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The Top 8 Powerful Benefits Of Eating Radishes

September 17, 2019

Radish is a cousin of cabbage. It is replete with essential nutrients and among the healthiest veggies. But it is also quite ignored.

Not much has been discussed on the health benefits of radishes. But ongoing research states interesting findings about this root vegetable.

In this post, we have covered research-backed benefits that you may not have come across before. Keep reading. The goodness of radishes would only surprise you!

Table Of Contents

How Are Radishes Good For You?

The scientific name of radish is Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus. It was first domesticated in Europe since the pre-Roman times.

Today, radishes are cultivated and consumed across the world. They are mostly eaten as crunchy salad vegetables. Radishes are available in several types. These vary in shape and size and flavor and can be used in different ways.

The most popular types are:

  • Cherry belle
  • Burpee white
  • Black Spanish
  • French breakfast
  • China rose
  • Plum purple
  • Early scarlet globe

Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C – a nutrient that helps rebuild blood vessels and tissues. It is also a good source of other nutrients like riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium.

The fiber in radish may help you maintain a healthy weight.

The most studied compound in radishes is sulforaphane, a potent antioxidant that inhibits various forms of cancer. Radish intake has also been linked to decreasing bilirubin levels. Accumulation of bilirubin can lead to jaundice.

Radishes also contain indoles, which are detoxifying agents that work along with sulforaphane to combat cancer.

Some of the compounds may be new to you. Well, that is what is unique about radishes. Its distinctive compounds offer some great health benefits. Let’s look at them in detail.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Radishes?

Isothiocyanates are the most powerful compounds in radishes. These antioxidants promote heart health and help combat cancer. While these antioxidants may also aid diabetes treatment, the fiber in radishes might promote digestive health and weight loss.

1. Improve Cardiovascular Health

Radishes influence nitric oxide production. This causes the blood vessels to relax and eventually lowers blood pressure. This is especially true in the case of monster radish, called Sakurajima daikon, which is cultivated in Japan for centuries.

Nitric oxide also plays a role in relaxing the smooth muscle tissue and increasing the regional blood flow. It also inhibits platelet adhesion to the blood vessel wall. All these benefits help cut down the risk of atherosclerosis.

2. May Prevent Cancer

May Prevent Cancer

Radishes belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables. These veggies contain compounds that are broken down into isothiocyanates when combined with water. These isothiocyanates help combat different forms of cancer.

The isothiocyanates in radish were also found to induce cell death among lung cancer cells.

The root veggie was also found to exhibit chemopreventive effects in the case of breast cancer. It directly inhibits the growth of cancer cells and induces cancer cell death. Hence, it can be a useful antitumor agent and play a role in cancer treatment and prevention.

These preventive effects of radish towards breast cancer can be attributed to its sulforaphane content.

3. Aid Diabetes Treatment

Radishes have antidiabetic effects. They strengthen the antioxidant defense system of the body and reduce the accumulation of free radicals. This promotes energy metabolism and reduces glucose absorption in the intestine – thereby helping individuals with diabetes.

Since radishes are low on carbs, they may not negatively impact your blood sugar levels.

4. May Promote Digestive Health

Radishes are good sources of fiber and can enhance digestive health. The same holds for the leaves of the vegetable. Rats fed with radish leaves showed enhanced gastrointestinal function.

Radish has been used ethnically as a digestive aid, stimulant, laxative, and treatment for stomach disorders.

5. May Aid Weight Loss

Although we don’t have any direct research, the fiber in radishes may help with weight loss. Studies show how a high-fiber diet can work best for weight management.

Radishes are also low in calories. Hence, they can be a good addition to a weight loss diet.

6. May Treat Kidney Stones

A radish containing diet was found to increase the excretion of calcium oxalate through urine. This decreases the likelihood of the minerals getting accumulated inside the urinary tract and forming stones.

