Are you a vegetable lover? Especially radishes? Then you may wonder to know that how are you benefiting yourself unknowingly. Don’t you like radishes? After reading it will be a matter of regret that you don’t cultivate radishes before.
Here I will tell you the nutritional properties of radishes, its health benefits, how to eat, contraindications, as well as frequent questions.
Let’s dive in-
What Is Radish?
The radish is a herbaceous plant of the Brassicaceae family. Radish scientific name is Raphanus sativus. It is a fast-growing cold season vegetable. Generally, people eat radish roots, but the radish leaves are also edible and nutritious.
Types of Radish
There are many varieties of radish, which are classified according to the growing season: Spring Radishes, Summer Radishes, and Winter Radishes. Moreover, On the basis of characteristics(color, size, and shape of the root), they are also classified.
The spring radishes are those that are sown in cool temperature. They grow quite fast (around 30 days). Some variety of spring radishes are-
- Burpee White: Require 25 days to come to harvest, Round shape, soft white skin.
- Champion: Require 28 days to come to harvest, Large, round shape, and red in color.
- Cherry Belle: Require 22 days to come to harvest, round and red radish, very similar to Champion but with smaller roots and a stronger flavor.
- Cherry Queen Hybrid: Require 24 days to come to harvest, radish of intense red color and round shape.
- Early Scarlet Globe: Require 23 days to come to harvest, bright red radish.
- Easter Egg: Require 25 days to come to harvest, large oval-shaped radish, It is different types, for example white, pink, red, and purple radishes.
- Fire Candle: Require 25 days to come to harvest, round radish, intense red color, and elongated or conical shape.
- Purple Plum: Need 25 days to come to harvest, purple-fuchsia radish, rounded shape, and large size; its crunchy texture is usually more durable than other types of radish.
- Snow Belle: Require 30 days to come to harvest, round radish, completely white skin, and smooth texture.
Its cultivation requires more sunlight, moist and fertile soil. Early varieties usually grow better on cold days at the beginning of spring, but some late-maturing varieties can be planted for harvest in the summer.
- French Breakfast: 23 harvest days, elongated red radish and white tip; It holds and grows better in the summer.
- Icicle, White Icicle: 25 days of cultivation, white radish, an elongated and conical shape similar to the carrot (10-12 cm long).
Winter radishes are classified into 3 varieties: Japanese, Chinese, and European. They are larger and spicier vegetables than spring radishes; they can grow to a weight of 20 pounds. In fact, they need much more time to harvest, between 50 and 70 days. They are usually sown in the last stage of summer, like autumn turnips, so they can mature before winter comes.
- China Rose: Require 52 days to come to harvest, pink radish, an elongated shape, with white flesh and spicy flavor.
- Chinese White: Require 60 days to come to harvest, white radish, large and long, with a blunt tip.
- Round Black Spanish or Black Spanish or Black Radish: 55 harvest days, black radish with rough skin and white flesh.
Nutritional Value of Radish
Like many other vegetables, radish offers good nutritional value without increasing the number of calories in our diet. That makes it an excellent combination of diet plans for those who want to lose weight and eat healthily. If you want to take advantage of its nutritional properties, and at the same time add extra flavor to your meals, include it in your salads, stews, and soups.
In general, 100 grams of radish contains the following nutritional values:
- Carbohydrates: 3.4 grams
- Fiber: 1.6 grams
- Sugars: 1.86 grams
- Proteins : 0.70 – 1 grams
- Fats: 0.1 grams
- Calories: 16 – 17
- Antioxidant power: Moderate
- Vitamin C(14.8 mg or 36% of the recommended daily dose)
- Vitamins of the B complex, such as vitamin B1 or thiamin (3% of the recommended daily dose), vitamin B2 or riboflavin (2% of the recommended daily dose), vitamin B3 or niacin (3%), vitamin B6 (5%) and vitamin B9 or folate (12%).
- Vitamin K(2% of the recommended daily dose)
- Potassium(233 mg)
- Calcium(25 mg)
- Sodium(21 mg)
- Phosphorus(20 mg)
- Magnesium(10 mg),
- Iodine(1.20 mg)
- Iron (0.34 mg)
- Zinc(0.28 mg).
- Others: copper and manganese.
- Amino Acids
- Glutamic acid
- Aspartic acid
Amino acid helps to form the radish proteins.
20 Health Benefits of Radish
Radish has benefits and medicinal uses that many people do not imagine. Its medicinal properties help to treat and prevent many diseases, especially Radishes are good for your life, kidneys, and digestive system.
- Radish helps to fight jaundice. Eating radishes are very useful in the treatment of jaundice because of its ability to eliminate excess bilirubin and maintain production at a stable level. Also, prevent the destruction of red blood cells that usually occurs with jaundice patients by increasing the supply of fresh oxygen to the blood. Radish is a good purifying and detoxifying agent for the body, so eating it often will help you to have your blood free of toxins and wastes. It is said that the black radish and its leaves are the best variants to combat jaundice.
