with most roast or baked things (including roast beetroot – yum!), but what a lot of people don’t know is that the leaves of the horseradish are delicious too. Horseradish greens are an absolute delight prepared simply or used in a stir fry. They have an irony rich cabbage flavour, but are quite pokey with a horseradish mustardy taste.
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including its ability to aid weight loss, lower blood pressure, alleviate respiratory conditions, build strong bones, improve immune system health, stimulate healthy digestion, promote heart health, and lower the chances of neural tube defects in infants. Perhaps most notably, horseradish can prevent cancer due to its extremely high levels of glucosinolates.
Immune System Health and Cancer Prevention: 
Horseradish is packed with beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals, some of which give it the distinctive, pungent odor. These components have been found to have antioxidant characteristics that boost the strength of the immune system and stimulate the activity and production of white blood cells, the body’s main line of defense. The vitamin-C content of horseradish is also impressively high, which boosts the strength of the immune system and joins the defensive forces against free radicals.
Some of these chemicals are various forms of isothiocyanate and sinigrin
In terms of cancer prevention, sinigrin is also a glucosinolate, a specific type of antioxidant that is beneficial in the defense of cancerous growth. It inhibits the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous cells, which occurs due to free radicals in the body, which are hazardous byproducts of cellular metabolism that must be continually flushed out of the body. By adding a dollop of horseradish sauce to various foods, you are increasing your ability to fight off cancer and delay the spread of metastasis of cancerous cells if you have already contracted one of the deadly forms of cancer.