Radishes are a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower. They typically have a strong peppery taste but it is this nutrient quality that brings great health benefits. The “heat” in this little veggie may act as a natural diuretic, purifying the kidney and urinary systems and relieving inflammation. This also makes it beneficial in regulating blood pressure, edema and arthritic symptoms.
Ironically, radishes are considered to be a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months. Radish’s high mineral and water content can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long! They also contain compounds that soothe rashes, dryness, and other skin disorders.
Radishes are high in fiber and vitamin C; 25% of the daily recommended value. They are an excellent source of folate, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc and potassium, as well as good amounts of copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Radishes can also relieve congestion, and prevent respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties and also inhibit red blood cell damage by supplying fresh oxygen to your blood.
Radishes are known to help in the removal of bilirubin, a condition evidenced by a yellow tinge in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes, often present in newborns. As a natural cleansing agent, radishes stimulate quality bile and assist the digestive system in the break down and elimination of stagnant food and toxins built up over time. Therefore, radishes have a calming effect on the digestive system and can help relieve bloating and indigestion.
Additional phytochemicals in radishes include detoxifying agents called indoles, and the powerful flavonoids zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene. Radishes also contain an important isothiocyanate antioxidant compound called sulforaphane, a proven inhibitor of prostate, colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers.