Radish is known and widely enjoyed for its unique, peppery taste and crunchy texture. However what you might not know is how nutritious this small vegetable is. Read up below to learn more!
- ...can help you lose weight. Radishes have hardly any fat and are very low in calories, while packed with satiating fiber that will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- ..support your digestion. Radishes contain plenty of allyl, butyl and thiocyanate mustard oil, which stimulates the liver and bile to form digestive acids in the gut. The dietary fibers in radish also promote digestion.
- ...are packed with vitamin C. 100 grams of radishes contain 29 milligrams of vitamin C, just under a third of the average daily requirement.
- ...are good for your joints. Radishes, and especially their juices, are considered an effective natural remedy for gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
- ...can soothe your throat. Radishes are a good natural remedy for hoarseness, persistent coughs and bronchitis. Radish juice with a little honey is a particularly effective tonic.
- ...are better the smaller they are. Smaller radishes contain more of the vegetable’s valuable mustard oils and secondary plant substances, making them healthier and better tasting.
- ...are not for everyone. The healthy plant substances in radishes can lead to excessive burping in some. If you react to radish in this way, you can mitigate the effect by briefly steaming the radish in a little water or broth.
What You Should Know About Radishes
Radishes have long been especially popular in Asian countries. In Japan, on average each person eats 30 pounds of radishes per year, while in Korea the number surges to 66 pounds per year. The radish is also extremely popular in France, and increasingly so in the U.S. as well.
The radish was consumed as far back as ancient Egypt, where thousands of years ago working class people ate the vegetable daily. Eventually radishes spread to China and ancient Greece as well as to ancient Rome. In the 13th century the Romans introduced the radish to European diets.
Radishes are generally available yearround, though peak flavor varies depending on the type. Larger varieties, like the Black Spanish radish, are generally harvested during the winter months, while smaller radishes come in season and are most delicious during the spring months.
Radish flavor varies depending on the variety and season, but generally the radish’s high mustard oil content gives it a very spicy, piquant taste.
How Healthy Are Radishes?
The radish owes its distinct flavor to its rich supply of mustard oil, which support liver and gallbladder health as well as aiding in digestion. Radish has also long been utilized by naturopaths as an effective treatment against gout, rheumatism and even coughing and hoarseness.
This root vegetable is also extremely low in fat and calories, making it a great snack for those trying to keep slim. Radish is also a notable source of vitamin C-- a 200 gram serving contains more than half your daily requirement.
|Radish Nutritional Info (100 g)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
A fresh radish will have smooth, undamaged skin and be firm to the touch. Radish leaves are also a good indicator of taste and freshness-- if they’re wilted, limp or yellow, the radish’s best days or behind it. If the leaves are a vibrant green, the radish is ideal for eating.
Freshly-cut radishes can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to ten days. They keep best if you remove the leaves beforehand and wrap the radishes in a damp cloth.
Radishes should be prepared the same as any root vegetable: simply wash, pat dry and peel the skin, if you like.
What To Make With Radishes
Traditionally radishes are eaten raw, as the cooking process immediately robs radishes of most of their pungent flavor. When cooked, radish loses almost all its pungency. Their strong flavor makes radishes a great snack on their own, either with a bit a bit of vinegar and olive oil, or with butter and salt, as the French do.
Radishes are also great in Asian and Latin cooking. Try them in the filling of Thai spring rolls or Japanese noodle salad, or as a yummy and beautiful garnish on top of tacos.