Can you eat raw radishes?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat raw radishes?”, and discuss various health benefits and nutritional value of radishes.

Yes, you can eat raw radishes. They are edible root vegetables that are surplus in essential minerals, fibers, vitamins, and rich in healthy nutrients and antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for your health.

Radishes come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. Native to Southeast Asia, they are crunchy and have a pungent taste. Radishes with red skin and white flesh are the most common in the markets. Other varieties, such as white radishes, are also available in the market.

What are the health Benefits of Radishes?

Vegetables are the main source of nutrients, and they provide various health benefits that cannot be denied. Radishes are rich in minerals and antioxidants that are essential in maintaining good health and preventing many diseases.

Improve digestion

Fibers in vegetables are an important part of our diet and help keep regular bowel movements, which results in lower instances of constipation, especially in the elderly. Radishes are rich in fibers and therefore improve our digestion.

Protect heart health

Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, radishes maintain your heart health by lowering high blood pressure and improving blood flow. They also lower cholesterol levels in the body thus acting favorably to the cardiovascular system.

Immunity from cancer

Radishes belong to cruciferous vegetables, and are a major source of sulfur-containing glucosinolates that might help fight cancer.

Also, radishes get their bitter taste and pungent smell from these same chemicals.

Although the cancer-fighting capabilities of cruciferous vegetables are still under study, probable ways in which this vegetable can help prevent cancer are:

  1. The by-products of glucosinolates directly inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
  2. They protect DNA
  3. They prevent inflammation
  4. They inactivate carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer)

Healthy diet

High in fiber content and low in calories, radishes go easy on your diet and may even help in your weight loss plans. Only a half cup of sliced radishes delivers 12 calories, 1 gram of fiber, and zero fats.

Also, fibers act as safe-keepers of your gut. They regulate digestion and give you a feeling of fullness, hence fewer cravings for a meal.

Radish juice is exceptionally helpful in protecting gastric cells and may prevent ulcers. It can also help in liver detoxification.

What is the nutritional value of radishes?

Either cooked or eaten raw, radishes deliver vital nutrients that fulfill your basic daily and weekly dietary needs. USDA recommends eating 1.5 to 2.5 cups per week for the intake of necessary nutrients. They are an excellent source of:

  • Vitamins
  • Fibers
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron  

The approximate nutritional value of eating ½ cup of raw radish is:

Half cup, mid-sized radish
Calories9-12 calories
Proteins0.35 gm
Carbohydrates2.0 gm
Fibers1 gm
Potassium134 mg

5 delicious ways to eat radishes

Radishes deliver the best taste and benefits when eaten raw, but there are various ways of serving and eating radishes; some of them are even quite creative.

Eaten in salads, soups, and even in sandwiches; they give a blend of delicious flavor to all these recipes.

They can easily be included in your diet in many ways:

In Salads

The easiest way to consume radishes is to eat them in salads. Different salads in which they can be blended are:

  • Grilled corn salad
  • Asian cucumber and radish salad
  • Finally; Italian Daikon radish salad

In sandwiches

Sliced radishes with avocados in a sandwich are the best combo you can make. Besides, radishes can be eaten with salmon, onions or even fruits embedded inside toasts.

Steamed

Preferably, the best method to eat radishes is by steaming them. While cooking them degrades their nutritional value, steaming them retain their benefits to the maximum.  

Pickled

Radishes can be fermented in vinegar and made into delicious pickles, with a mild tangy taste and pungent smell.   

Kimchi

Cubed radish kimchi also called “kkakdugi kimchi” is Korean cuisine. Spicy and full of flavors, it is best complemented with soybean or ox bone soup.

The side effect of eating raw radishes

Probably the only side effect of eating raw radishes is their potential effect on your thyroid.

Raw radishes have chemical compounds called goitrogens. These substances can influence the absorption of iodine, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid.  

You may experience symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and weight loss or gain with thyroid malfunctioning.

The only way of getting rid of goitrogen in radishes is by cooking them. This can lower the chances of goitrogen interfering with normal thyroid functioning.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question “Can you eat raw radishes?” and listed health benefits of consuming them raw.

Citations

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/fiber-turnips-1604.html
https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/the-benefits-of-radishes#The-takeaway
https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-radish#2-4
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet
https://www.eatthis.com/side-effect-of-eating-radishes/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.