Radish Nutrition

A Thorough Guide To Radish Nutrition

Many people may not give much thought to radish nutrition however, they are related to Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli and are quite good for you.  All types of radishes have a tangy flavor that is caused by the mustard oil that cruciferous plants contain.  They come in many sizes and colors including pink, red, white, purple and black and in 1544, one was even recorded weighing 100 pounds, although they are typically the size of a quarter.

The history of radishes is quite long.  In ancient times they were served along with onions and garlic to the Egyptian slaves.  They were native to Asia first and then spread to Japan and became quite popular in Asian dishes.  Then, years later, the radish became a staple food in Europe and by the 16th century, they were used to treat facial blemishes and kidney stones.

Health Benefits

Radish nutrition benefits begin with the fact that since they are a cruciferous vegetable, they are extremely high in vitamin C.  Of course, this is the primary antioxidant agent that fights cancer.  One cup of radish root actually supplies approximately 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.  The vegetable itself is not the only source of radish nutrition either.  The greens contain six times more vitamin C than the vegetables themselves, along with substantial amounts of iron, thiamine and calcium.

Radish nutrition also includes that they are an extremely high source of potassium, folic acid and contain small amounts of molybdenum, which is believed to aid in kidney function, nervous system development and energy production.

Since radishes are known as roughage, an indigestible carbohydrate, they are eaten often for constipation.  Also, since they are high in potassium, they are used for urinary tract and kidney health and as a mild diuretic.  Radishes are good for liver health and digestion because they contain phytochemicals that are sulfur-based that stimulate the secretion of bile.

Dieters also appreciate radish nutrition as a fabulous food to aid in weight loss.  When you eat radishes, you feel full due to the high water and roughage content.  Therefore, if you are on a diet, the low calories and high nutritional value makes them an excellent snack to help get you through those hungry times throughout the day.

Types Of Radishes

There are quite a few varieties of radishes to choose from that all have unique characteristics but they are all high in water content and extremely crispy when they are fresh.  The scarlet globe is the most popular radish consumed in North America.  They range from being one to four inches across and have a solid white flesh with a bright red skin.  In Asia, the daikon radish is popular in dishes and they are now being enjoyed in other areas as well.  Daikon radishes are larger like a turnip and have a slightly tart, mild flavor.

Another adored radish called the French breakfast is cylindrical-shaped and is mostly red with white on the tip.  For those looking for a spicier vegetable, the D'Avignon is crunchy, pink and extremely spicy and the black Spanish radish is very hot too.  Purple radishes are not very common but they are an unusual oval shape, mild and quite tangy.

Cooking And Storing

To properly store radishes, you should cut the greens off of the top.  These greens that house most of the radish nutrition can be braised or sautéed and should be eaten right away.  The vegetable itself is fine to store in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.

Before radishes are cooked, the tips should be cut off and they need to be rinsed in cold water.  Due to their appealing bright color, they enhance the presentation of any dish.  They can be sliced and served raw in salads or cut in quarters and roasted or sautéed to add color and nutrition to any meal.