Radishes are a root vegetable, originally cultivated as a crop in China and Europe, from the Brassica family and a cousin to cabbage.
They are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to prevent and treat numerous conditions, like – sore throat, fever, inflammation, and bile disorders.
However, most people don’t know that radish leaves (also referred to as radish greens) are not only edible but that they are nutritious.
They are a good source of minerals (like – calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper, sodium, manganese, magnesium), vitamins (such as – thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, C, K, E), protein, and dietary fiber.
Benefits Of Radish Leaves
Preventing And Treating Constipation
Dietary fiber is a part of the structure of plants and helps build plant molecules, including lignins, cellulose, and pectin. Fiber is split into 2 main categories based on its solubility in water:
- insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water;
- soluble fiber can be metabolized by the “good” bacteria in the gut and dissolves in water.
Eating foods high in fiber daily promotes a softer, bulkier, and regular stool pattern. Therefore, a diet that consists of foods high in fiber decreases the chance of diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, and maybe even colon cancer. Furthermore, dietary fibers reduce the glycemic impact of foods when substituted for high-glycemic flours and sugars in food formulations.
100g of radish greens has 4g of fiber.
It contains high levels of sulforaphane which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties as well as it kills cancer stem cells, slowing tumor growth. More importantly, sulforaphane normalizes DNA methylation, that has an important a role in many serious conditions, like – kidney function, hypertension, cancer, and gut health.
For example, according to a 2008 study at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, smokers and former smokers who regularly consume foods which have sulforaphane were less likely to develop lung cancer.
In addition, this compound is not only beneficial in cancer prevention, but it has been found to protect against oxidation and metabolic dysfunction caused by high glycemic levels.
Protein is composed of chemical compounds known as amino acids; there are 22 amino acids which make up millions of proteins in your body. Nevertheless, 9 of these 22 amino acids can’t be produced by our bodies, thus, they must come from our daily diet.
One of the main benefits of protein is its important role in metabolism and hunger. Adults should get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
100g of radish greens has 2,2g of protein.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate, is a water-soluble vitamin which humans are unable to synthesize it endogenously, therefore, it is an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, a protein that’s necessary for healthy cartilage, skin, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels.
100g of radish green has 53mg of vitamin C.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral which makes up 1 percent of a person’s total body weight. About 85% of the phosphorus in your body is found in your teeth and bones. Of all the health benefits of phosphorus, the most vital is the integral role it plays in maintaining healthy bones and helping in their growth.
Additionally, gum problems and tooth decay are also frequent causes of phosphorus deficiency. Hence, to maintain good oral health, make sure that you’re eating foods containing this mineral.
100g of radish greens contains 52 mg of phosphorus.
Blood Pressure Control
According to studies, potassium is a crucial electrolyte which should be incorporated into one’s diet. Moreover, it works with sodium to maintain your body’s fluid balance. However, too much sodium in the regular diet can increase blood pressure, but consuming foods high in potassium can increase the excretion of sodium from the body, thus, lowering blood pressure.
In addition, the human body needs a high potassium diet during adolescence and pregnancy, when muscles and bones are developing. As a conclusion, this mineral is essential in building strong muscles and bones as well as it may help prevent osteoporosis.
100g of radish green has 400mg of potassium.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals in the human body, right up there with magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium, since it lends a hand in hundreds of body processes and it’s involved in the production of at least 300 enzymes.
A deficiency of this mineral in women can lead to low birth weight, premature births, growth retardation, delivery problems, toxemia, and spontaneous abortion.
100g of radish greens contains 0,3mg of zinc.
Healthy Weight Loss
Calcium is required for bodily functions like muscle contractions and blood clotting and for the formation of bones. It is also the most common mineral found in the human body. In addition, it prevents weight gain since it burns fats and stores lesser quantities of fat.
About 99% of the calcium in the human body is held in the teeth and bones with the remaining 1% circulating in the bloodstream.
100g of these leaves has 260 mg of calcium.
Selection and storing
Try to buy locally grown radishes, not just because it supports your local community, but because it’s the freshest option – less storage time and travel.
Before purchasing, look for bright green, fresh tender leaves. Avoid radishes that have yellowish or wilted leaves.
You can store these leaves in a clean container wrapped with paper towels in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Side effects of radish greens
There are no known side effects.
References http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4183 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18724413 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724376/