Radishes put a bit of zing in your daily diet. The crunchy, peppery roots fortify your body with a potent punch of nutrients. They can help protect you from serious illness and may activate your body to burn fat faster. Most of all, radishes are a superfood because they get the power of veggies to work for you, deliciously. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of radishes!
Are Radishes Good for You?
A one-cup serving of sliced radishes has about 19 calories and two grams of fiber. Even better, you get two kinds of fiber from radishes. The soluble fiber slows your digestion, balancing your blood sugar levels and keeping you feeling full long after you eat. The insoluble fiber adds bulk to your digestive system, preventing constipation and other discomforts.
A serving of radishes provides you with about 30 milligrams of calcium and 270 milligrams of potassium. Those two minerals play a key role in managing your metabolism. Radishes also are a good source of antioxidants, nutrients that protect your cells from damage and defend you from cancer and other diseases.
Health Benefits of Radishes
You might not be able to tell by looking, but radishes are members of the cabbage family, so they are closely related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. All of these veggies contain certain phytochemical compounds that have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels.
An antioxidant called sulforaphane is also abundant in radishes and other cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables. Recent research indicates that sulforaphane inhibits the growth of prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.
The health benefits of radishes also include the coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that may help block the formation of diabetes. Other compounds in radishes are believed to help flush out toxins that accumulate in your liver and kidneys.
Types of Radishes
You are probably familiar with the little red and white globes, but radishes come in colors ranging from pink, purple, yellow, white and even black. They may be elongated ovals, or they may be shaped like icicles.
Cherry Belle is the most recognizable radish variety. French Breakfast radishes are tapered, and mostly pink with white tips. In France, their mild flavor makes them a popular topping for buttered toast.
Daikon, or Japanese-style, radishes are long and white, and they’re especially spicy. You may also sometimes see watermelon radishes in farmer’s markets and supermarkets. They’re large, green on the outside, and pink on the inside. They’re a little sweeter than other types.
In southeast Asia and other places, rat-tailed radishes are grown for their edible seed pods and leaves rather than their roots. The pods are lightly spicy, and they are usually eaten raw or pickled. They can be found in specialty markets.
Radish Shopping Guide
Radishes are typically available all year round, but in most of the U.S. they are at their peak in spring and fall. When shopping for radish roots, check that they are firm and free of soft spots. The top greens should be fresh-looking, with no yellow, brown or shriveled leaves.
When you get the radishes home, cut off the greens and store the roots in your refrigerator’s produce drawer. Rinse them off when you’re ready to eat them.
How to Grow Radishes
If you want to get them at their freshest, you can grow your own radishes in a garden or large container. To grow radishes at home, all you do is plant the seeds and keep the soil moist. In about 45 to 50 days, you will be pulling out the best radishes you’ve ever eaten.
For more on growing your own veggies, check out this article: 10 Home Gardening Tips for Beginners >
Healthy Radish Recipes
Radishes add peppery flavor to salads, but there are many other ways to enjoy this superfood. They are considered an unlimited non-starchy vegetable on the Nutrisystem weight loss plan.
Try tucking thin slices of radish into your sandwich or wrap. Swipe radishes through homemade hummus for a healthy, filling snack. Give tuna or chicken salad a zesty crunch by mixing in diced radishes. Add shredded radishes to your coleslaw recipes.
Cooking radishes makes them sweeter and more tender. You can toss them with a little olive oil and herbs, then roast them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Heat them on the grill and layer them on a burger or grilled fish.
The green leafy tops are edible and have a fresh taste, similar to turnip greens or kale. You can use radish leaves raw in salads or sandwiches or cook them in stir-fries and omelets.
Here are four of our favorite recipes that feature radishes:
1. Creamy Radish Feta Dip >
If you love dips with a little zip of spice, whip up this easy appetizer featuring radishes. The rich base of this Creamy Radish Feta Dish recipe is made with Greek yogurt, light sour cream and crumbled feta cheese. Adding grated radishes dials up the flavor.
2. Easy Radish Salad >
Sliced cucumbers and cubes of watermelon along with radishes light up your taste buds with complementary sweet and spicy flavors. This Easy Radish Salad recipe makes a perfect side to any meal on the Nutrisystem menu, such as our Grilled Chicken Sandwich or Classic Hamburger.
3. Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts >
With this Roasted Radish recipe, you get two superfoods in one tasty dish. The flavors of the peppery roots and sweet roasted sprouts play off each other in this uncommonly good pairing. It’s an ideal addition to your healthy diet because it’s so simple to make but loaded with flavor and nutrition.
4. Roasted Turnip Salad >
Combine two spring veggies in this warm and hearty Roasted Turnip Salad! It features roasted turnips, crunchy radishes, leafy greens, creamy goat cheese and fiber-rich farro.