If you have had radishes in a salad, you know how good it tastes and looks on the plate. But have you learned of the many health benefits this root vegetable offers? If not, this article will discuss all the benefits of radishes and how to eat them. But first, what are they?
What are Radishes?
Radishes are edible roots vegetables that belong to the Brassicaceae family. They are scientifically known as Raphanus Sativus and are cruciferous vegetables, just like kale and broccoli.
Domesticated radishes come in different colors like red, white( also daikon radish), black, and purple. They are primarily used in salads where they offer a pungent, peppery, but sweet element to the dish. They can also come in different shapes, including long and cylindrical or short and round.
They are fast-growing in cooler seasons, often germinating in three to four days of planting. If you'd like to grow some in your garden, you need to keep the soil moist and soil temperatures between 18 degrees and 29 degrees C.
While they are not well-studied for medicinal uses, many communities worldwide use them as folk remedies for various health conditions, including fever, inflammation, bile disorders, and sore throat. Here are some reasons radishes are a good source of health for you and the whole family.
Health Benefits of Radishes
Radishes contain potent antioxidants such as pyrogallol, vanillic acid, and catechin. Additionally, they also contain Vitamin C that protects body cells from damage. Let us discover these and more health benefits below, but first, all the vitamins and nutrients present in small amounts.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin k
1. Radishes help prevent diabetes
All radishes contain chemical compounds such as isothiocyanate, and that help keep your blood sugar levels regulated. Additionally, they help your body produce higher levels of natural adiponectin, a powerful hormone that will help prevent insulting resistance.
Also, while radishes alone won't prevent diabetes entirely, they do contain the Q10 coenzyme that acts as an antioxidant to prevent the formation of diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, they are a good source of anti-diabetic properties that will help you regulate your blood sugar and improve your immune system to improve glucose uptake and bring your sugar levels down.
2. Radishes can help prevent cancer
Radishes also contain antioxidant properties that can help prevent cancer. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation, thus protecting your body cells from damage that manifests as cancers.
In addition to these properties, they are cruciferous vegetables that, according to this study, contain compounds that break down into isothiocyanate when combined with water. Isothiocyanates are compounds that destroy cancer-causing bodies by dehydrating them to prevent further tumor growth.
Eating a healthy diet that includes radishes may help fend off premature cell aging to prevent most cancers, including cervical, breast, liver, prostate, and colon cancers. To get the most antioxidants from your radish, you can eat its roots, seeds, sprouts, or even leaves.
3. Radishes can improve liver function
While they are rich in antioxidant properties and Vitamin C, radishes also contain a healthy dose of indole-3-carbinol and 4-methylthio-3-butenyl-isothiocyanate compounds that enable better liver detoxification and healing.
Apart from enabling your liver to detoxify, these compounds can also help your kidneys flush out toxins that otherwise lead to disease.
4. Radishes may help improve your heart health
They contain anthocyanins; they are flavonoids that contain antioxidant effects that help improve your heart health. The red radish contains these flavonoids in high quantities, which gives it the red color.
The flavonoids lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Now, coupled with other antioxidants and minerals like potassium and calcium, radishes offer you a better chance of lowering your blood pressure to prevent heart disease.
In addition to a lower risk of heart rate disease, radishes contain high amounts of natural nitrates that help improve your blood flow to offer even better protection.
5. Radishes can improve your digestive system
When you eat a 1/2 cap of radishes in your salad, you consume one gram of fiber. As you know, fiber is imperative to a healthy digestive system, helping prevent constipation by bulking up your stool so it can easily move through your intestines.
You can set a daily goal of fiber intake and trust radishes to help you achieve it. When looking for fiber, you can consume radish leaves or make radish juice to help prevent digestive problems such as gastric ulcers.
6. Radishes may help with weight loss
It would be best to observe a healthy calorie intake to lose weight. Your favorite radish contains very few calories and no fats. When you eat 1/2 cup of radishes, you will have consumed only 12 calories. The low-calorie intake is ideal for any weight loss needs.
Another good thing about eating radishes when working on your weight loss plan is they have high digestible fibers, a low glycemic index (GI), and a high water content. Thus, eating a good amount of radishes will leave you feeling full while improving your digestion and metabolism, all vital factors that contribute to faster weight loss.
7. Radishes may help with better skin health
Radish contains a high water content that is very hydrating. In addition, it has Vitamin C in high levels that helps improve your skin's elasticity by forming collagen. It also contains folate and Vitamin B-6 to reduce oxidative damage and stress that lead to unwanted breakouts and premature aging.
Consuming considerate amounts of radish in your diet will help fight free radicals and boost UV protection for better skin health.
Additionally, radishes contain detoxifying and anti-carcinogenic properties that may help improve your symptoms of vitiligo, also known as Leucoderma.
To enjoy these benefits, it would be best to powder the seeds and use them with other products such as vinegar or ginger juice; apply to the affected patches for better outcomes. However, you will need your dermatologist's advice before using this treatment.
