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Kicking cancer to the curb.

If you like foods with a little bit of kick, you may be in luck when it comes to kicking cancer to the curb.

According to research conducted at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, horseradish may help you detoxify your body and blunt free radicals that encourage the growth of cancer cells.

The research team was led by crop scientist Mosbah Kushad, who had previously measured the cancer-fighting glucosinolates in horseradish. Believe it or not, horseradish actually has about 10 times as many glucosinolates as broccoli. That's good news, since no one wants to eat an entire side dish of horseradish! Fortunately, you just need a teaspoon to get the benefits of this anticancer powerhouse.

However, you do need to make sure you're buying the right kind. The USDA divides horseradish root into three different categories according to diameter and root length: U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, and U.S. No. 2. Kushad and his team wanted to find out if there was a difference in the cancer-fighting properties of the different grades.

As you might expect from the name, U.S. Fancy fared the best, with quite a bit more glucosinolates than U.S. No. 1. The different varieties had different strains of glucosinolate hydrolysis products. And while U.S. No. 1 did have higher levels of certain strains than U.S. Fancy, they weren't as powerful as the strains U.S. Fancy boasted in abundance.

With that said, all varieties will benefit you, particularly because the body absorbs horseradish well. So don't worry too much if you can get your hands on the fancy type.

Horseradish is excellent blended with plain yogurt and fresh herbs as a dip for raw veggies. With the polyphenols and antioxidants from the vegetables and the glucosinolates from the horseradish, cancer doesn't stand a chance!

Kang-Mo Ku, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, John A. Juvik, Mosbah M. Kushad. Correlation of Quinone Reductase Activity and Allyl Isothiocyanate Formation Among Different Genotypes and Grades of Horseradish Roots. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015; 63 (11): 2947 DOI: 10.1021/jf505591z.

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Title Annotation:Nutrition Detective
Author:Ku, Kang-Mo; Jeffery, Elizabeth H.; Juvik, John A.; Kushad, Mosbah M.
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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