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Radishes are root vegetables from the Brassica family. Close relatives of the radish include:
Radish bulbs, also called globes, come in many shapes and colors. The most popular radish variety in the United States is bright red and resembles a Ping-Pong ball with a small tail. Other varieties are white, purple, or black. They may be larger and oblong in shape.Most radishes have a peppery taste, although some may be sweet. Lighter-colored varieties like the white, winter daikon radish have a milder taste.
Radishes may not be the most popular vegetable in your garden, but they are one of the healthiest.These undervalued root vegetables are packed with nutrients. They may even help or prevent some health conditions.Radishes are not well-studied for conventional medicinal use. Most studies have been done on animals, not humans. Even so, radishes have been used as a folk remedy for centuries. They are used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat many conditions such as fever, sore throat, bile disorders, and inflammation.
A 1/2-cup serving of sliced radishes contains about 12 calories and virtually no fat, so they won’t sabotage your healthy diet. They are the perfect crunchy snack when the munchies strike.Radishes are a good source of vitamin C. Just 1/2 cup offers about 14 percent of your recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps battle free radicals in your body and helps prevent cell damage caused by aging, an unhealthy lifestyle, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C also plays a key role in collagen production, which supports healthy skin and blood vessels.
Radishes contain small amounts of:
Eating cruciferous vegetables like radishes may help prevent cancer. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that are broken down into isothiocyanates when combined with water. Isothiocyanates help purge the body of cancer-causing substances and prevent tumor development. A 2010 study found that radish root extract contained several types of isothiocyanates that caused cell death in some cancer cell lines.
A 1/2-cup serving of radishes gives you 1 gram of fiber. Eating a couple servings each day helps you reach your daily fiber intake goal. Fiber helps prevent constipation by bulking up your stool to help waste move through your intestines. Fiber also may help you manage blood sugar levels, and has been linked to weight loss and lower cholesterol.Radish leaves may be especially beneficial. Results of a 2008 study on rats fed a high-cholesterol diet suggest that radish leaves are a good source of fiber to help improve digestive function. This may be partially due to increased bile production. A separate study showed that radish juice may help prevent gastric ulcers by protecting gastric tissue and strengthening the mucosal barrier. The mucosal barrier helps protect your stomach and intestines against unfriendly microorganisms and damaging toxins that may cause ulcers and inflammation.
Radishes are a natural antifungal. They contain the antifungal protein RsAFP2. One study found RsAFP2 caused cell death in Candida albicans, a common fungus normally found in humans. When Candida albicans overgrows, it may cause vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections (thrush), and invasive candidiasis. An earlier study in mice showed that RsAFP2 was not only effective against Candida albicans, but also other Candida species to a lesser degree. RsAFP2 was not effective against Candida glabrata strains.
Zearalenone (zen) is a toxic fungus that invades many corn crops and animal feeds. It has been linked to reproductive problems in animals and humans, although the risk to humans is considered small. According to a 2008 study, radish extract improved the antioxidant level in mice and can be considered a safe way to diminish or prevent zen effects. One cup of radishes provides:
If you are going to use Radishes to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first.