What are the Health Benefits of Radishes & are they Good for You?
Although radishes are popular ingredients in dishes around the world, people don’t often talk about their health benefits. So I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the health benefits of radishes in detail. You may be surprised and even excited to discover some of them - particularly if you are suffering from one of the ailments they are said to relieve.
I’m sure you’ve seen - or eaten - the most common variety of radishes before. They’re round and red outside, white inside. However, radishes also exist in white, black or purple varieties and can be long or cylindrical. There are spring, summer, fall and winter varieties.
Health Benefits of Radishes
Radishes have a high water content and contain a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, magnesium, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. Their antibacterial, anti-fungal properties and their abilities to detoxify the body are all helpful in treating a variety of ailments.
Here’s a closer look at some of the special health benefits of radishes:
- Respiratory Benefits
Radishes can reduce congestion, decrease excess mucus and cut back on irritation that is caused by infections, allergies and colds. As they do, they help to clear the sinuses. (source)
At the same time, they work as a disinfectant and are rich in vitamins that can protect the respiratory system from becoming infected in the future. They also can help to soothe sore throats and assist in easing the symptoms associated with bronchitis and asthma.
- Cancer Prevention
Radishes are a member of the same family as broccoli and cabbage, and they contain similar antioxidant compounds. In addition, they have a high fiber, vitamin and mineral content - known to hold back the development of cancer. Scientists also studied the leaves of radishes, and found compounds present in radishes that can kill cancerous cells and prevent them from multiplying.(source)
- Fighting Fever and Infection
Radishes can act in two ways to ameliorate the symptoms of fever. They reduce inflammation and they have a cooling effect on the body. Some advisers suggest that a way to treat a fever is to drink radish juice mixed with black salt. Because radishes act as disinfectants, they also can fight fever-inducing infections.
- Improving Skin Conditions
Disinfectant properties in radishes help to clear up skin ailments such as dry skin and rashes. Radishes contain a lot of water and so help to keep moisture levels present in the skin at healthy levels.You don’t have to eat radishes to obtain their skin-healing properties. Crushed raw radish is a good cleanser and can be used as a face pack.
- Great Source of Vitamin C
Numerous studies have shown that vitamin C can help rebuild blood cells and tissues and keep teeth and bones in good condition. The vitamin also fights disease and diverts free radicals away from blood cells.Radishes can supply as much as a quarter of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, which increases the body’s immunity and helps to fight against all types of disease.
- Lowering Blood Pressure
People who supplement their diets with a moderate amount of radish weekly usually notice that their blood circulation improves. A reason is that radishes are a source of potassium, which has been shown to decrease blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
- Treating Jaundice
Radishes act in several ways to reduce the symptoms of jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes or mucus membrane). Jaundice is caused when the body produces too much bilirubin pigment and it builds up faster than the liver can break it down. It results from blockage of the bile duct, liver disease or a breakdown of the red blood cells. (source)
Radishes not only remove bilirubin pigment, but also keep its production at a stable level. They regulate the flow of bile, enzymes and acids, protecting the liver and gallbladder from infections. They are powerful detoxifiers, which means that they eliminate waste and toxins from the body and in particular from the stomach and liver. By increasing the supply of oxygen to the blood, they help to cut down the destruction of red blood cells caused by jaundice.
Black radishes and radish leaves are the preferred means of treatment for jaundice.
- Weight Loss
Radishes enable you to keep down your calorie intake and also contain high amounts of roughage, water and digestible carbohydrates.
Radishes also increase the regularity of bowel movements because they are high in fiber. This helps achieve a flatter stomach.
- Urinary Function
Because radishes are naturally diuretic, they increase urine production (source). Radish juice also helps to cure inflammation and, in doing so, reduces the burning feeling some people experience during urination. Their ability to clean out the kidneys and cut back on infection also assists in the treatment of urinary disorders.
- Useful in Diabetes
Eating radishes has little effect on blood sugar levels, which are a major cause of concern to diabetics. The reason is that they have a low glycemic index. In addition, radishes help to regulate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. As a result, diabetics can afford to be less worried about sudden spikes or sharp drops in blood sugar levels when eating.
Consider Adding Radishes to Your Diet
As you have seen, radishes contain several vitamins and minerals and powerful antioxidants that can be of great benefit to your body. Now you know the facts, you might want to consider adding radishes to your regular food intake. They make an excellent addition to a sandwich or a salad, providing a crunchy sharp flavor that stands out, and contributing a touch of zest.
A portion is generally considered to be about 100 grams, or a cup of sliced radishes. You might like to try this radish recipe. If you have a vegetable patch, consider adding radishes to your mix of plants. They’re easy to grow, do not take up much space, and are particularly good when picked straight from the garden at the height of their freshness and flavor.