Radish, also known as mullangi or mooli, is an edible root vegetable bestowed with an impressive nutrient profile. It may be not the most popular vegetable in the garden, but one of the healthiest owing to its indispensable medicinal and culinary purposes. It goes by the scientific name Raphanus raphanistrum or Raphanus sativus, belonging to the Brassicaceae family. Radish, a member of cruciferous vegetable is widely cultivated all over the world. Right from the leaves, flowers, pods and seeds all the parts of the plant are consumed.
Radish adds a pungent, sharp peppery flavour to the dish owing to its abundance of characteristic oil compounds and can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled. One of the most common ways to relish radish is to have them as crunchy and crispy salad bite. Even the oil obtained from the seeds of radish comprises a host of plant compound that confers many health incentives.
Radishes are beneficial in treating fever, cold, cough, asthma, allergies and several other ailments. Right from the flowers, fruit, leaves and seeds are used widely for its powerful medicinal purposes. These white tubers are popularly known as Muli in Hindi, Mullangi in Tamil and Telugu, Moolangi in Kannada, Moola in Bengali and Muli in Marathi.
Radishes come in different sizes and shapes ranging from classically red round radishes with leafy green tops, twisted brown root horseradish, watermelon radish with green outside and bright pink inside, Spanish black radishes and commonly found large, mellow-flavoured white daikon radishes. These varieties of radishes vary in size, colour and flavour depending upon the duration they take to mature. Also Read: Radish: Relish This Nutritional Wonder For Incredible Benefits- Infographic
Types Of Radishes:
Black/Spanish Radishes has a black exterior with a creamy white flesh inside and grows around 9 inches in length. It offers a sharp pungent taste when eaten raw and adds a nice crunchy bite to salads and raw vegetable plates.
Chinese White/Daikon radishes are the most commonly grown in India and widely available large radish variety during spring-summer. It has a nice, delicate and crispiest flavour with mild sweetness. It takes about two months to mature and need at least 4 inches of spacing to grow.
French radish is red, elongated type of round radishes with a white rounded tip. It has a mildly acrid flavour and has a pleasant crispy taste. It is one of the early harvesting varieties of radish in about 25-30 days after planting the seeds.
Horse Radish is one that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Both the roots and green leafy are edible and grows best in the fall or winter season.Watermelon radish has a mildly sweet and less peppery flavour than the regular ones. It has a colour ranging from beige, white and a little green, but has the name suggest it has a white border around a bright pink inside. It’s a type of daikon variety and takes about two months to mature.
Ayurvedic Uses Of Radish:
Radish called bana in Ayurveda is pungent in taste and hot in potency, imparts a distinct taste and kindles the digestive fire. It balances all three doshas and treats its related disorders. Ayurveda medicine greatly values this wonder vegetable as it is potent in treating dyspnoea, haemorrhoids, weakness, gastrointestinal, kidney and eye-related disorders. It also offers respite for respiratory problems and cures disorder with excretion. While the leaves of radish are valuable in promoting digestion and enhancing taste perception. Also Read: Tinda/Indian Round Gourd: Health Benefits, Nutrition, Uses For Skin, Hair, Weight Loss And Recipes
Nutritional Facts Of Radish:
Radish is bestowed with an extraordinary nutrient profile and offers a ton of healing health benefits. A serving (cup) of raw radish offers just 19 calories, 0.8-gram protein,4 gram of carbs, 1.9 gram of fibre and virtually no fat, which makes it a perfect vegetable that can be incorporated as part of a healthy diet.
Overpowered with vitamin C, radish meets 14% of the daily allowance of vitamin C. Being a potent antioxidant vitamin C scavenges free radicals in the body and avert cell damage caused due to ageing, poor lifestyle and environmental toxins. Besides these, vitamin C rich foods boost collagen production, supporting healthy skin and blood vessels.
Radish also contains noteworthy amounts of B vitamins such as folate which helps in the synthesis of red blood cells and vital for the process of DNA and RNA, while being rich in vitamin B6 it plays a crucial role in several enzyme reactions and metabolism. In addition, it also contains profuse amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and potassium. Also Read:5 Winter Foods To Warm Your Tummy And Boost Metabolism
Nutritional Content Per Serving (100g)
Energy -16 calories
Protein- 0.6 g
Fat -0.1 g
*Source As Per The USDA
Incredible Health Benefits Of Radish:
Potent Anti-Cancer Properties
Regular addition of cruciferous vegetable like radish averts the risk of cancers. It contains an ample amount of glucosinolates, the sulphur compounds which are potential to safeguard the cells from genetic mutations that cause cancer and also prevent the growth of tumour cells. Sulphur compounds are broken down into isothiocyanates which eliminates cancer-causing substances and prevent tumour development.
