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Are Radishes Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 7 Health Benefits
Nutrition

Are Radishes Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 7 Health Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 17, 2022
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8 min

Radishes are one of the most amazing root vegetables – they are delicious and nutritious and absolutely worth including in your diet. Today, we dive into the health benefits of radishes, giving you the facts about why these vegetables belong on your plate.

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Not many people fancy vegetables as a major part of their diet. That is because, for the most part, they prefer the sweet and savory taste of processed foods. 

However, even among those that seem to enjoy vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, you hardly ever find them talking about radishes. 

Today, we explore the world of this root vegetable to unearth its secrets. What are the health benefits of radishes? Stay tuned!

Are Radishes Healthy?

Yes, radishes are one of the healthiest root vegetables out there. These root vegetables, while undervalued, come with lots of nutrients necessary for healthy living.

They help control blood sugar levels, boost immune function, and prevent cancer and diabetes. Moreover, eating radishes can help prevent certain health conditions, which we shall go into shortly.

7 Health Benefits of Radishes

While most people don’t have radishes as their go-to vegetable, they come with quite an interesting nutritional profile. This equates to having many health benefits. 

Here are 7 health benefits of this root vegetable.

#1 Rich source of antioxidants

Eating raw radishes can provide numerous benefits due to their high concentration of antioxidants, including catechin, pyrogallol, and vanillic acid. These antioxidants help fight off harmful free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of cell damage and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Radishes also contain a host of other phenolic compounds and vitamin C, which further contributes to their antioxidant properties.

#2 Lowers the risk of diabetes

One profound fact about radishes and radish extracts is that they help reduce the risk of diabetes in many ways. For starters, radishes have a low glycemic index (15), which offers tighter control over blood sugar than food with a higher glycemic index. 

They also contain a high fiber content, which is a key function as it slows down sugar and fat absorption from foods. It also helps checkmate obesity, as a little portion leaves you feeling full for a significant amount of time. 

Furthermore, the phytochemicals present in radishes help in regulating blood glucose levels. Likewise, radish consumption helps increase the body’s natural production of adiponectin, a hormone that safeguards cells from insulin resistance and helps with glucose regulation.

#3 Improves immune function

Radishes are a rich source of vitamin C, with about 14.8mg per 100g serving. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant capable of warding off the flu and the common cold. 

While those are great health benefits, research shows that vitamin C helps enhance immune function by boosting phagocyte activities in the body while protecting against cell damage from free radicals. 

Additionally, radishes contain selenium, an immune-boosting compound that activates T and B cells.

#4 Improves liver function

Among the many beneficial compounds in radishes are indole-3-carbinol and 4-methylthio-3-butenyl-isothiocyanate. 

These bioactive metabolites exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrosis, anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammation, and immunomodulatory properties that help protect the liver against chronic diseases. 

Additionally, these compounds help detoxify the kidney and enhance kidney functions.

#5 Anti-cancer properties

One of the most interesting facts about radishes is how they play active roles in cancer prevention, particularly with prostate, lung, and colon cancer.

As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, radishes contain natural sulfur-containing compounds such as glucosinolates (a phytochemical that breaks down to produce isothiocyanates when combined with water).

Scientists believe these compounds act as inhibitors to chronic inflammation, which has been associated with several cancers. These compounds also help protect cells against cancer-causing agents and inhibit cancer cell growth.

Research also shows that these phytochemicals present in radishes show promising signs as an antibacterial, including against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, which is a common cause of peptic ulcers. 

#6 Promotes healthy skin

Eating radishes can promote healthy skin due to their high vitamin C content, which helps with collagen production. Additionally, the antioxidants present in radishes can protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. 

On the other hand, drinking radish juice or making a face mask using grated radish can also improve skin complexion and reduce inflammation.

#7 Regulates blood pressure

Potassium is one of the essential nutrients humans need, and radishes offer a good supply of this mineral. Potassium helps regulate fluid balance in the body while also positively affecting blood pressure, particularly for hypertensive patients. 

Additionally, through the synthesis of collagen, radishes strengthen the walls of blood vessels and lower the risk of atherosclerosis.

3 Side Effects of Radishes

While a radish-inclusive diet can be extremely beneficial to health, consuming more than necessary can cause several side effects. Here are 3 side effects of radishes.

#1 Allergy

Radish allergy is extremely rare; still, some people develop this allergy. Similar to other food allergies, symptoms include itchy or swollen skin, runny nose or sneezing, itchy or sore throat, cough, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

In more severe cases, allergic symptoms could include anaphylaxis and unconsciousness, leading to fatality.

