Radishes are the unsung hero of the superfood veggie world. They are one of those vegetables you see sliced and thrown into a salad but are unsure where else they hold value. But while radishes may be a complementary addition to the main meal, the health benefits of radishes are anything but a side note. Here's a rundown as to why you should incorporate more radishes into your diet, along with a few delicious recipes to get you started.
The radish is an edible root that is part of the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family. It is grown and enjoyed around the world and most often in its raw state as part of a salad. Its taste is sharp and spicy due to its chemical compounds glucosinolate, myrosinase and isothiocyanate.
One cup of radish slices contains 18 calories, 270 milligrams of potassium, 45 milligrams of sodium, 3.9 grams of carbohydrates, 1.9 grams of dietary fiber, .8 grams of protein, 2% of the RDA of calcium and iron, 3% of the RDA of magnesium, 5% of the RDA of vitamin B6 and 28% of the RDA of vitamin C.
The health benefits of radishes are aplenty. They are great detoxifiers, able to purify and the blood and shed toxins and wastes. Radishes contain a special compound known as RsPHGPx, which acts as an antioxidant in the phase 2 liver detoxification pathways. This antioxidant facilitates the elimination of harmful substances from the blood, such as medications, insecticides and cancer-causing molecules. The black radish, in particular, is a strong remedy for inducing bile synthesis and hence detoxing the liver.
The red color of radish skin comes from a red plant pigment called anthocyanin. This pigment operates as a strong antioxidant that is able to stave off cardiovascular disease and improve heart health.
A great source of potassium, radishes can lower blood pressure, decrease the likelihood of developing kidney stones or osteoporosis, prevent diabetes and improve cardiovascular health. As a member of the cruciferous family, radishes contain a unique molecule known as indol-3-carinol, which has been shown to reduce inflammatory intermediates in the blood.
Get the most from the health benefits of radishes by trying out the following recipes:
- Roasted Radishes
- Radish Leaf Pesto
- Quick Radish Relish
- Kimchi, Pork + Scallion Pancake with Watercress-Radish Relish
- Daikon Radish Dip
- Watermelon Radish Raita
- Radish Scrambled Toast
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Photo Credit: Andy Wright