Radish is an edible root vegetable, botanically referred to as Raphanus sativus of the family of Brassicaceae with Asian origin. This root vegetable is graded as both annual and biennial crop which is cultivated mainly for their edible swollen roots that can be tapering, bulbous or cylindrical in shape.
Radishes have several varieties with varying sizes and color that are consumed in all most every part of the world. One main characteristics of radish is that it germinates so fast and tends to grow very rapidly.
The root can be reddish, blackish, pinkish, greenish, purple or yellowish in color but the flesh tends to be white in appearance. Different species of radishes are grown for different reasons example; their seeds can be used for oil production, some can be cooked while others can be eaten fresh.
1) Nutritional value
Radishes are rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, ascorbic acid, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, calcium, dietary fiber, riboflavin.
2) Prevention of Cancer
Radish belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetable of which Hayes et. al., (2008), support that frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables like radish can lead to a reduced incidence of both colorectal, lung and possibly prostate cancer. Radish contain glucosinolates, a phytochemical responsible for cancer chemo-prevention.
3) Boosts the Immune System
Radishes are very helpful in boosting the human immune system. This is due to their high contents of Vitamin C that are capable of replacing the antioxidants, rejuvenating the immune system as well as fighting diseases.
4) Fight Against Bacteria
Singh and Singh (2013) agree that the seeds of radish consist of glycosidical oils which fight against bacteria such as Pneumococcus, E. coli and streptococcus.
5) Liver and Gallbladder
The presence of enzymes such as amylase, pyruvic carboxylase, catalase, sucrase, diastase, phosphatase and alcohol dehydrogenase in radish roots are very helpful in the proper functioning of liver and gall bladder. These enzymes regulate the production and flow of bile, acids and bilirubin and also helps in the removal of excess bilirubin from the blood. Regular intake of radishes are highly recommended for protection of the liver and gallbladder from infections.
6) Skin Treatment
Studies suggest that the presence of zinc, vitamin B and vitamin C in radishes are highly beneficial for the skin. Moreover the water content of radishes facilitate the maintenance of healthy moisture level of the skin. The application of crushed raw radish on skin disorders such as rashes and dry skin can help relieve the effect.
Radishes are rich source of dietary fiber which regulate the body metabolism and also promote easy digestion of food. This in return helps to relieve constipation as well as facilitate easy bowel movement.
Hayes J. D., Kelleher M. O., Eggleston I. M. (2008) The cancer chemo-preventive actions of phytochemicals derived from glucosinolates, European Journal of Nutrition (2008) Vol. 47, pp. 73-74.
Singh P. and Singh J. (2013) Medicinal and Therapeutic Utilities Of Raphanus Sativus, International Journal of Plant, Animal and Environmental Sciences, vol. 3, issue 2, pp. 103-105.