by Dr Rupy Aujla12 May 2023
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Golden Roots: Radishes are native to China, where wild forms can still be found. They are mentioned in historical records of the Egyptian, Roman and Greek civilizations. The ancient Greeks prized them so much that they made small replicas in gold!
Radish Giants: In 1544, a German botanist reported seeing radishes that weighed 45 kg! By 1586, they were a common crop in England and were among the first European vegetables to be brought to America by Spanish colonists.
Traditional Uses: In Unani, Greeko-Arab and Indian folk medicine, radish is used for the treatment of jaundice, gallstone, liver diseases, indigestion and other gastric pains.
Radish is one of your Cruciferous or Brassica vegetables.
Zooming In: One study of 684 women aged 70+ found that those who ate over 44 grams of cruciferous vegetables daily had a 46% lower risk of developing vascular calcification – a marker of plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease.
The Fine Print: To date, human studies on radish specifically are sparse. Most studies looked at cruciferous vegetables as a group.So what’s so special about radishes?
Radishes contain a complex set of nutrients and phytochemicals (at least 609 identified), such as:
Don’t forget the green tops and sprouts! They have the highest amount of several nutrients and phytochemicals. (Gamba et al. 2021)
What does it mean? In lab studies, these compounds were linked to several health benefits, like regulating detoxification enzymes and inducing the death of unwanted cells.
In daily life: Radish leaves, roots and sprouts contribute to a healthy diet. One portion is 10 radishes. Scroll down for some cooking inspiration!
Season: Radishes are cultivated in two primary seasons – spring/summer and winter cultivars. The small, quick-growing spring varieties tend to have a milder, crisp flesh. (Britannica)
Radish Rainbow: The outside skin of radishes can be white, yellow, pink, red, purple or black, depending on the variety. Their flesh is usually white, but their flavour, size, and length can vary greatly – from small European radishes to larger Japanese and Chinese daikon radishes.
History, compounds & biological activities: Gamba et al. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2021 – Banihani. Nutrients. 2017 – Manivannan et al. Nutrients. 2019.