Health Benefits of Radishes
The humble radish is teeming with nutrients including Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, anthocyanins & isothiocyanates, calcium, considerable water content, copper, fibre, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, phytonutrients, potassium, riboflavin, sodium and zinc.
This cruciferous veggie is an often overlooked and under appreciated treasure trove of health benefits including but not limited to;
Anti-cancer abilities Since they are abundant with anthocyanins, isothiocyanates and fibre, radishes purge the body of toxins and cancer-causing free radicals. They can prevent and treat cancers including colo-rectal, intestine, kidney, oral and stomach. They have been shown to either induce cell death (apoptosis) or render cancer cells incapable of reproducing. Folate has shown effectiveness against cervical cancer.
Digestive health Radishes are natural cleansing agents, terrific at breaking down food and ridding the body of excess toxins. Radishes can relieve indigestion, bloating and constipation and are useful in treating piles, or inflamed haemorrhoids.
Diabetes Radishes are low on the glycemic index, which is good news for those managing diabetes.
Healthy bones and teeth Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Heart health Vitamin C is known to lower blood pressure and fight atherosclerosis. Anthocyanins war against oxidative stress, protect our blood vessels and lower LDL, aka “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL, aka “good cholesterol.” Magnesium regulates the pumping of the heart and relaxes the blood vessels. Potassium regulates the heartbeat and lowers blood pressure.
Immune system health Radishes are high in Vitamin C, which make them invaluable immune system boosters with phenomenal anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Radishes can stave off infections and diseases ranging from the common cold to the flu to HIV. They have also been proven to clear the sinuses, sooth sore throats and act as cooling agents.
Jaundice Radishes remove bilirubin from the body. Bilirubin is the compound that causes the yellow hue in jaundice sufferers.
Pregnancy Folate is a doctor-recommended B vitamin for expectant moms as it promotes healthy growth of the fetus and prevents neural tube birth defects.
Urinary disorders The radish is a natural born diuretic that will clean out your kidneys, increase urine production and prevent and treat infections.
Anti-oxidant properties Vitamin C is a crucial anti-oxidant in the fighting against cell-damaging free radicals, which, in turn, prevents premature aging and results in more elastic skin, hair and strong, healthy nails that are less prone to breakage.
Skin health Due to the radish’s high water content, they will keep your body well hydrated, which promotes healthy radiant skin. The radish’s disinfectant properties can ease dry skin and clear up rashes. Eating radishes has also shown promise in the treatment of vitiligo, or loss of ski pigment.
Nutritional intake Radishes are only about 16 calories per 250mL. and yet are full of digestible carbs, fibre and water. They are naturally filling and will increase your bowel movements and aid in steady weight loss.
Radishes add zingy, peppery crunch to salads, summer slaws or gourmet sandwiches. If it is a warm dish you crave, braised radishes make a splendidly unique and tasty appetizer, side dish or main meal.
The leaves are also edible and delicious when made into a leek, radish leaf almond and rice soup….. divine. Top with yoghurt cheese and slithered fresh radishes.
Serve as a hot vegetable with a twist. Buy two bunches of radishes, trim off the top parts, place them in a large heavy based saucepan and just barely cover them with water.
Add 60 gm of butter, 40 gm of rapardsa sugar, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a rollicking boil.
Turn down heat to medium-low and let simmer until all of the liquid has reduced into a glaze. This usually takes about 10-14 minutes. Serve immediately
“Radishes grow just about anywhere. People think, ‘Oh it’s just a radish.’ But radishes are delicious, and people don’t think of cooking them.” ~Emeril Lagass