8. Radishes may help with urinary disorders
One leading cause of most urinary disorders is dehydration, which is one symptom radish is good at eliminating. As a diuretic food, it will help you produce more urine and may help reduce the burning sensation you might get when your urine is too concentrated.
When you urinate more, your kidneys can flush out more toxins, thus reducing the chances of kidney disease. In addition, radishes have certain antifungal properties that can target certain infections. One primary fungus that promotes urinary, yeast, and oral infections is the Candida albicans. Eating radish will help treat this fungus for better health.
9. Radishes may improve your respiratory health
As a native Asian vegetable, radish was used to treat many respiratory problems, including tuberculosis, according to Paul Pui-hay's book. With several studies, it is now a known anti-congestive remedy for the respiratory system.
Consuming healthy amounts of radish might help you alleviate irritation in your nose, throat, and even lungs to fight off colds. Additionally, the plant is rich in Vitamin C, which has long been used to treat colds, even more so now with the Coronavirus pandemic.
While you may eat or make radish juice for these benefits, you can also use the leaves for steaming to eliminate irritation throughout your entire respiratory system.
10. Radishes are good for lower blood pressure
According to Mayo clinic, potassium will help you lower your blood pressure. Radishes contain potassium, which interacts with the arterial supply of vascular beds to relax your blood vessels for better blood flow.
How Can You Include Radish in Your Diet?
Now that you know the tremendous health benefits of radishes, you may wonder how to include them in your diet. Not to worry, we will share a few methods you can ingest radish daily to boost your whole immune system and keep diseases at bay.
1. Eat radish with your bread
If you fancy a delicious sandwich treat daily, you can include sliced radishes in a regular vegetable radish.
2. Bake radish
You can also bake them in the oven for a few minutes, then saute them with cheese, garlic, and your favorite herbs. This meal can pass for a healthy dinner meal for you and the whole family.
3. Eat radish with your favorite taco
If you love cooking tacos, parathas, and more recipes at home, you could give radish a try in one of them. You can use grated or sliced radishes and stuff them into your bread for a delicious snack.
4. Eat radish in salads
As with other foods, most healthy foods are eaten raw. If you want to give raw radishes a try, you can mix them in a green salad with other ingredients such as kale, spinach, and arugula. When you mix all ingredients, you can sprinkle some olive oil and sauce, then garnish with your favorite dried fruit.
5. Pickle them
If you want to make your pickled radishes, add them into your bottles or jars as you would cucumbers, then add white vinegar and spices.
6. Make a radish dip
If you want to eat radishes raw, an effortless way is to make a radish dip using your favorite yogurt. It is best to use plain yogurt with chopped onions or garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
7. Serve radishes as a side dish
The best way to make it a side dish is first grilling it with olive oil, salt, and favorite herbs. You can serve the side dish with beef, pork, chicken, or fish steak when ready.
Are there Side Effects of Eating Radish?
While it is a healthy vegetable and safe to ingest, there are instances where you can overconsume it, in which case, it would promote some unwanted side effects. Here are some common side effects of over-eating radish.
- They may cause increased bile production in people with gallstones. If you have this condition and still want to consume radish, it is best to consult with your doctor first.
- They may interfere with your thyroid hormone production.
- They may irritate your digestive tract to cause flatulence and cramps.
- If you are allergic to the vegetable, you might develop hives after eating them.
There are many benefits of radishes, and the vegetable is also easy to eat in many recipes. Thus, when you go grocery shopping, make sure to bring home some radish. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients that help you regulate blood sugar levels, prevent cancers, fungal infections, diabetes, digestive disorders, and more.
Additionally, they have low calories and fats but contain high water content, which is a plus when you want to lose some weight. You will also find it easy to incorporate the plant in your favorite recipes. However, it is best to take it in moderation as it also has some severe side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Health Benefits of Radishes
a) How many should I consume daily?
It is best to consume at least 1/2 cup of radishes daily for a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients that improve your immune system.
b) Can I eat raw radishes?
One ideal way to enjoy all the benefits mentioned above is by eating this superfood uncooked. However, you may find it easier to dip your slices in good butter, yogurt, or salads.
c) Is it safe to eat radish at night?
Yes. This plant is low in calories and fats, thus safe to eat when resting up. In addition, it is high in fiber to make it easier to digest your dinner and has a significant water content to keep you hydrated.
d) Do I need to peel radishes?
You do not need to peel your radish roots if you want to cook them, but you may if you do not want many colors on your plate. If you decide not to peel your radishes, you will need to cut off the top and the root end, and then you can proceed to slice, grate, or dice your radish for the best recipes.
e) How do I store my radishes?
If you go shopping, do not hesitate to buy as many radishes as you can; you can store them in the refrigerator to preserve their moisture and crispy texture for a long time.
For best results, store them in plastic bags with a zipper and store them in the refrigerator without washing them first. Stored like this, your radishes can last up to 10 days if the refrigerator stays on throughout.