Enhances Digestion Process
Radishes being rich in dietary fibre provides the system with ample amounts of roughage that stimulate the digestion process. A high fibre diet averts constipation by adding bulk to the stool to assist waste move via the intestines. A study disclosed that radish juice is valuable in preventing gastric ulcers by shielding the intestinal tissues and strengthening the mucosal barrier. The mucosal barrier works to protect the gastrointestinal tract against pathogens and toxins that may lead to ulcers and inflammation. Besides these, it also regulates bile secretion, safeguards liver and gall bladder health.
Augments Heart Health
Radishes are blessed with a notable amount of anthocyanin’s which possess anti-inflammatory properties and lowers the risk of heart diseases. Anthocyanin’s in radish facilitates to circulate metabolites and prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation. Apart from this, radishes are also imbued with heart-friendly nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, zinc, flavonoids which optimises cardiac functioning and uplifts heart health.
Combats Fungal Infection
The natural antifungal properties of radish have the ability to ward off fungal infections. It is endowed with antifungal protein RsAFP2 that leads to cell death in Candida albicans, a common fungal infection and fights infections such as vaginal yeast infection, oral yeast infection and candidiasis.
Regular intake of radish is proven to benefits pre-diabetics and avert the onset of type 2 diabetes. The potent anti-diabetic properties of radish trigger the immune response, enhance glucose uptake and regulate blood sugar levels. Evidence has also revealed that radishes have the ability to significantly improve insulin response and glucose metabolism.
Adiponectin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. Radishes contain bioactive compounds that regulate adiponectin and play a vital role in controlling glucose homeostasis.
Controls Blood Pressure
Profuse amounts of potassium in radish assists in reducing blood pressure remarkably. Potassium plays a key role in relaxing blood vessels and improves blood flow and circulation to all the vital organs. Aside from this, radish helps to reduce the blood pressure by widening the blood vessels, instead of forcing blood flow into a narrow channel.
Bolsters Immune System
The goodness of vitamin C in radish, a potent antioxidant shield you from common cold and cough and builds a robust immune system. Adding this wonder root vegetable in the diet combats free radical damage, lessen inflammation, slow down ageing and other allergies. The strong anti-congestive properties of radishes are beneficial in reducing the congestion in the respiratory tract, eases irritation of the nose, throat and windpipe. Besides these, it was used as a traditional medicine for treating pulmonary tuberculosis, get rid of excess mucus and soothe sore throats and mitigates congestion by clearing the sinuses.
Treats Urinary Problems
Radishes are diuretic in nature, which have the potential to increase urine output. Radish juice works best to lessen inflammation and alleviate burning sensation associated with urinary tract disorders. While it is also effective in flushing out excess toxins build up in the system thereby preventing infections in the kidney and urinary tract. Moreover, radish is low on potassium and phosphorus making it an ideal choice of vegetable for patients on haemodialysis.
Vast reserves of roughage and indigestible carbohydrates, particularly lignin a type of insoluble fibre in radish acts as a digestive stimulant. This type of fibre promotes digestion, water retention and eases constipation, which is one of the symptoms associated with haemorrhoids. In addition, radish juice act a detoxifier which helps to alleviate symptoms of haemorrhoids and soothes the digestive and excretory system.
The strong detoxifying properties of radish seeds are valuable in treating leucoderma. You can simply add radishes in the diet or make a powder of radish seeds blend well with ginger juice and apply on the white patches to get rid of leucoderma.
Supports Liver Health
The treasure trove of essential nutrients and plant compounds in radishes are largely beneficial in improving liver function and health. Studies have shown that white radish extracts guard the liver against hepatoxicity. Apart from this, black radish juice is used as a natural remedy to get rid of gallstones, while it also lowers triglycerides levels and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Radish For Jaundice
Radish is used as a time-tested natural remedy for jaundice and its leaves are most beneficial in curing the liver disorder. The powerful detoxifying effect of radish juice helps to flush out the toxins and unwanted substances from the blood and purify the blood. Mullangi is valuable in treating jaundices as it helps to remove excess bilirubin levels and also regulates its secretion. Besides these, it also prevents the breakdown of red blood cells in people suffering from jaundice and stimulates the steady supply of oxygen. Also Read: 7 Amazing Benefits of Sugarcane Juice-A Sweet Deal to Good Health
Maintain Hydration Levels
Staying well-hydrated is vital to maintain normal fluid balance and optimal functioning of the system. Poor hydration results in headaches, illness, unwanted craving and impedes the skin health. Radishes are loaded with water content, almost 93.5 gram per 100 gram of radish, adding radish in the meal plan along with proper fluid intake aids to maintain the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. Furthermore, proper hydration boosts energy, uplift mood and keep kidney-related infections at bay.
