Radish is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family that was domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times. Radishes are grown and consumed throughout the world, is mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad vegetable. They have numerous varieties, varying in size, flavor, color, and length of time they take to mature. Radishes owe their sharp flavor to the various chemical compounds produced by the plants, including glucosinolate, myrosinase, and isothiocyanate. It is a root crop and is juicy, pungent, or sweet in taste. They can be white, red, purple or black, and in terms of shape, they can be long and cylindrical or round. They are eaten raw, cooked or pickled. The oil obtained from the seeds of radish is used in a number of products and in beneficial health applications.
Nutritional Value of Radish
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||66 kJ (16 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.6 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Health Benefits of Radish
- Radish Reduces Glucose Absorption – Furthermore, the aqueous extract of radish inhibited both α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes in vitro [3,4]. Aqueous extract of radish leaves at 10 mg mL−1 was found to significantly inhibit α-glucosidase activity . It is well-known that these enzymes are required for the degradation of poly-and oligosaccharides in the intestine before absorption . Therefore, such enzymatic inhibition may reduce the amount of glucose absorbed, which could be effective for the management and prevention of diabetes .
- Glucose-Regulatory Hormones – Some studies have suggested that radish may exert its antidiabetic activity by affecting certain hormones that affect glucose hemostasis. For example, an in vitro study on 3T3-L1 adipocytes found that ethanol extract of radish enhances the production of adiponectin (a peptide hormone that modulates the regulation of glucose and fatty acids ) . Japanese radish sprouts (2.5–5% of the diet) were found to reduce the level of plasma insulin in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats . This reduction suggests that the hypoglycemic effect of radish sprouts were brought about by ameliorating insulin sensitivity or exerting an insulin-like effect but not by enhancing the production of insulin . Antioxidants might be the chemical components that are responsible for such hypoglycemic response. For example, catechin, a phenolic compound present in radish, significantly enhanced insulin secretion .
- Diabetes-Induced Oxidative Damage – A number of studies have suggested that the antidiabetic activity of radish may be due to its ability to enhance the antioxidant defense mechanism and reduce oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants in cellular systems [12, 13]. The partially purified superoxide dismutase-like activity protein was found to increase the in vitro glucose uptake by the erythrocytes of diabetic patients . As evidence, the results from this study demonstrated a significant reduction in the concentration of malondialdehyde (a biomarker of lipid peroxidation) and thus a reduction in the oxidative stress formed in erythrocytes . Methanolic extract of radish root (~40–160 mg kg−1 of body weight) inhibited in vivo lipid peroxidation in albino rats, and in vitro cumene hydroperoxide induced lipid peroxidation . It was found to strengthen the endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione and catalase . Indirectly, squeezed juice from the black radish root has metal-chelating activity (i.e., copper-chelating activity), which, consequently, reduces reactive oxygen species generation, mainly by hindering Fenton’s reaction . Alternatively, radish leaf juice has displayed potential antioxidant behavior against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative hemolysis in rat red blood cells .
- Treats Jaundice – Radishes are very good for the liver and stomach, and they act as a powerful detoxifier too. They purify the blood and eliminate toxins and waste. They are extremely useful in treating jaundice because they remove bilirubin and also keep its production at a stable level.  Radishes also reduce the destruction of red blood cells that occurs in people suffering from jaundice by increasing the supply of fresh oxygen to the blood. Black radishes are more preferred in the treatment of jaundice, and radish leaves are also very useful for this.
- Prevents Piles – Radishes are considered roughage, which means that they are composed of indigestible carbohydrates. This facilitates digestion, water retention, and fixes constipation, which is one of the major causes of piles. As a good detoxifier, they help heal the symptoms of piles very quickly. Radish juice also soothes the digestive and excretory system, further relieving the symptoms of piles.
- Treats Urinary Disorders – Radishes are diuretic in nature, which means that they increase the production of urine. Juice from radishes also cures inflammation and the burning sensations during urination. It cleans out the kidneys and inhibits infections in the kidneys and urinary system, thus helping the treatment of various urinary conditions that are exacerbated by excess toxins in the system. 
- Weight Loss – Radishes are very filling, which mean that they satisfy your hunger without running up the calorie count. They are also low in digestible carbohydrates, high in roughage, and contain a lot of water, thus becoming a very good dietary option for those who are determined to lose weight. Furthermore, they are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index, which means that they increase regular bowel movements, which helps in weight loss, and increases the efficiency of metabolism for all bodily processes.
