Horseradish has been well-known in Austria since the middle ages as a “spicer upper” for body, spirit and soul and has yet another, and actually much more significant, trick up its sleeve: Horseradish contains twice as much vitamin C as a lemon. The health aspect is further emphasised by its diverse ingredients such as vitamins C, B1, B2 and B6 as well as the minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
The growing awareness of health and nutrition can be seen in the strong demand for organic and environmentally friendly foods, regional products and the growing number of vegans, vegetarians and “flexitarians” or “part-time vegetarians”, which is what trend researchers have dubbed those who do not completely cut out meat, but prefer to only eat it occasionally. The meat they then eat is eaten in a conscious way and only if it is of the highest quality. Trends such as urban gardening, in which fruit and vegetables are grown in plots even in the middle of city centres, are also finding their way into metropolises such as Berlin or Vienna – because people once more want to know what they are eating and where it comes from.
When the temperatures sink in autumn it is especially important, both for the immune system and for the mood, to regulate the body’s temperature balance with the aid of correct nutrition. This is a piece of wisdom that not only informs the nutritional theory of the five elements in traditional Chinese medicine but is also reflected in Austrian autumn and winter dishes. Hot dishes such as soups and stews play an important role at this time of year – and with the right ingredients you can bring happiness to anyone who is prone to feeling the cold.
Above all, a warming effect is ascribed to many spices. These not only promote the circulation but also have a fortifying effect on the stomach and spleen. In addition, they benefit the digestion. The spiciness of ginger, which is also extremely effective against colds, is a useful quality in the cold season, as are those of chilli and pepper. Cardamom is another bringer of warmth and can, for example, enhance a cup of coffee. Coriander goes perfectly with Asian meat and vegetable dishes and with pulses.