Radish For Weight Loss
Radish is a perfect low-calorie vegetable in the meal plan of weight watchers, as it is high on dietary fibre, water content and low in digestible carbs and fat. A serving of radish offers just 19 calories which helps you to remarkably reduce total calories while being high in fibre keep you satiated and prevent you from overeating. Besides this, radish is low on the glycaemic index which helps in regulating the blood sugar levels, bowel movement, boost metabolism and thereby aids in losing weight.
Radish For Skin Health
Radishes are imbued with a myriad of skin-friendly nutrients such as vitamins C, B, zinc and phosphorus. Drinking radish juice on a regular basis improves the skin elasticity by promoting collagen synthesis and bolsters skin health. Vitamin C, the strong antioxidants in radish fight against free radicals and shields the skin from UV damage and sunburn. Rich in B vitamins it lowers oxidative stress and slow down premature ageing of the skin and fades away wrinkles and fine lines. The high water content in radish maintains skin moisture levels, while disinfectant properties help to cure skin woes such as dry skin, acne, pimples and rashes. Furthermore, being rich in niacin, radish also helps in preventing skin disorder pellagra.
Benefits Of Radish Leaves /Mullangi Keerai:
The dense nutrient profile of radish leaves makes it a distinct herb that has the power to heal and ease several diseases. Radish leaves contain noteworthy amounts of essential nutrients such as iron, folic acid, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin C, that are beneficial in treating diabetes, rheumatism, scurvy and promotes digestion. An abundance of iron, vitamin C and phosphorus content in radish leaves triggers the immune response and reduces fatigue. These leaves can be used in making a variety of flavourful dishes such as dal, sautéed greens, soups, salads and flavouring noodles and sandwiches. Also Read: Curry Leaves: Medicinal Uses, Therapeutic Benefits For Hair, Diabetes And Supplements
Uses of Radish/Mullangi Juice:
Radish juices, when massaged well into the scalp, is beneficial in treating dandruff and hair fall. A blend of radish juice with coconut oil aids in curing dry and cracked skin problems. Regular addition of radish in the diet strengthens hair follicles, scalp and makes the hair lustrous and healthy. It is also used as a cleanser and good facial pack.
2 medium-sized radishes, peeled and chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp gingelly oil
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp black gram dal
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp jeera seed
1 sprig curry leaves
In a pan add gingelly oil, once heated season with mustard, jeera seeds, chana dal, black gram dal and curry leaves.
Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, and stir well for a few minutes.
Add radish sauté for 2-3 minutes, now add salt and ¼ a cup of water and cover. Cook until radish becomes soft.
Keep stirring until the water has been observed and radish becomes soft.
Serve with hot sambar rice or rasam rice.
Radishes are endowed with antioxidants, flavonoids and essential minerals detoxify the kidneys, liver, promotes digestion, bolsters immunity, regulates diabetes and blood pressure. Besides rendering flavour and aroma, gingelly oil offers healthy fats for augmenting heart health. Curry leaves being naturally rich in iron, treat anaemia and also promote hair growth by means of their vast reserves of amino acids. Comprising a profuse amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, jeera act as a digestive aid, aside from relieving cough and cold. Also Read: Radish For Wellness: Innovative Ways To Cook And Savour This Nutritious Edible Root
250 g of radish washed, peeled and chopped
¼ Cup split Bengal Gram
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ cup grated coconut
2 red chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
Salt as required
Few curry leaves
In a pressure cooker add radish, dal, turmeric powder, salt and water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Keep it aside.
Add coconut, red chilli and cumin seeds in a blender and grind it to a coarse paste.
Heat oil in a pan, season with mustard seeds and allow it to sputter. Now add split urad dal and curry leaves.
Pour the cooked radish and dal mixture into the pan, add the ground masala and stir well for 5 minutes.
Allow the kootu to boil well and switch off the flame.
Delicious radish kootu is ready to be served with hot rice or roti.
Being abundantly rich in dietary fibre, low on calories and fat, radishes are a perfect vegetable that can be included in weight watchers diet. Bengal gram contains impressive amounts of protein, iron, selenium, zinc and manganese regulates blood sugar spikes, control blood pressure and boost energy. Coconut has profuse quantities of healthy medium-chain fatty acids optimises heart and gut health.
Side Effects Of Radish:
Radish is generally safe for consumption, however, excess intake may lead to loss of water and dehydration due to its natural diuretic properties. Excess consumption of radish may lead to hypotension and hypoglycaemia. As radish is a cruciferous vegetable, people with thyroid problems must limit the intake of radishes as it contains goitrogenic substances and may interfere with thyroid hormone production.
Radishes, though not a staple vegetable in the diet comes with a plethora of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium, zinc and antioxidants that offer umpteen health benefits. They are known for its distinct peppery, pungent taste and have been used in Ayurveda medicine for treating several digestive maladies. This wonder root vegetable may help in regulating diabetes, hypertension, augments heart and liver health and averts the risk of fungus infections. Reap the wellness incentive of this humble vegetable by adding in your regular diet.