Radish

Description
Radish, or (Raphanus sativus), is a part of the Brassicaceae family. It is basically a root vegetable, and is edible, having high nutritional content and medicinal values. They are widely popular all across the globe, and is cultivated and consumed throughout. It was first cultivated in the pre-Roman era in Europe. It hardly took any time before it spread all over the world, and is today consumed with relish. As the meaning of the Greek name Raphanus suggests, radish is a very quick germinating plant (Raphanus = quickly appearing).

Radish comes in many types and colors, the most common and popular one being the round red colored radish. There are other varieties too, like the pink skinned, or the gray-black or white or yellow skinned varieties. Each has their own unique properties and their own tastes and culinary uses. The seeds of radishes themselves are sometimes used in salads, though generally the seeds, which grow in pods, are left on their own well past their normal harvesting season, which results in flowering.

Generally, the top part of the radish is used as a vegetable, and only the tap root is generally consumed. The bulb is also eaten raw, though if it is too hard, it may be steamed, according to individual tastes.

Buying Tips
Radishes are very widely prevalent all over the world and thus grown everywhere. However, the best time to buy a vegetable is at the peak of its season, because it stays fresh. The peak seasons of radishes are around June to September.

Even though there may be a large variety of radishes, whichever radish you may buy, make sure that they are firm, strong and really crisp. Sometimes in markets you may find that these radishes have their green portions attached to them. That is only to indicate their freshness, and as soon as you buy them, make sure to cut off the tops, as what they do is absorb the vital nutrients from the roots.

Culinary Usage
Radishes can be had in a number of ways, depending on individual tastes, likes and dislikes. Some have them by scrubbing them properly and cutting of the tops and the tip. You may also choose between having it as it is, or peeling off the skin. For those who are new to it, they generally peel off the skin, more so while having the black radish variety, because it results in most of its pungent odor. But generally, other varieties like say the red radishes or the white icicle ones, they are usually had without peeling.

Radishes can be cut into small pieces and served or cooked, or they may be had whole. The daikons, which are native to Asia only, are generally consumed by chopping them to small bits. However, it must be said that radish is most prevalently used as salads. Red radishes may be used to add a different color, while the white ones usually are added to the green salads.

Storage
The best way to store radishes for a short time is to cut off their tops and their leaves, and store them in the refrigerator in plastic bags to keep them dry and fresh. This keeps them fresh for a longer period of time, up to almost a week. However, what we find in many households is that sometimes a small quantity of radishes are cleaned and kept in ice water in the refrigerator. These may serve as a quick, crunchy and crispy chilled snack!

Medicinal Value
Radishes have a large number of medicinal uses, due to their immense nutrition content. They are a good source of vitamins, like vitamin C and Vitamin B. The leaves of this vegetable have a high vitamin C and calcium content. Some specific medicinal uses of radish are:

  1. Radish is a strong detoxifier that is it helps largely in removing toxins from the body. Hence it helps in curing jaundice, by removing billirubin.
  2. Radish helps in cleaning the kidneys, and being diurectic in nature, it also helps in the production of urine in urinary disorders.
  3. Radish has a large amount of roughage, and thus helps in the smooth working of the digestive system and the excretory system. It prevents constipation.
  4. Radish is highly prescribed by doctors for asthma patients, because of their anti-cognitive property. You can learn more on
  5. Because of its anti-carcinogenic and detoxifier property, radish helps a lot in curing some types of cancer, specially oral, kidney, intestines and lung cancers.
  6. Some minerals present in radish like potassium, and vitamin C, helps in improving your skin.
  7. It is a good disinfectant, and thus helps in fighting fever.
  8. It is highly effective in killing germs in the mouth and refreshing your breath

Where to Buy Radish in USA?
Radishes are cultivated and sold all across the world. They are heavily imported and exported. In USA, these radishes are generally eaten raw, though tastes differ from person to person. Some have them cooked, some put them in salads, some have them whole! In United States, the radishes are grown in almost all the states, but on a large scale it is mainly grown in California and Florida.

Nutritional and Dietary Information
Radish has a very high nutrition and minerals content, even though they may be containing 95% of water alone. Radishes are rich in vitamin B6 and essential minerals like potassium, riboflavin, copper and calcium. The major nutrient contents are:

Vitamins:

  • -Folate
  • -Vitamin C
  • -Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • -Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • -Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
  • Vitamin B6

Minerals:

  • -calcium
  • -magnesium
  • -iron
  • -zinc
  • -potassium
  • -phosporus

Calorific content – Around 20 calories are present in say 1 cup of red radish bulbs.

All of the above is very essential for the human body in small quantities and radish supply them in optimum quantity. Thus, whenever you are having radishes the next time, don’t just mindlessly chew it. Think about the vital nutrition intake you are having!

Thus, from all the above information and seeing its immense nutrient and medicinal values, you must be really interested to have this vegetable now! What are you waiting for? It is available in your nearest grocery stores.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 100gm
Calories 16
Total Fat 0.1gm
Sodium 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1%
Dietary Fiber 6%
Sugars 2gm
Protein 1gm
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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