These symptoms can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours before they manifest.

#2 Low blood pressure

Due to its high amounts of antioxidants and minerals such as calcium and potassium, eating more radish than necessary can lower your blood pressure beyond normal.

Likewise, based on its diuretic properties, you can experience severe water loss through excess urine, resulting in dehydration. 

#3 Irritation of the digestive tract

While radishes contain a good amount of fiber that helps with digestion, eating too many can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Instead, stick to a smaller portion and remember to drink plenty of fluids.

Nutrition Facts of Radishes

Having looked at its inventory of health benefits and potential side effects, it is only right that we delve more into information concerning the nutritional value. That way, you get a more detailed picture of how beneficial radishes are to any diet. 

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)16
Sodium (mg)39
Net Carbs (g)1.8
Fiber (g)1.6
Sugar (g)1.86
Fats (Total)0.1
Protein (g)0.68

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169276/nutrients

Low in calories and fats

The greatest thing about radishes is that they contain a small calorie content. This means you can eat a handful without fearing exceeding your daily macrons. Similarly, they are also low on fat content rank. 

As such, if your diet demands that you consume more healthy fats, you can easily create a meal that centers on radishes by adding other foods with high-fat content.

Low in protein 

100g of radish contains a measly 0.68g of protein. Proteins are essential nutrients needed in any diet as they aid cell and tissue repair. They also promote growth and development in kids, teens, and pregnant women. 

Low in carbohydrates 

Radishes are low in net carbs, containing only 1.8g of net carbs per 100g serving. This makes them a good addition to any diet, especially the ketogenic diet

Rich in vitamins and minerals

There are several essential vitamins and minerals found in radishes, including vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and a host of others needed for healthy living. 

These vitamins and minerals serve several functions, including lowering inflammation, enhancing immune function, reducing cancer and diabetes risks, and controlling blood pressure.

Healthy Recipe With Radishes

Here is a simple radish recipe for you to enjoy – crispy chicken with roasted radishes.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 baguette slices, toasted
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total)
  • 12 ounces red radishes (also round radish), sliced

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to about 400°F. While that is working, season both sides of your chicken with 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper. 
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high. Place your chicken thighs, skin side down, and let it cook for about 8 minutes until deep golden brown. Flip the chicken thigh and cook until browned. Afterward, transfer it to a large enough plate and cover it up. Repeat this process until you have browned all your chicken thighs. 
  • With the chicken juices still in the skillet, add chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium-high until softened. Add your sliced radishes and chicken into the mixture and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 15 to 17 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 165°F.
  • Transfer the dish to a platter and proceed to make your sauce. On medium-high heat, add chicken broth to the skillet and cook, stirring continuously to loosen up the browned bits, until it is reduced to about half. Cut off the heat and stir in butter, chives, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover your chicken-radish dish with sauce and plate.

While you might be apprehensive about making this dish, it is fairly simple, and it takes about 35 minutes to complete. 

Regardless, if you are looking for your next radish-based meal, you can get the DoFasting app to get some inspiration. DoFasting contains over 5,000 healthy recipes, making it one of the best health tools.

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FAQs

How many radishes are in a serving?

There are about 16 radishes in a 100g serving.

Are radishes good or bad for you?

Radishes are good for you as they contain low calorie and carb content. However, they pose a potential health risk, so it would be best to eat them moderately.

Are radishes high in potassium?

Radishes contain a high amount of potassium, with about 233mg per 100g serving.

Are radishes high in fiber?

With about 1g per 100g serving, radishes contain quite a bit of fiber. This helps with digestion and slows down the absorption of sugar from foods.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

From a nutritional standpoint, it is evident that you should eat radishes because they are good for you. They are filled with antioxidants and help lower the risk of diabetes and cancer. Radishes also improve immune, liver, and kidney function while keeping your skin healthy.

However, their biggest selling points can also be detrimental if over-consumed. As such, you should stay within range.

In that case, checking in with your healthcare provider becomes of utmost importance. That way, you know if you can enjoy this root vegetable without worries.

Conclusion

Radishes are one of the best inclusions to any diet. They contain a low calorie and carb content while being a rich source of vitamins and minerals needed to improve overall health.

The health benefits of radishes are incredible; they help control blood sugar levels, improve kidney, liver, and immune function, and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. 

Moreso, you can enjoy radishes in many ways, eating raw radishes or incorporating them into varying recipes. So, the next time you are browsing through the veggie section at your local grocery store, make sure you pick a good amount of radishes.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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