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Health food of the month - Radishes

July 2013

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Diet & Supplements Index

Health Food of the Month: RadishesMost of us only add radishes to a salad because of their colour and nice crisp texture. Few of us would think, goodness we must have radish with our salad because of its nutritional value.

Most of us only add radishes to a salad because of their colour and nice crisp texture. Few of us would think, goodness we must have radish with our salad because of its nutritional value.
Yet in fact a simple red radish can add a great deal of useful benefits to a diet.  Interestingly, the Chinese recognised its health properties centuries ago and had a saying: “Eat strong radish and drink hot tea, doctors will starve til they beg on their knees.”

Radishes (or Raphanus sativus) are thought to originally come from China but today they are grown right across the world. They do come in different shades, sizes and shapes, and you can get long thin radishes and even black Spanish radishes.

Radishes are a good source of anti-oxidants, including sulforaphane. This is believed to help fight prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers because of its cyto-toxic effect on cancer cells.  Radishes also contain flavonoid antioxidants such as zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene.

These humble little red vegetables also contain useful levels of vitamin C plus folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamine and a range of minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium.

And to add to all that, radishes are very low in calories and even provide good levels of dietary fibre.

One word of warning, radishes may contain goitrogents; compounds that can cause swelling of the thyroid gland so radishes should be avoided by anyone with thyroid problems.

When buying radishes, if not using immediately, always remove the top greens before storing as they can rob the nutrients from the crisp red bulb.



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