3 Must-Know Medicinal Radishes
3 Must-Know Medicinal Radishes
Low-calorie and nutrient-dense, radishes provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants for overall health.
It is something of a crime that in all its glorious incarnations, the mighty radish goes generally ignored in North America. The balance of our recipes and the health of our bodies are the losers in this glaring omission.
In truth, the radish is not a vegetable but a world of vegetables. They all have their own thing going on. We’ve already sung the praises of the raphanus sativus as a group, now let’s take a closer look at three of the radish family’s most outstanding members.
When cruciferous veggies like radishes are chopped or bruised, the glucosinolates they contain are enzymatically converted to supremely powerful mega-antioxidants called isothiocyanates.
Research indicates that thanks to these isothiocyanates, eating cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, cabbage, bok choi, and radishes can significantly contribute to a cancer-free life.
Two isothiocyanates (GRH-ITC and GRE-ITC) from daikons have received increasing attention for dramatically reducing tumour growth without affecting normal human cells. However, this effect was found to be even stronger from a full-spectrum daikon extract than from the isolated isothiocyanates. In other words, respect the chemistry, but eat the whole food!
Horseradish has 10 times more glucosinolates than broccoli, so even a little garnish goes a long way. Aside from the glucosinolates, horseradish is loaded with vitamins and minerals, it actually has three times more vitamin C than citrus fruits.
The inimitable cold burn of horseradish’s sinigrin almost resembles camphor, like nature’s internal Tiger Balm. Unsurprisingly, it boosts circulation and has been used topically as a poultice to kill pain for hundreds of years.
As a potent antimicrobial, its famous alliance with prime rib has roots in preventing meat spoilage by inhibiting the growth of nasty bugs.
And it can clear out your sinuses!
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Ahn, M., Kim, J., Choi, Y., Ekanayake, P., Chun, J., Yang, D., Kim, G.-O., & Shin, T. (2019). Fermented black radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger) attenuates methionine and choline deficient diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice. Food Science & Nutrition, 7(10), 3327–3337. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.1200
Barillari, J., Iori, R., Papi, A., Orlandi, M., Bartolini, G., Gabbanini, S., Pedulli, G. F., & Valgimigli, L. (2008). Kaiware daikon (Raphanus sativus L.) extract: A naturally multipotent chemopreventive agent. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(17), 7823–7830. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf8011213
Bell, L., Kitsopanou, E., Oloyede, O. O., & Lignou, S. (2021). Important odorants of four Brassicaceae species, and discrepancies between glucosinolate profiles and observed hydrolysis products. Foods, 10(5), 1055. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051055
Castro-Torres, I. G., De la O-Arciniega, M., Gallegos-Estudillo, J., Naranjo-Rodríguez, E. B., & Domínguez-Ortíz, M. Á. (2013). Raphanus sativus L. var niger as a source of Phytochemicals for the Prevention of Cholesterol Gallstones. Phytotherapy Research, 28(2), 167–171. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.4964
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Evans, M., Paterson, E., & Barnes, D. M. (2014). An open label pilot study to evaluate the efficacy of Spanish black radish on the induction of phase I and phase II enzymes in healthy male subjects. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-475
Hanlon, P. R., Webber, D. M., & Barnes, D. M. (2007). Aqueous Extract from Spanish Black Radish (Raphanus sativus L. Var. niger) Induces Detoxification Enzymes in the HepG2 Human Hepatoma Cell Line. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55(16), 6439–6446. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf070530f
Jeon, H., Yang, D., Lee, N. H., Ahn, M., & Kim, G. (2020). Inhibitory effect of black radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger) extracts on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response in the mouse monocyte/macrophage-like cell line raw 264.7. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, 25(4), 408–421. https://doi.org/10.3746/pnf.2020.25.4.408
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Kuroda, R., Kazumura, K., Ushikata, M., Minami, Y., & Kajiya, K. (2018). Elucidating the improvement in vascular endothelial function from Sakurajima Daikon and its mechanism of action: A comparative study with raphanus sativus. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66(33), 8714–8721. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01750
Nakamura, Y., Iwahashi, T., Tanaka, A., Koutani, J., Matsuo, T., Okamoto, S., Sato, K., & Ohtsuki, K. (2001). 4-(Methylthio)-3-butenyl isothiocyanate, a principal antimutagen in daikon (raphanus sativus; Japanese white radish). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(12), 5755–5760. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf0108415
Papi, A., Orlandi, M., Bartolini, G., Barillari, J., Iori, R., Paolini, M., Ferroni, F., Grazia Fumo, M., Pedulli, G. F., & Valgimigli, L. (2008). Cytotoxic and antioxidant activity of 4-methylthio-3-butenyl isothiocyanate from Raphanus sativus L. (Kaiware daikon) sprouts. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(3), 875–883. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf073123c
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