Root crops are actually a group of plants which have tubers on the stems underground or on the side roots. These tubers are used for fodder, food or in the manufacture of raw materials. Root crops, which are generally native to the Solanaceae and artichoke families, are essential in various meals. They range from pungent to sweet and appetizing, and one of the more palatable ones is a radish. Not only are radishes deliciously tasty, they are also oozing with many health benefits which affect the overall health. Keep reading this article to learn more!
What is a Radish?
A radish is a root vegetable or root crop that has a white flesh resembling the texture of a turnip. Similar to other members of the cruciferous family, such as cabbage and broccoli, radish also contains a characteristic oil, which is the source of its pungency. Scientifically, radishes are known as Raphanus sativus, part of the Brassicaceae family. In various parts of the world, particularly in Asian markets, it is known as daikon.
Radish has expanded into many varieties, each with their own distinctive appearance. Examples include the watermelon radish and black radish. They range in colour from red to white, grow anywhere between an inch and 3 feet in length and weigh between 1 ounce to 100 pounds. Their pungency can be mild, sharp or somewhere in between. Like other root crops, radish is capable of producing green leafy tops, which are edible and may add a peppery taste to salads. In fact, you can eat the seeds, pods, flowers and leaves of radish!
Radishes were first cultivated in China many years ago and have since slowly made their way to other parts of the world. In fact, in much earlier times, a many of the health benefits of radish were highly regarded by Greek and Egyptian cultures. The radish was held in such high regard by the Greeks that they even made replicas!
Maybe you’re wondering what’s so special about it. Well, radish is oozing with so many vitamins and minerals, as well as other nutrients beneficial for the health. Read more below.
Nutritional Value of Radish
100 grams, or 1 serving, of radish contains:
|Principle||Nutrient Value||% Daily Value|
|Dietary fiber||1.6 grams||4|
|Total fat||0.10 grams||<1%|
|Vitamin C||14.8 milligrams||25%|
|Vitamin A||7 IU||<1%|
|Vitamin K||1.3 µg||1%|
|Vitamin E||0 milligram||9%|
Health Benefits of Radish
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of radish:
- Helps control diabetes: there is a low glycemic index in radish, so it does not impact blood sugar levels. Furthermore, radish helps regulate the absorbtion of sugar in the bloodstream. Therefore, it is beneficial in controlling one of the most fatal illnesses: diabetes.
- Helps reduce blood pressure: the potassium content of radish helps reduce blood pressure levels. This is because, when it interacts with the arterial supply of the vascular beds, it may relax the blood vessels, thus increasing the blood flow.
- Helps treat respiratory disorders: being anti-congestive, radish reduces congestion in the respiratory system, including irritation of the lungs, windpipe, throat and nose.
- Helps with digestion: radishes are rich in fiber, which adds bulk to bowel movements, promoting a regular bowel movement and relieving the symptoms of constipation.
- Helps treat cancer: this is one of the best health benefits of radish. The anthocyanins, folic acid and vitamin C content of the root crop are beneficial in treating various types of cancer.
- Helps improve the cardiovascular system: the anthocyanins in the radish reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. Moreover, they are also beneficial in treating cancer.
- Aids in weight loss: since radish is filling, it is beneficial in satisfying hunger without running up your calorie count. It is also low in carbs, has a lot of water content and is high in roughage, making it a good option for those trying to lose weight.