- Improves Cardiovascular System – Radishes are a great source of anthocyanins, a type of flavonoids, which not only give color to radishes but also provide numerous health benefits. Anthocyanins have been the subject of numerous medical studies, and have been positively linked to reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. They have also displayed anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Treats Cancer – Since radishes are detoxifiers and are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and anthocyanins, they have been connected to treating many types of cancer, particularly colon, kidney, intestinal, stomach, and oral cancer.  Radishes are part of the Brassica family, and like the other members of that taxonomic classification, these cruciferous vegetables are packed with antioxidants. Furthermore, the isothiocyanates found in radishes have a major impact on the genetic pathways of cancerous cells. They alter the pathways so much, that they can cause apoptosis (cell death) thereby eliminating cancerous cells from reproducing.
- Treats Leucoderma – The detoxifying and anti-carcinogenic properties of radishes make them useful in the treatment of Leucoderma and radish seeds are used in this method.  They should be powdered and soaked in vinegar, ginger juice, or cows urine and then applied on the white patches. You can eat radishes as well to aid in the treatment of Leucoderma.
- Aids in Digestion – Radishes are rich in fiber that adds considerable bulk to bowel movements, which promotes regular excretory patterns and relieves the symptoms of constipation.  They can also help firm up loose bowels and get rid of loose stool or diarrhea. Furthermore, radishes are known to promote the production of bile. Bile is one of the most important parts of good digestion, and also helps to protect both the liver and gallbladder.
- Treats Respiratory Disorders – Radishes are an anti-congestive, meaning that they decrease congestion of the respiratory system including irritation of the nose, throat, windpipe, and lungs that can come from colds, infections, allergies, and other causes.  They are a great disinfectant and are rich in vitamins, which further protects the respiratory system from infections.
- Lowers Blood Pressure – Radishes are a very good source of potassium, which contributes to a large list of health benefits. Potassium has been positively connected to reducing blood pressure because when it interacts with the arterial supply of vascular beds, it can relax the blood vessels, and therefore increase blood flow.  It also reduces the blood pressure by widening the flow of the blood, instead of forcing it through narrow, constricted channels.
- Controls Diabetes – Radishes have long been known to have a low glycemic index, which means that eating a radish does not impact blood sugar levels.  They also help regulate the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, meaning that diabetics don’t have to worry as much about sudden spikes or drops when eating or being away from food for a certain amount of time.
- Skin Care – Vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc, and some members of the vitamin-B complex, present in radishes are good for the skin. The water in radishes also helps to maintain healthy moisture levels in the skin. Smashed raw radish is a good cleanser and serves as an efficient face pack. Due to its disinfectant properties, radishes also help clear up skin disorders like dry skin, rashes, and cracks.
- Treats Fever – Radishes lower body temperature and relieve inflammation from fevers. A good method of intake is drinking radish juice mixed with black salt, and since they act as good disinfectants, radishes also fight infections that can cause fever.
- Protects Kidneys – As a diuretic, cleanser, and disinfectant, radishes help in the treatment of many kidney disorders. The diuretic properties help wash away toxins accumulated in the kidneys and decrease the toxins in the blood. Their disinfectant properties protect the kidneys from any infections as well.
- Treats Insect Bites – Radishes have anti-pruritic properties and can be used as an effective treatment for insect bites and bee stings. Radish juice also reduces pain and swelling and soothes the affected area. 
- Keeps you Hydrated – Radishes are mostly composed of water, and they are a great way to keep your body hydrated, which is very beneficial for your health. One of the most important parts of staying hydrated is the impact of water on the digestive system. Staying hydrated relieves constipation, improves digestion, and ensures proper uptake of nutrients from the food we eat.
- Treats Respiratory Conditions – Radishes have a strong, natural spice to them, and they are also quite pungent, which is very good for preventing illnesses. They also eliminate excess mucus in the throat.  Furthermore, radishes have been known to soothe sore throats and relieve congestion by clearing the sinuses.
- Boosts Immunity – There are countless reasons why radishes are a good addition to your diet, but improving your immune system is one of the most important ones.  A half cup of radishes per day in a salad or just as a snack is nearly 15% of your daily intake of vitamin C. Consistently maxing out your daily dose of vitamin C intake can rejuvenate your immune system by replacing many of the antioxidants and white blood cells which are integral in fighting off every illness from the common cold to cancer! Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system but is also considered a super vitamin because of all the high-impact effects it has on the body. It helps regulate your metabolism, which changes fat into usable energy, and it is the main contributor to the creation of collagen, an essential protein that strengthens blood vessel walls and reduces the chances of atherosclerosis and heart diseases.
- Protects Liver & Gallbladder – Radishes are especially beneficial for liver and gallbladder functions. They regulate production and flow of bile and bilirubin, acids, and enzymes. Furthermore, they also remove excess bilirubin from the blood and contain enzymes like myrosinase, diastase, amylase, and esterase. Regular consumption of radishes protects your liver and gallbladder from infections and ulcers.
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