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Radishes are root vegetables that are most commonly eaten raw as a crunchy addition to salads. Radishes are scientifically known as Raphanus sativus, and they grow all over the world in moist, sunny gardens. While radishes originated in China, they slowly spread west and are grown all over the world now. Notably, radishes are similar in size and shape to a head of garlic with some of the same tasty zest. Fresh radishes have a great crunch with a peppery flavor that ranges in zest from mild to spicy. Although they’re more commonly eaten raw, radishes can be deliciously sauteed; doing so changes the texture to starchy like a potato. Best of all, radishes are packed with many nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Check out some of the health benefits you might yield from eating radishes.
Important Note: Each of the health benefits of eating radishes noted herein is supported by the most current scientific research at the time of this publication.
Supportive of Weight Management
Radishes have a low-calorie profile, containing just 12 calories per ½-cup serving. Moreover, there is very little fat and few carbohydrates in radishes. Additionally, radishes contain about 1 gram of fiber per serving. Fiber’s role in weight loss and management is that it provides you with a longer feeling of satiety, which in theory will prevent you from consuming unnecessary calories between meals. What’s more, radishes are made up of 93% water content; it’s commonly known that hydration plays a significant role in weight loss, therefore, this facet of radishes also contributes to the vegetable’s weight-loss properties. Lastly, radishes are packed with nutrients that contribute to your overall health making them a good addition to your diet.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates as well as high in water and dietary fiber, radishes are a great addition to your weight management diet.
Loaded With Nutrients
Like all vegetables, radishes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have many powerful health benefits. Notably, radishes are rich in vitamin C, providing you with 14% of the daily recommended value in just one serving; vitamin C is an antioxidant that fends off the harmful free radicals that might otherwise lead to disease. Vitamin C also contributes to skin health, aging, collagen production, and healthy blood vessels. Besides vitamin C, radishes are also rich in dietary fiber, potassium, and folate. Other nutrients found in trace amounts include niacin, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Of note, minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are good for heart health. Lastly, radishes are one of the best natural sources of nitrates which are essential to healthy blood flow.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, nitrates, and antioxidants, radishes are rich in nutrients that protect you from disease, aging, and beyond.
Good for Healthy Digestion
Radishes are a rich source of dietary fiber, containing about 1 gram per ½-cup serving. Consuming adequate levels of fiber each day is associated with a healthy digestive system. Not only does dietary fiber make for bulky, regular bowel movements, but it also helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Another way the fiber from radishes aids in digestion is by protecting you from ulcer formation and strengthening the stomach’s lining. Each of these benefits produced by adequate fiber intake results in healthier digestion and the removal of waste from your body.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While there aren’t many studies on radishes specifically, there’s no doubt that a high-fiber diet is good for digestion.
Contain Anti-Fungal Properties
Radishes are an all-natural antifungal that contain the uncommon protein RsAFP2 which is linked to remediating fungus and fungal infections. Specifically, one study concluded that this protein can kill the Candida albicans fungus that commonly leads to yeast infections as well as invasive candidiasis; if left untreated, the latter condition negatively affects the heart, brain, bones, and other systems. Because the breadth of antifungal pharmaceuticals is much smaller than antibiotics, scientists are always looking for promising plant compounds to combat fungal infections. In a Belgian study, scientists discovered that the RsAFP2 protein in radishes damages and destroys the cell walls of fungi, thereby eliminating the threat of infection.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. Although there are only a few studies on radishes as an antifungal, the results are promising.
Good for Heart Health
Radishes are an excellent source of anthocyanins, antioxidants that keep your heart functioning optimally. Notably, anthocyanins lower both blood and arterial pressure, the management of which is linked to heart health. Other heart-healthy nutrients contained in radishes are vitamin C, folate, and flavonoids all of which have antioxidative powers; they reduce oxidative stress that might otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, radishes are also high in potassium which is linked to blood pressure management, blood flow control, and a reduced risk for hypertension, all of which are connected to heart health.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Radishes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that play an essential role in heart health.
Improves Skin Health
A surprising benefit of eating radishes is that they’re good for skin health. Studies suggest that drinking radish juice or applying radish paste topically can help improve your skin. Scientists believe that the vitamin C, zinc, and phosphorus content in radishes keep rashes, acne, and dry skin at bay. Moreover, radishes’ high water content helps to maintain optimal hydration in your skin which reduces signs of aging, maintains elasticity, and remediates scarring. Other nutrients present in radishes that are good for skin health include vitamins A and K as well as iron; these nutrients are good for skin cell production and repair as well as optimal blood flow.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Radishes contain a handful of nutrients that have long been associated with skin health and anti-aging.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
May Improve Immunity
General Consensus: 3.5/5 and here is why. Although radishes are a good source of vitamin C, there are only a few studies concerning radishes and immunity; more research is needed.