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Health Food of the month - Radish

July 2019


Red radishes
Radishes make healthy snacks

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Brown and white foods

Potatoes

Pulses


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Don’t forget the radish in your summer salad.

Summer is a time for salads, but while this means lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and all the other great vegetables and fruits that are available now, radishes are often near the bottom of the list.

This is a shame as radishes are not only colourful and a great way to decorate salads, but they are also delicious and healthy too.

Their overall lack of popularity may be because of their size; being so small they can be fiddly to cut into little slices or special shapes to add to the salad. But the effort is more than worthwhile.

The name actually comes from the Latin word radix, which means root and it is this part of the plant that we use. There are various types of radish, are can generally be classified into four main types named after when they are harvested.

Summer radishes are a smaller variety and the ones we usually find in our shops. They include a wide range of slightly different types with lovely names such as Cherry Belle, Bunny Tail and White Icicle, determined by lengths, colours, sizes and flavour.

Generally, the flavour is slightly tangy and peppery, and when you buy them they should be firm, with the leaves still attached. Worth noting that smaller radishes are often better; the larger radishes may not be as crisp.

Despite their small size, radishes can add some useful nutrition to your diet. Just half a cup of radish, for instance, can offer about 14 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, such an important antioxidant; yet provides just 12 calories. That means a little radish is the perfect healthy snack.

But on top of vitamin C, radishes also offer lots of other nutrients, albeit in small quantities. They are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin and calcium and also include levels of potassium, niacin, zinc, phosphorous and manganese.

Also good is that radishes offer a level of fibre. Only 1 gram per half a cup, but it all helps. Recent research also indicated that radish leaves can be really beneficial thanks to their fibre content.

So these little members of the mustard family and relations of broccoli and cabbage are well worth including in a diet.

Newer on the market are daikon radishes. These larger, long shaped white radishes come from Japan and are especially important in Asian cuisine, hence their growing popularity in the UK. They have a sweeter, milder taste and are often used in kimchi, a fermented vegetable dish, or stir fried.


 


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