8 Research-Backed Benefits Of Radish, Nutritional Profile, And Side Effects

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and certified Personal Trainer Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN
by Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Radishes (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus) are excellent sources of vitamin C, a nutrient that fights free radical damage (1). They also contains riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium.

The most studied compound in radishes is sulforaphane (a type of isothiocyanates), an antioxidant that was found to potentially inhibit various forms of cancer (2). Radish intake has also been linked to decreasing bilirubin levels.

The accumulation of bilirubin can lead to jaundice (3). The indoles in radishes have potential anticancer properties (4).

In this post, we have covered research-backed benefits of radishes. Keep reading.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Radishes?

Isothiocyanates are the most powerful compounds in radishes. These antioxidants promote heart health and help combat cancer. While these antioxidants may also aid diabetes treatment, the fiber in radishes may promote digestive health and weight loss.

1. May Improve Cardiovascular Health

Extracts of radishes were found to influence nitric oxide production in rat studies. This causes the blood vessels to relax and can lower blood pressure eventually (5). Monster radish, also called Sakurajima daikon that is cultivated in Japan, was also found to have similar properties (6).

Nitric oxide also plays a role in relaxing the smooth muscle tissue and increasing the regional blood flow. It also inhibits platelet adhesion to the blood vessel walls. All these benefits can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (7).

2. May Lower Cancer Risk

Radishes belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain compounds that are broken down into isothiocyanates when combined with water (8). These isothiocyanates may help combat different forms of cancer.

The isothiocyanates in radish seeds were also found to induce cell death in lung cancer cells (9).

Radish was also found to exhibit chemopreventive effects in the case of breast cancer. It could directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce cancer cell death. Hence, it can be a useful antitumor agent and play a role in cancer treatment and prevention (10).

These preventive effects of radish towards breast cancer can be attributed to its sulforaphane content (11).

3. May Aid Diabetes Treatment

Radishes have antidiabetic effects. They strengthen the antioxidant defense system of the body and reduce the accumulation of free radicals. This promotes energy metabolism and reduces glucose absorption in the intestine, thereby helping individuals with diabetes (12).

4. May Promote Digestive Health

Radishes are good sources of fiber and may enhance digestive health. The same holds for the leaves of the vegetable. Rats fed with radish leaves showed enhanced gastrointestinal function (13).

Radish has been used ethnically as a digestive aid, stimulant, laxative, and treatment for stomach disorders (3).

5. May Aid Weight Loss

Although we don’t have any direct research linking radishes to weight loss, the fiber in these veggies may help with weight loss. Studies show that a high-fiber diet could be very beneficial for weight management (14).

Radishes are also low in calories One large radish contains about 6 calories (15). Hence, they can be a good addition to a weight loss diet.

6. May Treat Kidney Stones

A diet containing radish was found to increase the excretion of calcium oxalate through urine (16). This could decrease the likelihood of the minerals getting accumulated inside the urinary tract and forming stones.

However, more research is warranted in this regard. Consult with your doctor before using radishes specifically to treat kidney stones.

7. May Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

The sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, including radish, can be beneficial for osteoarthritis (17). The compound works by preventing cartilage destruction in cells. More research is needed to understand the mechanism of radish in the treatment and potential prevention of osteoarthritis.

8. May Promote Liver Health

Cruciferous vegetables, including radish, can aid the detoxification of toxins in the liver. Studies show the liver-promoting effects of Spanish radish, a prominent radish type. The radish contains high concentrations of glucosinolates, which help promote liver health (18).

Radish is used as a household treatment for jaundice and other related liver diseases in Indian and Greeko-Arab folk medicine (12).

In another study, a bioactive chemical in radish (called MTBITC) was found to be effective in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (19).

Radish is a power vegetable. Its unique nutrients promote a variety of health benefits. We have seen what some of those nutrients are. In the following section, you will find the detailed nutritional profile of radishes.

What Is The Nutritional Profile* Of Radishes?