More research is warranted in this regard. We suggest you consult with your doctor before using radishes specifically to treat kidney stones.

7. Can Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

Can Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

The sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, including radish, can be beneficial for osteoarthritis. The compound works by preventing cartilage destruction in cells.

How else radishes may help in treating osteoarthritis is a topic that needs further research.

8. Promotes Liver Health

Cruciferous veggies, including radish, can aid the detoxification of toxins in the liver. Studies show the liver-promoting effects of Spanish radish, a prominent radish type. The radish contains high concentrations of glucosinolates, which help promote liver health.

In Indian and Greeko-Arab folk medicine, radish is used as a household treatment for jaundice and other related liver diseases.

In another study, a bioactive chemical in radish (called MTBITC) was found to be effective in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Radish is a power veggie. Its unique nutrients promote a variety of health benefits. We have seen what some of those nutrients are. In the following section, you will find the detailed nutritional profile of radishes.

What Is The Nutritional Profile* Of Radishes?

NUTRITION FACTS SERVING SIZE 1 MEDIUM (4G)
AMOUNT PER SERVING
CALORIE INFORMATION
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Calories 0.7(2.9 kJ) 0%
From Carbohydrate 0.6(2.5 kJ)
From Fat 0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Protein 0.1(0.4 kJ)
From Alcohol 0.0(0.0 kJ)
CARBOHYDRATES
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Total Carbohydrate 0.2 g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g 0%
Starch 0.0 g
Sugars 0.1 g
FATS & FATTY ACIDS
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Total Fat 0.0 g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.0 g 0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Total trans fatty acids ~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids ~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids ~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids 1.4 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids 0.8 mg
VITAMINS
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Vitamin A 0.3 IU 0%
Vitamin C 0.7 mg 1%
Vitamin D ~ ~
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 0.0 mg 0%
Vitamin K 0.1 mcg 0%
Thiamin 0.0 mg 0%
Riboflavin 0.0 mg 0%
Niacin 0.0 mg 0%
Vitamin B6 0.0 mg 0%
Folate 1.1 mcg 0%
Vitamin B12 0.0 mcg 0%
Pantothenic Acid 0.0 mcg 0%
Choline 0.3 mg
Betaine 0.0mg
MINERALS
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Calcium 1.1 mg 0%
Iron 0.0 mg 0%
Magnesium 0.4 mg 0%
Phosphorus 0.9 mg 0%
Potassium 10.5 mg 0%
Sodium 1.8 mg 0%
Zinc 0.0 mg 0%
Copper 0.0 mg 0%
Manganese 0.0 mg 0%
Selenium 0.0 mg 0%
Fluoride 0.3 mcg

*values sourced from USDA, radishes, raw

Of course, radish is one of the healthiest veggies you will find in the farmer’s market. But that may not mean anyone can eat it. There are a few concerns.

What Are The Side Effects Of Radishes?

 May Aggravate Hypothyroidism

Cruciferous vegetables like radish contain goitrogenic substances that may interfere with the production of the thyroid hormone. Chronic radish feeding, as per studies, can lead to reduced thyroid hormone profiles. Individuals with thyroid issues (especially hypothyroidism) must limit consumption of radishes and other cruciferous veggies.

 May Cause Gallstones

We have only anecdotal evidence in this aspect. Clinical research is lacking. But if you have gallstones or a history of the disease, please consult your doctor before including radish in your diet.

Conclusion

The most important class of nutrients in radishes are their antioxidants. They are the biggest reason you need to have radishes everyday in your diet.

But they are cruciferous vegetables. Hence, individuals with thyroid issues must be careful. Research strongly suggests against having them in this case.

Anything else about radishes you think we have missed? Do let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to eat radish?

The simplest way to eat radish is raw (serve it with butter). You can also roast sliced radishes and have as your evening snack.

Can you eat radish tops?

Yes! Radish leaves are edible and delicious. You can add them to your cooking preparations.

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