- It protects the liver and gallbladder. Radish helps to regulate the production and flow of bile, bilirubin, acids, and liver enzymes which beneficial to maintain the proper function of the liver and gallbladder.
- Eliminate gallstones. Cut 1-2 radishes into small pieces, mix them with lemon juice, and eat every 1 hour. In the following days the same procedure should be repeated, but every 2 hours. It helps to eliminate gallstones.
Some characteristics of the radish give a great benefit from the digestive point of view.
- It is rich in fiber and water. So, eating radish promotes regular bowel movements and relieves constipation. It has also been proved that eating radishes avoids diarrhea and excessive gas.
- It relieves and prevents hemorrhoids. Its fiber content favors good digestion, prevents fluid retention and resolves constipation. On the other hand, its detoxifying action prevents the formation of accumulations in the intestine. It is recommended to drink homemade radish juice to maintain the good health of the digestive and excretory systems, as well as to relieve the annoying symptoms of hemorrhoids.
- Eating radish keeps you well hydrated. Because radishes have a high water content, they are considered an excellent source of hydration in the diet. Obviously, this has an impact on the digestive system, hence eating radish and other vegetables rich in water (cucumber, lettuce, chard), help us avoid constipation, indigestion and inadequate absorption of nutrients.
Kidney / Urinary System Diseases:
- Protects the health of the kidneys. Because of its diuretic and detoxifying effect, radishes help in the treatment and prevention of various kidney disorders. They have the ability to promote the elimination of accumulated toxins in the kidneys and in the blood, as well as the prevention of bacterial infections and the formation of kidney stones.
- It is a good home remedy for urinary tract problems. The diuretic nature of the radish increases our urine production and therefore eliminates more toxins through it. In the presence of a urinary infection, Radish juice is an excellent remedy to relieve inflammation and the burning sensation during urination. There are also benefits of radish juice.
- The consumption of radish promotes the health of the cardiovascular system. Radishes are rich in anthocyanin, a type of flavonoids to which have numerous health benefits. In fact, they have been positively linked to a reduction in the incidence of the most common cardiovascular diseases, as well as inflammatory processes in the body.
- Reduces blood pressure. Radish is a very good source of potassium that helps the reduction of blood pressure. When potassium enters the arterial supply of vascular beds, it can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.
Respiratory System Diseases:
- It helps to treat different respiratory conditions. Radishes have decongestant power. So, they can eliminate excess mucus in the throat and sinuses. That means they are excellent for reducing congestion of the respiratory system and soothing irritation of the nose, throat, trachea, and lungs. Eating radishes also prevent common respiratory problems, such as colds, infections, and allergies, bronchitis, and asthma.
- Add 100 grams of radish to 1 liter of hot water and let stand for 1 hour. Drink this water several times a day as regular water until symptoms disappear. You can add a little honey and cinnamon to enhance its effect and improve the flavor.
- It acts as a natural protector of the skin. Eating radishes on a regular basis promotes the good health and appearance of the skin. They contain vitamin C (collagen promoter), phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B, and water help hydrate, regenerate, and nourish the different layers of the skin. It can also be very useful in the treatment of some skin disorders, such as dry skin, rashes, and cracks, thanks to its disinfectant properties.
- Improves recovery after an insect bite Applying radish juice is a good remedy to reduce pain. Its anti-pruritic properties help to heal the swelling area causes of insect bite, especially bee stings.
- Improves the appearance of white patches caused by leucoderma. The radish, especially its seeds, is a good remedy to return the natural color to the white patches caused by this chronic condition. You only need to mix approximately 25 grams of powdered radish seeds with 2 tablespoons of vinegar, stirring to a fine paste. Then the paste should be applied on the leucoderma stains, repeating every day for several months.
Other Benefits and Healthy Uses of Radish:
- It is compatible with a weight loss plan. Eating radishes can satisfy your appetite without increasing the number of calories. They are low in carbohydrates, but rich in fiber and water, so they are a great alternative for those who want to lose weight. It contains potassium (a great diuretic effect that accelerates the natural burning of fats), iodine (accelerates metabolism and fat burning), and revitalizing effect on the liver (makes fats disappear before they join the tissue). To lose weight faster it is recommended to drink radish water or natural radish juice several times a day.
- Radish has an impact on cancer prevention. Because of containing vitamin C, folic acid, anthocyanin radishes can help the prevention and treatment of many types of cancer. In addition, its antioxidants and isothiocyanate compounds may play a role in the destruction of cancer cells, by altering their genetic pathways and causing apoptosis (cell death).
- Radishes are good for diabetics. Radishes have a low glycemic index, which means they do not raise blood sugar levels. They also help regulate the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream due to its fiber content and improve lipid metabolism through the action of several glucose-reducing compounds, fructosamine, and glycoalbumin.
- Eating radishes increase immunity. This is one of the main benefits you can get if you eat radishes regularly. They are rich in vitamin C; Half a cup of radishes contributes almost 15% of the recommended daily intake. The vitamin C make stronger our immune system. As a result, we are able to replace many antioxidants. In addition, vitamin C helps regulate metabolism and contributes to the creation of collagen, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Non-medicinal Uses of Radish:
- The growing Radishes increase soil fertility, suppress weeds, relieve soil compaction and prevent soil erosion
How to Eat the radish?
