Healthy Foods from A-Z – R – Radishes


Radishes are a root vegetable and belong to the mustard/Brassicaceae family and very good for you. The most common in a grocery store is red with a white center, but then can have a variety of colors on the outside — purple, black, yellow or pink. Even the inside can look different.

Like many foods, radishes have a long history of medicinal uses. For instance, they used to be used for:

  • Digestive issues
  • Gut pain
  • Respiratory issues

And of course, there are several different types of radishes:

  • Black radishes — big and ball shaped, with a rough, black skin and white flesh
  • Daikon — a Japanese or Asian radish
  • Red — the common red skinned, white flesh, types: Cherry Belle and Early Scarlet Globe are the two most common
  • Watermelon — heirloom daikon radishes — white and green with a magenta flesh

Other types include:

  • French breakfast — long and pink
  • Sakurajima daikon — largest in the world
  • Easter egg — various colors but taste like a red
  • Pink lady slippers — oblong with a pink skin and white flesh

Their nutrient profile includes:

  • Fiber
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, manganese, potassium
  • Vitamins: B2 & 3, 6, 9 & C
  • Anthocyanins — like good chocolate
  • Anti oxidant
  • CoQ10 — that’s important as an antioxidant and in the mitochondrial production of fuel/ATP
  • Dyrosinase
  • Glucosinolate
  • isothiocyanate
  • The daikon radish also has nitric oxide (vasodilator) and trigonelline (vascular health and prevents type 2 diabetes)

Consequently, radishes work to:

  • Anti cancer — folic acid and anthocyanins, Dyrosinase, glucosinolate, and isothiocyanate
  • Anti diabetic — provoke sugar balance through hormone-induced glucose hemostasis
  • Support eye health — Vit C
  • Immune functioning — Vit C
  • Improve liver functioning
  • The natural nitrates improve blood flow
  • Good for skin issues
  • Great for the kidneys and the whole urinary tract, preventing both infections and stones

Whether you just eat them as a snack or put them in salads they are great to include in your healthy diet.