If you’ve been looking for an excuse to slather extra hot mustard, horseradish, or wasabi (for the extra daring) on your food, then look no further. Food poisoning is an all too frequent occurrence — especially at fast-food joints. In such restaurants, meat might sit out under heat lamps for hours, which is an ideal location for bacteria growth. Fortunately, you may be able to protect your sensitive gut with nothing more than a dollop of your favorite spicy topping.
Recent studies published in top medical journals are showing that there are active compounds in these condiments that help to actually kill dangerous bacteria. The compounds are known as allyl isothiocyanates (AIT). These bacteria-fighters have shown a lot of promise in clinical studies where they’ve killed off some of the nastiest food borne pathogens — such as E. coli.
In fact, this substance is so effective in killing bacteria that it has actually been developed into a commercial product used for the preservation of packaged meat products. A recent study tested the commercial compound and found that it was highly successful in inhibiting and killing E. coli bacteria. Although the ground beef had been contaminated with a large number of bacteria before the trial, after the AIT was applied and left for some time, the numbers of bacteria were reduced to a level that was practically undetectable.
The good news for you is that you can keep this antibacterial power going by eating delicious condiments made from the same plant sources that these commercial preparations are made from along with your meals. Mustard seeds, horseradish, and wasabi can all protect your meat and your stomach with just a quick spread over your favorite food.