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July 25, 2024

Amazing Facts About Radish 



Radishes are crisp, colorful vegetables belonging to the Brassicaceae family, commonly cultivated for their edible roots. Radishes come in various varieties, each with unique characteristics. Common types include red radishes, daikon radishes, black radishes, and watermelon radishes.

Red radishes are the most familiar edible root vegetable, featuring a vibrant red skin with a white interior. Daikon radishes are larger and have a milder taste. Black radishes have a peppery flavor and distinctive black skin, while watermelon radishes display a green and pink exterior resembling a watermelon.

Radishes have a crisp texture and a peppery or mildly spicy taste. This distinctive flavor can vary depending on the type and age of the radish. Radishes are low in calories and rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C. They also contain small amounts of fiber, potassium, and other essential nutrients.

Due to their low calorie content and nutrient profile, radishes can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. They may contribute to hydration and digestive health, thanks to their water and fiber content.

Radishes have been cultivated for centuries and hold cultural significance in various cuisines. 

However, they are a common element in salads, garnishes, and traditional dishes in many cultures around the world.

Here are some facts about Radish you should know. 

• Radishes are not only known for their edible roots but also for their peppery leaves, which can be used in salads or as a garnish

• Radishes are edible root vegetables. The botanical name is Raphanus sativus.

• The radish is a member of the Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage) family; its

cousins are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and turnip.

• The origin of radishes is most likely China, and they have been cultivated

since 2700 BC. Radish crops spread through to Europe in the 1500s.

• Radishes, onions and garlic were paid as ‘wages’ to the Ancient Egyptian

laborer’s who built the Pyramids.

• Ancient Egyptians used radish oil in their diet before olive oil was discovered.

• There are hundreds of varieties of radishes grown worldwide, accounting for

about 2% of total global vegetables.

• Radish plant can reach 6 feet in height and 3 feet in width. Size of the root

depends on the variety. Rounded varieties are usually 1 inch wide, cylindrical

types are 7 inches long, while carrot-like varieties grow to the size of 2 feet.

• Radish grows in various colors depending on the variety. Best known types

are white, pink, red, purple, yellow and green.

• Radish grows quickly. Seed starts to germinate 3 to 4 days after planting and radish can be harvested 3 to 6 weeks later. Because they grow rapidly, radish plants are ideal for children’s gardens.

• Radishes can be broadly divided in 2 groups, based on the planting time.

Summer types are planted in the spring. They are usually round shaped and pink in color. Winter types are sown at the end of the summer. They are often elongated and white colored and have a stronger taste.

• Biggest ever recorded radish (root) was 3 feet in length and about 45 Kg in weight.

• Look for the roots that feature fresh, stout and firm in texture not yielding to pressure. Their top greens also should be fresh, and feature crispy green without any yellow, shriveled leaves. Yellowness indicates that the stock is old.

• Both root and top greens are employed for cooking. Peeling may be avoided as the anti-oxidant isothiocyanates, which gives a peppery pungent flavor to radish, are thickly concentrated in the peel.

• One cup of sliced radishes (100 Grams) provides just 20 calories. They are a good source of vitamin C (15 mg per 100 gm) which is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. It also contains small amounts of other nutrients such as magnesium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, folic acid, potassium and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and calcium.

• Radish also contains many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene, which are flavonoid antioxidants.

• Radishes can be eaten raw either as a whole or as slaw or in salads with carrots, beets, cucumber, lettuce, etc.

• In India the root is grated and mixed with spice and seasonings and stuffed inside bread to prepare “mooli parantha.”

• The strong, pungent flavor of radishes is caused by “isothiocyanates”. Horseradish is a type of elongated white radish that has it in abundance.

• Daikon is another type of elongated radish, most famously used in Japanese cuisine, where it is used pickled, dried, grated, and in stir fries.

• Oilseed radish is a type of radish specially cultivated because of its oil that is used as biofuel.

• Tender top greens of radish are also eaten as leafy greens in some parts of the world. These are often mixed with other greens like spinach, turnip greens, etc., used in the preparation of soups, curries as well as in cooked vegetable recipes.

• When left to grow for longer than the usual root-harvest period, all kinds of radish bear small flowers, which subsequently develop into edible fruit pods. Podding or a rat-tailed radish is a type of seed-pod variety grown exclusively for their long rat-tail like tapering edible pods.

• Radish can be used to relieve stomach ache, to facilitate digestion and elimination of the excess body water and to regulate blood pressure.

• Radish, like other Brassica family vegetables, contains isothiocyanate anti- oxidant compound called sulforaphane which has a proven role against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its cancer cell growth inhibition, and cytotoxic effects.

• Radishes are very good for the liver and stomach, and it also acts as a powerful detoxifier purifying the blood and eliminating toxins. It is extremely useful in treating jaundice because it removes bilirubin and also keeps its production at a stable level. It also reduces the destruction of red blood cells. Black radishes are more preferred in the treatment of jaundice along with radish leaves.

• Radishes are considered roughage, as it has indigestible carbohydrates. This facilitates digestion, water retention, and it fixes constipation, which is one of the major causes of piles.

• Radishes are diuretic in nature, which means that they increase the production of urine. Juice from radishes also cures inflammation and a burning feeling during urination. It also cleans out the kidneys and inhibits infections in the kidneys and urinary system.

• Radishes are very filling, satisfying your hunger without increasing calorie count. They are also low in digestible carbohydrates, high in roughage and contain a lot of water, making radishes a very good option for weight loss.

• The radish seeds are traditionally used in treatment of leukoderma or white patches. They are powdered and soaked in vinegar, ginger juice, or cow urine and then applied on the white patches. You can eat radishes as well to aid the treatment.

• Radishes are a very good source of potassium, which contributes to reduction of blood pressure by widening the flow of the blood, instead of forcing it through narrow, constricted channels.

• Radishes are good for diabetes as they have a low glycemic index, which means that eating it does not impact blood sugar levels.

• In respiratory Disorders like bronchitis and asthma, radishes act as anti-congestive decreasing congestion of the respiratory system including irritation of the nose, throat, wind-pipe and lungs.

• Vitamin C, phosphorus, zinc and 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.

• 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.

• Radishes may contain goitrogens, plant-based compounds found in cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables. They should be avoided in individuals with thyroid dysfunction.

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