Radishes: small, spicy and full of benefits

Radishes are foods with excellent nutritional properties and offer various health benefits.

Small and spicy radishes (or radishes) are foods rich in beneficial properties. Diuretics, detoxifying and even relaxing, are low in calories, high in water and have a low glycemic index.

Their scientific name is Raphanus Sativus, they are native to Asia and belong to the Brassicaceae family. The plant has a short vegetative cycle and both the leaves, in the form of a salad, and the roots can be consumed.

The most common radish varieties are small in size, round and red in color, but there are carrot-shaped and differently colored varieties such as white, black, yellow and gray. Radishes are harvested in spring and summer and their cultivation covers the entire Mediterranean basin. The roots contain many nutritional properties, let’s see what they are.

Radishes: calories and nutritional values

Radishes are ideal to consume while you are following a low-calorie diet and to keep fit, as they are low in fat and provide very few calories, about 16 per 100 grams. They are also rich in water, which accounts for more than 90%, and have a low glycemic index. They also have a fair amount of fiber, useful for promoting a sense of satiety while they are low in protein. Another characteristic of radishes is the spicy taste, due to the presence of glucosinolates, glucosidic compounds containing sulfur.

Nutritional values ​​per 100g of radishes:

  • Waterfall: 95 g
  • kcal: 16
  • Proteins: 0.7 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4 g
  • Fibers: 1.6 g
  • Iron: 0.34 mg
  • Soccer: 25 mg
  • Potassium: 233 mg
  • Magnesium: 10 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Zinc: 0.28 mg
  • Vitamin B1: 0.012 mg
  • Vitamin B5: 0.165 mg
  • C vitamin: 14.8 mg
  • Folate: 125 mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
  • Glycemic index: 15
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

What do radishes contain

Radishes contain numerous nutrients that are important for health. Among the minerals, the most abundant is potassium. As for the vitamin content, the most present is vitamin C together with folates which are provitamins and vitamins of group B, in particular B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Also abundant are fibers and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Let’s take a closer look at the individual components.

  • Potassium: this mineral is essential to counteract the action of sodium, lowering blood pressure. It is able to prevent water retention, favoring the elimination of excess fluids. It also regulates the transmission of nerve impulses, the heartbeat, the acid-base balance and the passage of nutrients within the cells;
  • Vitamin C: this vitamin, present in good quantities in radishes, is important in the activation of folic acid and the synthesis of neurotransmitters. It is a powerful antioxidant, so it protects against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It favors the absorption of iron in the intestine and is essential for the production of collagen. Stimulates the immune defenses, protecting from the attack of viruses and bacteria;
  • Folate: these are the precursors of folic acid or vitamin B9, which is essential for the nervous system, for growth and reproduction. In fact, it participates in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues, and of some amino acids, which are the constituents of proteins. In particular, during pregnancy it is necessary to supplement this vitamin as its deficiency can have serious consequences such as fetal malformations;
  • Fiber: radishes are a good source of fiber, essential substances to stimulate intestinal transit that prevent constipation and limit the contact time of harmful substances with the intestinal walls. They also stimulate the sense of satiety and promote the correct growth of the intestinal bacterial flora, and also reduce the levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood;
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: these are two carotenoids with antioxidant action that are found inside the retina of the eye, protecting it from light radiation.

Radishes: health benefits

The components present, working in synergy, give radishes useful properties for the well-being of the organism. In particular, they favor diuresis and purification, but also offer other benefits. Let’s see in detail.

✓ Contrasts water retention and cellulite

Thanks to the potassium content and the high amount of water, the consumption of radishes is able to stimulate diuresis, avoiding the accumulation of liquids and therefore help to counteract cellulite.

✓ Lower blood pressure

The potassium contained in radishes counteracts high blood pressure as it promotes the elimination of excess fluids and at the same time decreases water retention and the likelihood of cellulite forming.

✓ They are detoxifying

Radishes have detoxifying properties for the body. Thanks to the fibers, the large amount of water and the presence of sulfur, a non-metallic mineral that balances the pH of the skin and detoxifies from accumulated toxins, the consumption of radishes helps to eliminate waste and foreign substances harmful to the body, purifying above all the liver and kidneys.

✓ Promote weight loss

The few calories of radishes, combined with the presence of fiber and the low glycemic index, make these vegetables useful as part of a low-calorie diet.

✓ They are calming

Radishes calm coughs and relax the nervous system. In this case we recommend taking a teaspoon of pure radish juice, in which all the nutrients are concentrated.

✓ They have an antibacterial function

Some substances present in roots and leaves are able to block bacterial spread therefore it has an antiseptic action. Consume it if you have a cold or the flu, it will help speed up the healing process.

✓ They counteract the action of free radicals

Thanks to the content of antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, radishes protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals, counteracting cellular aging.

✓ They are anthelmintic

Radishes counteract the formation of parasites in the intestine. They were once used to eliminate various types of intestinal worms.

✓ They counteract the itching

Radishes are able to soothe the itch caused by insect bites. In this case we recommend using pure radish juice to be applied on the affected part, or directly apply a slice of radish.

How many radishes can you eat

Regarding how many radishes it is possible to eat, remember that a standard portion of vegetables corresponds to about 200 grams, therefore, the same rule applies to radishes as well. This quantity is the equivalent of a bunch of about 10 radishes. Therefore, in the absence of conditions that limit their use (which we will see later), we can also consume a bunch of radishes a day. To avoid intestinal problems, however, it is advisable to evaluate your individual sensitivity and, possibly, not to eat them all together but to distribute them during meals throughout the day.

Radishes: how to use and consume them

When buying radishes, choose them firm and small in size as the large ones are too woody and therefore hard to chew. Also pay attention to the color, which must be firm and not faded, and to the leaves, which must be fresh, discarding the yellowed ones. Radishes can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, the important thing is to wash and dry them well and put them in a paper bag for food.

Radishes can be eaten raw in slices in salads, as well as the leaves or eaten in pinzimonio before the main meal. It does not matter to peel them but, for this reason, it is good to choose organic farming products.

They can also be used to make juices. In this regard, you can try experimenting with recipes with the extractor starting with a small amount of radishes, in order to know their taste and start experimenting with new recipes. In taste, it goes well with carrots, apples, ginger, cabbage leaves, lemon or pears.

A little tip: the recipe for a purifying salad based on radishes. Mix green salad leaves to taste with radishes cut into small rounds, cumin seeds, dandelion leaves, sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts and hazelnuts. Season everything with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. It is advisable to leave the salad to flavor at least 30 minutes before consuming it.

Radishes can also be eaten cooked (a few minutes in a pan or steamed) and added to salads, soups, risottos, etc. Interestingly, cooked radishes significantly reduce itching.

Radishes: contraindications and potential negative effects

Radishes can have contraindications, especially if you exceed in quantities. In fact, they can irritate the gastric and intestinal walls and cause flatulence. Their consumption is not recommended in case of gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, colitis or irritable colon and kidney stones. Likewise, it is good to pay attention to the excessive consumption of radishes in case of hemorrhoids.


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