Horseradish and Health

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A Fat-Free Food

Horseradish has a million possibilities, lots of flavor and no fat. In one tablespoon of prepared horseradish, there is only 6 calories, 1.4 grams of carbohydrates, 14 milligrams of sodium, 44 milligrams of potassium, 9 milligrams of calcium, 5 milligrams of phosphorous AND ZERO FAT. So an open minded cook can put the full power of horseradish to work without adding unnecessary fat and calories.

Here are some ideas from the Horseradish Information Council, for expanding your mind and menu (not your waistline) using a spoonful of horseradish:

  • At breakfast, add prepared horseradish to scrambled eggs, omelets and hashbrowns before cooking. Wake-up Eggs Benedict with a spoonful of horseradish added to hollandaise sauce or simply serve prepared horseradish straight out of the jar and on the side with sausage.
  • For lunch, add prepared horseradish to mayonnaise or salad dressing for sandwiches or to French dressing for salads. Spike ready-made deli items such as cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad with a heaping spoonful of horseradish.
  • At dinner, substitute prepared horseradish for butter and salt as a vegetable topper. Add one (or two) spoonfuls to canned or homemade soups. Mash horseradish with potatoes or mix with low-fat sour cream for a quick baked potato topping.

Health Benefits

If youíre trying to lose weight, make sure horseradish, mustard and salsa are on your shopping list, advises recent guidelines on obesity from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). These condiments received high marks throughout the guidelines for their low-fat, high-flavor qualities.

NHLBI developed the guidelines with practical information on healthy eating and tips on shopping, eating and dining out. Consumers can reduce the time spent cooking healthy by using a shopping list and keeping a well-stocked kitchen. Mustard, salsa, low- and no-fat salad dressing top the list for quick low fat food items to fill kitchen cupboards. The Institute recommends horseradish, reduced-fat or fat-free salad dressing, mustard, fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise, reduced sodium soy sauce and salsa as convenient, low-fat condiments that can easily be added during preparation or at the table.

The first-ever federal guidelines developed by NHLBI in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) are designed to help doctors care for overweight and obese patients Ė a public health problem that affects 97 million American adults Ė or 55% of the population.

Some people love putting a dollop of horseradish on their steamy roast beef. As it turns out, this natural taste-maker may also be a useful food preservative.

Agricultural Research Service food technologist Henry Fleming and Oklahoma State University food chemist Brian Shofran proved both horseradish and mustard oil pack a punch against Listeria, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and other food pathogens you definitely donít want in your sandwich.

Thatís because these condiments contain a pungent chemical called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC). Mustard oil has 93 percent AITC, while horseradish has 60 percent AITC.