Horseradish Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Horseradish Sauce with Prime Rib

John E. Kelly / Photodisc / Getty Images

As a staple of prime rib dinners and buffet lines throughout the world, horseradish provides a tangy, spicy bite that complements any star entree. With a taste that can make your eyes turn red, horseradish brings more to your meal than its pungent flavors, the condiment has been used for thousands of years for its valuable health properties. Horseradish has the ability to help remove cancer-causing free radicals, provide antioxidant compounds, and impact heart health.

You might want to eat horseradish with caution, however. The heat stems from isothiocyanate, a compound that when oxidized by air and saliva, can create a spice that makes your sinuses run. For the uninitiated, a light touch when dipping meat into this condiment would serve you best. Horseradish is one food you need to build up your tolerance for to avoid spending the rest of your meal blowing your runny nose and dabbing your tears.

Horseradish Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of horseradish, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 7.2
  • Fat: 0.103g
  • Sodium: 63mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7g
  • Fiber: 0.495g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 0.177g

Carbs

You will consume 1.7 grams of carbs in a serving of horseradish. The carbs are found primarily in the added sugars. Horseradish contains only three main ingredients—horseradish root, vinegar, and salt, so carbs will come from additional foods the home preparer or brand adds to change its flavor.

Fats

Horseradish is a low-fat food with total lipid fats numbering a little more than 0.1 grams. The fat comes from the fresh horseradish ground root. Although you will not likely find completely fat-free horseradish on the market, the amount it contains is almost negligible.

Protein

The protein content is under 0.2 grams. If you want to generate more protein in the condiment, you can add extra root vegetable. You are better off, however, consuming your protein from the meat or vegetables you dip in to the horseradish instead.

Vitamins and Minerals

Although a serving of horseradish is only 1 tablespoon, there are a high number of vitamins and minerals, including the following 8.4 milligrams of calcium, 4 milligrams of magnesium, 4.65 milligrams of phosphorus, 36.9 milligrams of potassium, and 3.75 milligrams of vitamin C.

Calories

A tablespoon of horseradish contains a little more than 7 calories. About 85% of the calories come from water, making this a low-calorie, low-fat condiment with a high dose of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium in one, small serving.

Health Benefits

Although people typically do not horseradish in large amounts, it can have some benefits. Here are some potential health benefits that come from consuming horseradish.

May Provide Anti-Cancer Properties

All three grades of horseradish sold in the United States, (U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, and U.S. No. 2
according to the USDA standards) can help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals, according to a study from the University of Illinois and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers found that the compounds in horseradish, known as glucosinolates, are cancer-fighting. In fact, the cancer-fighting capabilities of horseradish are 10 times greater than other cancer-fighting vegetables, such as broccoli.

May Impact Cardiovascular Health

Horseradish also can aid in cardiovascular care. In a study on the acute effects of horseradish using a five-way, placebo-controlled, single-blind, cross-over trial, 22 males were given 8.3 grams of horseradish in a brunch meal or a placebo.

Results showed that horseradish decreased heart rate and increased diastolic blood pressure (the pressure in arteries when the heart rests in between heartbeats) when compared to the placebo.

May Kill Bacteria

Horseradish can help keep your body free from certain bacteria. In a study from Biocontrol Science, the isothiocyanates (naturally occurring small molecules formed from cruciferous vegetables) extracted from horseradish root destroyed six types of oral microorganisms. Due to these results, researchers suggest that horseradish root might serve as an antimicrobial agent.

Contains Anti-Aging Potential

Horseradish root is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from cellular damage. Researchers found that horseradish’s root tissues can remove as much as 75% of arsenic from the body. The significant adverse effect caused by arsenic exposure is oxidative stress—a stress that can cause premature aging.

Allergies

Although allergies to horseradish and other similar foods like wasabi are rare, they are possible. In some cases, they can cause a burning sensation, rash, and swollen lips.

In high doses, you may notice burning of the mouth, nose, throat, and stomach as well as heavy sweating, dry heaving or vomiting, and diarrhea. Your skin also could become irritated and red on contact or if you inhale the root when grating. If you suspect that you have an allergy to horseradish, it is important to contact a healthcare provider for evaluation and testing.

Adverse Effects

Horseradish can cause increased urination, so those with kidney issues might want to speak with a healthcare professional before incorporating this condiment regularly into their diet. Children under 4 might want to avoid horseradish because they could experience irritation in their digestive tracts. 

Horseradish is not known to have any serious interactions with medications. However, if you are considering using horseradish medicinally, talk to a healthcare provider first to determine if it is right for you and your particular situation.

When It’s Best

Horseradish has a long shelf life. According to the Horseradish Information Council, horseradish will keep for 4 to 6 months in the refrigerator. You also can store it in the freezer for up to 1 year.

How to Prepare

The best way to eat horseradish is as a condiment with prepared meats, such as prime rib or a beef roast. To make the horseradish hotter after grating, wait a few minutes before adding the vinegar and salt.

According to the Horseradish Information Council, you should add the vinegar immediately if you want a mild horseradish taste as the vinegar stabilizes the flavor. You can also add sugar, cream, or vegetable oil for different horseradish flavor profiles.

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8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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