Radish is a biennial vegetable of the Brassicaceae family, grown for its fleshy edible part. It can be eaten raw, in juice or salad, or cooked along with other foods. The edible part, the white flesh taproot, is the swollen portion located underground, above the root. It is bitter, which is due to the presence of isothiocyanates, a sulfur compound. The skin of radish can be different colors, but the most common is red. Certain varieties may have pink, white or black skin.
Health Benefits of Radish
Radish is a mineral-rich root vegetable: potassium, calcium, and others. It also contains many healthy trace elements. It is rich in fiber, which makes it particularly effective on regulating the functioning of the intestinal transit. In addition, it helps very effectively in the remineralization of the body. Radish is rich in sulfur, which gives it its pungent flavor and, above all, stimulates appetite and digestion. All with a low caloric intake, only 15 kcal / 100 g. Its tops, which can be used in soup, are an excellent source of provitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidant, and iron.
Radish and Cancer
Several epidemiological studies have shown that high consumption of vegetables and fruit reduces the risk of suffering not only cardiovascular disease but as well as certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
Several studies have shown that regular consumption of vegetables from the cruciferous family (eg radish, watercress, kohlrabi, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli…) could prevent some cancers, such as lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and kidney cancer in women. For instance, in vitro studies have shown certain active compounds in white radish, isothiocyanates, have the capability to prevent Mutagen-DNA reaction which is the basic of cancerous development in the body. In short, regular consumption of the plant helps prevent cancer.
Radish and Colon Cancer
Several antioxidants in radish, including anthocyanins and kaempferol, would play the role of cancer prevention by reducing the formation of tumors in animals and the growth of cancer cells in vitro. Researchers have also demonstrated that antioxidants in black radish had an effect on lipid levels in intestinal cells and contribute to the prevention of colon cancer. More studies are needed on radish and breast cancer before scientists can reach a conclusion.
In addition to cancers, radish is also good for cardiovascular health, digestive system, and memory.
Cardiovascular Health. A daily intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower blood levels of homocysteine, which would decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study in animals has shown that compounds from the white radish, isothiocyanates, decreased the growth of vascular cells whose overgrowth is associated with cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Some radish antioxidants could decrease bad cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose, as well preventing oxidation of blood lipids in animals.
Digestive System. Several animal studies have shown that the root and radish leaves contain substances that can increase intestinal motility. The raw juice is excellent in prevention and combating intestinal motility disorders or abnormal intestinal contractions, such as spasms and intestinal paralysis.
Memory. A study in elderly women concluded that consumption of cruciferous slow cognitive decline. Age-related memory loss is a serious problem around the world. Although more research is needed to fully understand how the vegetable works to protect the brain cells, it is safe to consume radish regularly in your effort to have your memory function properly.