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 Medium (4g)
Amount Per Serving
Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories0.7(2.9 kJ)0%
From Carbohydrate0.6(2.5 kJ)
From Fat0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Protein0.1(0.4 kJ)
From Alcohol0.0(0.0 kJ)
Carbohydrates
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Carbohydrate0.2 g0%
Dietary Fiber0.1 g0%
Starch0.0 g
Sugars0.1 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Fat0.0 g0%
Saturated Fat0.0 g0%
Monounsaturated Fat0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.0 g
Total trans fatty acids~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids1.4 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids0.8 mg
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A0.3 IU0%
Vitamin C0.7 mg1%
Vitamin D~~
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)0.0 mg0%
Vitamin K0.1 mcg0%
Thiamin0.0 mg0%
Riboflavin0.0 mg0%
Niacin0.0 mg0%
Vitamin B60.0 mg0%
Folate1.1 mcg0%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg0%
Pantothenic Acid0.0 mcg0%
Choline0.3 mg
Betaine0.0mg
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium1.1 mg0%
Iron0.0 mg0%
Magnesium0.4 mg0%
Phosphorus0.9 mg0%
Potassium10.5 mg0%
Sodium1.8 mg0%
Zinc0.0 mg0%
Copper0.0 mg0%
Manganese0.0 mg0%
Selenium0.0 mg0%
Fluoride0.3 mcg

*Values sourced from USDA, radishes, raw

Though radish is among the healthiest vegetables, not everyone can consume it. There are a few concerns associated with the vegetable.

What Are The Side Effects Of Radishes?

Although radishes have benefits, there are some cases where side effects of eating radishes have been reported. People with low levels of blood sugar and thyroid hormone can face some adverse effects.

  • May Aggravate Hypothyroidism

Cruciferous vegetables, like radish, contain goitrogenic substances that may interfere with the production of the thyroid hormone. As per studies, chronic radish feeding can lead to reduced thyroid hormone profiles (20). Individuals with thyroid issues (especially hypothyroidism) must limit consumption of radishes and other cruciferous vegetables

  • May Increase Risk Of Gallstones

Radishes are known to increase bile secretion (21). Some believe this property may increase the risk of gallstones in susceptible individuals. Though more research is needed, it is important to take precautions. If you have a history of gallstones, please consult your doctor before consuming radishes.

  • May Aggravate Hypoglycemia

Radish can lower the levels of sugar in the blood. It has hypoglycemic effects  (12). Those already on medications for diabetes may need to check with their doctor before taking radish, as it may lower blood sugar levels way too much.

  • Issues During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is not much evidence to establish that radish is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is safer to avoid or consume radish in moderation. Please consult your doctor.

Conclusion

Radishes are rich in nutrients and low in calories. They are known for their spicy pungent taste and have been traditionally used to treat several gastrointestinal disorders.

The vegetable may help in the treatment of diabetes, liver disease, and cardiac ailments.

The benefits can be attributed to its glucosinolates, polyphenols, and isothiocyanates. However, excess intake can cause side effects.

Consult your doctor on the right dosage of radish. Include it in your diet in the right doses, and you can enjoy its benefits.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to eat radish?

The simplest way to eat radish is raw (serve it with butter). You can also roast sliced radishes and have them as your evening snack.

Can you eat radish tops?

Yes, radish leaves are edible and delicious. You can add them to your cooking preparations.

Are radishes a superfood?

Consuming radish can lower your blood pressure levels and promote diabetes treatment. They may be called a superfood for their benefits, though they have certain side effects we need to be wary of.

How do you eat white radishes?

White radishes can be eaten raw in salads. They can also be added to soups and stews. The Indian cuisine includes radishes in flat breads (parantha), Koreans add radish to kimchi, and the Chinese use white radish to make Daikon cake.

Can you eat radishes on keto?

Yes, radishes are low in calories and carbs and can be included in a keto diet.

Can radishes cause gas?

Radishes are known to cause flatulence, as per anecdotal evidence. This could be attributed to their raffinose content. Raffinose, is an oligosaccharide, which is known to cause flatulence (22).

Are radishes good for hair growth?

The high concentration of nutrients in radish may be beneficial for hair growth. However, there is no research to support this.

Are radishes spicy?

Radishes are not spicy, but they could taste pungent.

22 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Recommended Articles:

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Latest posts by Ravi Teja Tadimalla (see all)

Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the digital media field for over six years. He has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University. He considers himself a sculptor born to chip away at content and reveal its dormant splendor. He started his career as a research writer, primarily focusing on health and wellness, and has over 250 articles to his credit. Ravi believes in the great possibilities of abundant health with natural foods and organic supplements. Reading and theater are his other interests.
scorecardresearch