Radish spicy flavor and crunchy texture make it an excellent addition to a mixed salad along with other raw vegetables. But this is not only the way to eat radish, but you can also actually take advantage of it in several ways.
- Sauteed Radish: radishes can be sauteed like any other vegetable, preferably using butter and a little salt. This is an attractive idea for those who do not like the taste of raw radish. To saute them, heat the oil or butter in a pan over medium heat, add the radishes cut into slices or squares, add salt to taste, and cook until golden and tender. The black radish is the most used type for sauteing.
Recipe: Sauteed Radishes with Spinach
- Roasted Radish: This is another excellent way to eat radishes and other vegetables. They should be cut in slices or in half, place in a baking tray, add enough oil, salt, pepper and other spices of your choice, mix well so that the radishes are impregnated with these flavors and leave cooking in the oven to 350 – 400 ° F for 30-40 minutes. In the case of roasting radishes with other vegetables, it is important to choose those with a similar texture to ensure the same cooking time. Two good companions to prepare roasted radish are the carrot and the turnip.
Recipe: Baked Roasted Radishes Recipe
- Braised Radish: Radish eats without losing its crunchy texture. To do this, heat a little oil in a bowl, add the radish slices, saute lightly and then add a little water. Let cook over low heat and with a lid for 5 minutes approximately. When the radishes are tender; then remove the lid, raise the heat to medium and cook for several more minutes so that the liquid is finished.
Recipe: Butter-Braised Radishes
- Fermented Radish: To ferment radishes first they must be washed very well and cut their ends, without peeling them. Then cut into slices about 1 cm and placed in a glass jar with a wide mouth. Next, we add the fermentation brine. Saltwater (the amount of water and salt depends on the number of radishes) pour over the radish slices, leaving 1/2 inch or more of free space. It is important that the radish is completely covered by the brine and that the container is well covered. Now let it ferment at room temperature for at least 6 days. If at the end of this time the radishes are not sufficiently sour, they can be left to ferment for a longer time, up to 2 weeks in total.
Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Radish
- Steamed Radish / Boiled Radishes: This is a very simple way to prepare. It is only necessary to place thin slices of radish in a steamer on boiling water, cover, and let cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, the slices can be placed in a container with water to cook for 10-15 minutes. Steamed or boiled radishes are a good option to add in salads, soups, and stews.
- Radish Chips: It is a way to consume radish very similar to roasted radish, but in this case, you should cut thin slices to get the effect of toasted chips that we like so much. The oven should be preheated to 400 ° F. The radish slices are cut and mix with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then they should be placed on a tray so that they do not overlap each other and take to the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they acquire the desired crunchy texture. Radish chips can serve as a snack or low carb meal.
- Pesto or Horseradish Sauce: The spicy flavor of radishes can serve as an inspiration to make a delicious homemade sauce mixing them with other ingredients, such as red and green peppers, cucumber, lime juice or cilantro. The radishes, pepper, cucumbers, and leaves of fresh coriander should be chopped finely, add everything to a blender, add a pinch of salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. If you want to prepare a powerful sauce, it is better to use horseradish.
Recipe: Spicy Radish Pesto
Contraindications and Side Effects of Radishes
Side effects and contraindications of excessive consumption of radish include:
- Gastric Irritation. Allyl isothiocyanate is a sulfur compound present in radish that may have an irritant action on the stomach mucosa.
- Allergic Reaction. Radish contains a by-product of glucosinolate known as diallyl sulfide causes potential allergen and irritant to many people. Allergy usually begins at the fingertips. It can cause rhinitis, contact dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylactic shock in susceptible people.
In summary, it is not recommended to eat a lot of radishes if:
- Hypothyroidism / Goiter
- Gastritis problems
- You have a fatty-duodenal ulcer
- Allergy to this tuber
Tips and Precautions
- Eat small portions of radish.
- Do not consume it every day, especially if you have hypothyroidism.
- Go to the doctor in the presence of any allergic symptoms after eating radishes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Radish
Does radish make you fat?
Being a very low-calorie vegetable, the radish doesn’t make fat. Moreover, It can be a good part of your healthy diet plan. As you already know 100 grams radish only has approximately 16 calories. So, Replace high-fatty foods or sugar with vegetables rich in fiber and water like a radish. It can help reduce the number of calories and maintain blood glucose levels.
Is it good to eat radish at night?
It’s a myth. It is totally safe to eat radish at night. But avoid eating radish at night if you have an allergic problem. Moreover eating radish late at night can cause indigestion and hinder your sleep.
Is it safe to eat raw radishes?
Yes, it is safe and recommends to eat raw radishes to take better advantage of their nutrients.
What does radish taste like?
The radish has a fresh and slightly spicy flavor. If this taste does not appeal to you and you prefer to soften it, you can remove the peel, since that’s where the sulfur compounds, or glucosinolates, are found, which give it that characteristic flavor.
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