Radish, which belongs to the Brassicaceae family, is one of the most nutritious root-vegetables used in salads as well as in main recipes. The scientific or botanical name of radish is Raphanus Sativus and the common name “radish” is derived from Latin radix (root).
Radishes are pungent or sweet in taste with a lot of juice and can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled. They come in a variety of colors like white, red, purple or black, and also varied shapes like long and cylindrical or round. The parts of radishes that are commonly consumed are the leaves, flowers, pods and seeds.
The sharp, pungent flavor of radish comes from “isothiocyanate” compound in them, which ranges from mild in case of white-icicles to very hot in red globe and other pigmented varieties.
- Daikon or Japanese radish is native to Asia. It is generally grown during winter months and features elongated smooth, icy-white roots.
- Green radish is native to Northern China region. Its outer peel near the top stem end features leafy-green color which, gradually changes to white color near the lower tip. Inside, its flesh has beautiful jade green color, sweet and less pungent flavor.
- Watermelon radishes have watermelon like flesh inside. They are less peppery but mildly sweet something similar to that of white varieties.
The vegetable is thought to have originated from the mainland China centuries ago and today, it is one of the widely cultivated crops throughout the world. A popular Chinese proverb that embodies the nutritional reverence of radish goes like this, “eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees.”
NATURAL DETOX & 16 OTHER HEALTH SECRETS OF RADISH:
- Respiratory Decongestant: The pungent flavor of radish acts as a decongestant, eliminating excess mucus and helping soothe chronic bronchial flare-ups, sinus infections, sore throat, asthma, allergic irritations, and colds.
- Digestive Health: Radishes are rich in dietary fiber that soothes the excretory and digestive systems, maintains healthy metabolism, regulates bowel movement, relieves bloating and indigestion, and prevents constipation that can lead to piles.
- Immunity Builder: Radish contains potassium, an integral component in maintaining healthy muscle and nerve function. Iron has positive effects on the blood, increases hemoglobin and oxygen supply to the body cells, and boosts the immune system.
- Treats Skin Disorders: The vitamins A, C and K and minerals like phosphorus and zinc, present in radishes improve cell production and cell repair and help to prevent skin disorders like dry skin, pimples and acne. Radishes can be used to treat Leucoderma because of their anti-carcinogenic properties as well as detoxifying abilities.
- Stabilizes Blood Pressure: Radish is rich in magnesium and vitamin B which helps in stabilizing blood pressure.
- Anti Cancer: Radishes due to their high levels of fiber, vitamin C, anthocyanins, isothiocyanates and folic acid, as well as detoxifying abilities, induce apoptosis (process of altering the cancerous cells’ genetic pathways, causing them to die and be incapable of reproducing) in cancer cells affecting the mouth, stomach, intestinal, kidney and colon.
- Aids Weight Loss: Radish is high in water content, dietary fiber and has a low glycemic index, while being miserly low in fats, sugars and carbs which helps to increase satiety and avoid fat accumulation in the body.
- Muscle building and repair: Radishes are a very rich source of proteins and high in water content, vitamin C, phosphorus and zinc, which nourishes and hydrated the tissues and promotes muscle development and repair.
- Cardio Care: The fiber, vitamins and minerals in radishes lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Hair Care: Radish contains various nutrients including Iron that helps fight hair fall problems, stimulates hair growth, strengthens hair follicles, and fights dandruff. Its rich water content provides hydration to the scalp.
- Detoxification: Radishes is a great detoxifier purging toxins from the liver, gallbladder, stomach and colon. Radishes contain enzymes such as esterase, amylase, diastase and myrosinase that stimulate bile production and regulate bilirubin production and flush the excess from your blood, preventing jaundice, ulcers and infections.
- Kidney Cleanse: Radishes are rated highly, due to their diuretic, disinfectant and cleansing properties, in cleaning out your kidneys of excess toxins and helping treat various urinary tract infections. They also help cure burning sensations during urination as well as inflammation.
- Naturally cooling: Radishes have a pungent flavor and eastern medicine has long recommended it as a naturally cooling food, decreasing excess heat in the body that can build up during the warm summers. It can effectively bring down high temperatures associated with fever.
- Heals Insect Bites: Radish juice has anti-pruritic properties, effective in treating bee stings and insect bites, and helps soothe the affected areas and reduce pain.
- Others Cures: Radishes can also serve as a metabolism regulator, laxative, breath freshener and appetizer. Normal consumption can also improve blood circulation as well as treat dyspepsia, gall stones, gastric problems, whooping cough, obesity, nausea, acidity and headaches.
- Rich in vitamins: Radishes contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and some vitamin B. Vitamin A helps maintain eye health, vitamin B metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates are refined, Vitamin E prevents the reproduction-related anomalies. Radish also contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These play an important role in body’s metabolism, act as oxygen carriers, pregnancy nutrients and even blood pressure and sugar controllers.
Side Effects and Precautions:
- Radishes may contain goitrogens, plant-based compounds found in cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, etc. Goitrogens may cause swelling of thyroid gland and should be avoided in individuals with thyroid dysfunction.