Life Extension Magazine®
Bundle of radishes rich in potassium, folate, and calcium

Radishes

Low-calorie radishes are packed with potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12. This cruciferous vegetable has been shown to have substantial anti- cancer and antifungal properties.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, on July 2021. Written By Laurie Mathena.

Radishes make beautiful garnishes for vegetable platters and other dishes. But if you’re only using these root vegetables as decoration, you’re missing out on a host of health benefits.

Radishes have been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat ailments ranging from fevers to bile disorders. Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, radishes contain a variety of nutrients like potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.

Cruciferous vegetables like radishes are known to have anti-cancer properties. They contain sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Hydrolysis or breakdown of these compounds leads to the formation of isothiocyanates.1

Animal models have shown that certain isothiocyanates can be beneficial in preventing or reducing the risk of cancer.2 And one cell study showed that radish root extract contained several isothiocyanates that induced cell death in numerous cancer cell lines.3

Radishes are a natural antifungal, with potent action against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections and candidiasis.

In one study, an antifungal protein in radishes called RsAFP2 caused the cell death of Candida albicans.4 And in a mouse study, RsAFP2 was shown to be effective against Candida albicans and other species of Candida.5

Radishes are a low-calorie food that adds a peppery crunch to salads, can be eaten roasted or pickled, or simply enjoyed raw.

References

  1. Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/isothiocyanates. Accessed August 4, 2021.
  2. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2009 May;30(5):501-12.
  3. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Sep;65(3):200-9.
  4. Mol Microbiol. 2012 Apr;84(1):166-80.
  5. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Dec;52(12):4522-5.