10 Health Benefits of Radishes
Radishes are a form of root vegetable that are widely farmed and eaten across the globe. They have numerous forms and varieties. Radishes have a very distinctive, strong flavor which can be described as peppery and pungent. The strong flavor associated with radishes is due to a chemical which is also found in mustard, horseradish and wasabi, the popular Japanese seasoning paste.
You may be surprised to know that radishes can add far more to a dish than simply flavor – radishes also have a variety of health benefits. In fact, with all the positive effects that radishes can have on your health, they really are like a type of super food.
Top 10 health benefits of radishes
1) Detoxifying the Blood – Radishes play a role in helping the liver to detoxify the blood. In particular, radishes can play an important role in helping to combat jaundice, which is when your eyes and skin turn yellow due to an excessive amount of a protein called bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin rises when your liver isn’t working too well, or when too many red blood cells are being destroyed in your blood stream. Radishes have a remarkable ability to treat jaundice by removing bilirubin from the blood and stopping the further production of bilirubin. Although all types of radishes can be used for this purpose, the black radish is preferred for the treatment of jaundice.
2) Helping to Relieve Constipation – Radishes are very rich in fiber. This means that they contain carbohydrates that your body can’t digest. This may sound like a bad thing, but these forms of fiber absorb water and aid digestion, leading to less constipation. By relieving constipation, radishes also help to prevent and treat piles, and can help with feelings of bloating and abdominal discomfort. Radish juice also has properties that are soothing to the digestive system, which can help with all manner of abdominal illnesses.
3) Urinary Tract Conditions – Radishes have a diuretic effect on the kidneys. This means that they help the kidneys to produce more urine, which allows your body to flush out toxins more effectively. Radish juice contains anti-oxidants and chemicals which help to treat inflammation of the kidneys and urinary tract. This means that radish juice can help relieve symptoms of burning and pain when urinating, if you have a urinary tract infection. By acting as a diuretic, radishes clean out the kidneys and prevent recurrence of infection.
4) Leucoderma – Radishes are rich in substances such as folic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. This makes them very useful in treating conditions such as Leucoderma. For the treatment of Leucoderma, the radish seeds can be used – they contain oil that is rich in detoxifying agents that help with leucoderma. To treat leucoderma, radish seeds are powdered and soaked in vinegar, and then applied to white patches on the skin.
5) Helping with Skin Disorders – Radishes contain many important vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, phosphorous, zinc and some of the B Vitamins such as niacin. These vitamins are essential for good skin health, and can help with the treatment of skin disorders. As well as eating radish, crushed up raw radish is also excellent for skin – it can be crushed and then applied to the face as a face mask or used as a highly effective facial cleanser.
6) Weight Loss Properties – Radishes are very low in calories, with no fat or cholesterol. Most of the radish is made up of non-digestible carbohydrates, so they are extremely filling and satisfies hunger. They also contain a lot of water, making them even more filling. This means that you can fill up your stomach without eating many calories, making radishes perfect food for weight loss.
7) Insect Bites – Radishes have intrinsic anti-pruritic properties – this means that they stop the itching associated with insect bites. You can apply radish juice or crushed up raw radish to insect bites and bee stings. The radish juice helps to decrease pain, itching and swelling associated with bites.
8) Respiratory Disorders and Anticongestion – Radishes can act as an anti-congestive, which means that it can clear out the respiratory system of mucus congestion that causes sinusitis, asthma and other problems. The vitamins that are found in radish also help to strengthen the immune system, so preventing further respiratory infections.
9) Protection of the Liver and Gallbladder – Radishes contain important enzymes such as myrosinase, amylase and esterase. These enzymes are usually produced by the liver, and eating them in radishes can help your liver to perform its function better. It also helps to regulate the production and flow of bile, helping to prevent bile stones forming and keeping your gallbladder healthy.
10) General Health Benefits – As well as all the specific organ benefits listed above, radishes are great for your general health. For example, radishes can be used as a breath freshener, helps to regulate your metabolism, can improve the circulation in your body and can also be used to help treat headaches.
Now, how to enjoy them? Radishes are commonly used in salads, generally in the raw form. However, they can also be eaten cooked or pickled. Although the most common part of the radish plant that is eaten is the long, cylindrical tap root, the entire plant can be eaten, including the leaves, flowers and seeds. Experiment and enjoy!