Radishes are not in the “popular” clique when it comes to vegetables. Even though they are some of the healthiest root vegetables around, people are not incredibly fond of them. They have a powerful, peppery flavor that can overwhelm the palate if you aren’t ready for them. That tends to deter people from eating them, but it shouldn’t. It’s very simple to prepare them in numerous appetizing ways. Plus, you look radishing when you eat them. We’re not apologizing for the pun, or any puns that potentially turnip later on.
What Are Radishes?
These are root vegetables belong to the cruciferous vegetable family. They thrive in moist, fertile soil that receives a lot of natural sunlight. Radishes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, but the ones you are most familiar with are small, bulbous, and red. Those are known as cherry belles, which have a red skin and white flesh. The daikon, a long, white carrot-looking radish with greens, is another popular variety.
Radishes Are Nutrient Dense
That signature peppery flavor that radishes possess is due to the fact that they are rich in nutrients. Compared to other, larger vegetables, radishes have an extremely diverse nutritional profile. Some of the prominent nutrients include, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, zinc, iron, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain anthocyanins, which give radishes their signature red color. They exhibit antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of radishes.
They Aid In Cancer Prevention
The antioxidant activity helps to reduce free radical damage and oxidative stress in the body. Several reports link oxidative stress to chronic inflammation and the development of cancer cells. Radishes also contain glucosinolates, which work to inhibit cancer cell growth. They also work to induce apoptosis, which causes cancerous cells to die.
They Improve Skin Health
Most health experts agree that the high water content in radishes help to hydrate the skin. The vitamin C also aids with collagen synthesis, and that works to improve skin elasticity. This contributes to healthier looking skin and stronger bones and ligaments. Additionally, vitamin C helps to enhance UV protection for the skin, while simultaneously reducing free radical damage. The folate in radishes also works to reduce the frequency of breakouts and it helps fight signs of premature aging.
They Support Healthy Digestion
One of the keystones of a healthy digestive system is maintaining a healthy intake of fiber. The more fibrous plant-based foods you consume, the easier it is to naturally move waste through the digestive tract. Eating enough fiber every day helps to ward off constipation, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders. Radishes contain a lot of fiber per serving, which works to reduce digestive stress. Due to the fiber content, they help the body eliminate any stagnant waste that exists in the digestive tract.
They Support Cardiovascular Health
By this point in the article, you should realize that radishes can do no wrong. Let’s continue to impress you with the fact that they support a healthy cardiovascular system. Because they are naturally rich in potassium, they work to balance fluids in the body by eliminating excess sodium. Potassium also has a positive effect on blood pressure. It works to naturally reduce blood pressure to a healthier level by stimulating normal kidney function. Lastly, the vitamin C aids with collagen synthesis, which helps to strengthen blood vessel walls.
They Boost Immune Function
As we mentioned earlier, radishes contain vitamin C and B-vitamins that help to enhance immune function. These nutrients aid in the production of white blood cells, and the increase white blood cell activity. This is essential to help the body destroy foreign invaders in the body. A 2019 review of studies, B-vitamins work to assist enzymes in producing new organic molecules. These are basic components to all cells in the body, and this increased production works to build new immune cells.