(Natural News) The radish is an overlooked vegetable that was more popular in years gone by. The edible white root vegetable isn’t part of most people’s everyday diet, probably because of its pungent taste. But this root vegetable is nutritious and can be eaten in many ways. Here are 10 reasons why you should occasionally eat a radish:
- It’s rich in vitamin C – It may not seem obvious, but radishes are a great source of vitamin C. Eating a cup of radishes – or 116 grams (g) – can give you 28 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that helps shorten the length of colds and even prevents cardiovascular disease.
- It improves cardiovascular health – Radishes are also rich in flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are good for the heart. They have anti-inflammatory properties and circulate metabolites in the blood which fight oxidative stress and helps the cardiovascular system.
- It helps your bones – The vitamin C in radishes also supports bone health. This vitamin protects the cartilage in the body, which is essential to the growth and repair of connective tissues in the body. This is especially helpful to people who suffer from various types of arthritis.
- It improves digestion – Radishes are rich in fiber, which is good for digestion. Adding one cup of radishes to your diet will provide seven percent of your daily fiber needs. Fiber helps improve bowel movements and slows the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, which, in turn, can help regulate blood sugar levels.
- It aids in weight loss – Eating a radish can also aid in weight loss because of its high-fiber content. Fiber can help you feel fuller for longer, leading you to eat less. In addition, it is very low in calories, which means it takes fewer calories to burn off.
- It helps detoxify the liver – Radishes also help detoxify the liver and treat jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin. The vegetable acts as a natural diuretic and helps the liver get rid of excess bilirubin from the body – which causes jaundice. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced by the breakdown of dead red blood cells in the liver. Normally, the liver flushes out bilirubin together with old red blood cells.
- It may help with urinary tract infections (UTI) – Radishes may be beneficial to people with UTI because of its diuretic properties. It helps relieve symptoms and increases urination, which helps flush out bacteria from the body. Drinking radish juice also helps ease the burning sensation caused by a UTI.
- It helps prevent gallstones – Eating some radish may help prevent gallstones because it contains several enzymes, such as amylase, esterase, and myrosinase, that are normally produced by the liver to help regulate bile production and circulation. Boosting these enzymes can help your natural bile break down fats better and prevent the formation of gallstones.
- It may help ward off cancer – Radishes can help protect against cancer because of the isothiocyanates it contains. Some studies, including one done by researchers at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, found that isothiocyanates can help fight against certain cancers: colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate. These compounds may even kill cancer cells.
- It supports skin health – In addition to vitamin C, radishes also contain antioxidants, vitamin B9 or folate, and traces of beta-carotene. These nutrients are good for the skin as they help repair and protect damaged skin cells.
As you can see, eating radishes gives a great boost to your health. Moreover, these vegetables can easily be added to your diet. You can eat them raw with butter and salt, or you can pickle, roast, grill, or add them to salads, sandwiches, and tacos. (Related: The radish is linked to cardiovascular, urinary health, among other benefits.)