In recent years, the fashion for healthy and proper nutrition has resumed in the world. But if the benefits of broccoli, spinach, asparagus are heard at every turn, I rarely remember about radish. It's time to restore justice, as the beneficial properties of this root crop deserve to be known about.
What is radish
Radish is an annual root vegetable. Its name comes from an almost consonant Latin word, which translates as "root". Depending on the variety, the size, color and shape of the root crop may vary. Young vegetables, as a rule, have a sweetish aftertaste and spicy aroma, old ones have a sharper taste.
There are several versions of the origin of this vegetable. Some consider it to be the birthplace of Southeast Asia, others - India or China. The first written memory of radish dates back to the third century BC, although there is an assumption that this root crop was eaten by the ancient Egyptians. And long before the appearance of the Great Pyramids. The ancient Greeks also not only knew about the existence of a vegetable, but also described its different varieties. And the fact that the Hellenes valued radishes very much is evidenced by the fact that they left behind golden figurines in the form of this root crop.
This vegetable was cultivated in medieval Europe, it is in the traditional cuisines of different countries. Today, this root crop is commercially available at any time of the year, but the radish grown in the spring-summer season in the open field is still considered the most useful. Although it will not be difficult to grow this vegetable at home, for example, on the balcony. Moreover, it will take only 3 weeks for radishes to ripen.
Radish contains very few calories, but many important vitamins and minerals for the body. And although there are many varieties of this crop, the nutritional characteristics of most of them are similar. All of them are almost 90 percent water and are a low-calorie product (16 kcal per 100 g). In addition, whatever variety of radish is in your salad, it is almost always an excellent source of vitamins B, C, A, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, fluorine, phosphorus, iron, sodium and potassium, as well as fiber and various phytonutrients with antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
|Vitamin A||7 IU|
|Vitamin C||14.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.3 mcg|
|Vitamin B2||0.039 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.254 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.071 mg|
|Vitamin B9||25 mcg|
What is useful for the body
Radish, like broccoli, cauliflower and mustard, belongs to plants of the Brassica family. And they all contain a powerful antioxidant sulforaphane, which protects the liver from oxidative stress, prevents inflammation and the appearance of malignant tumors.
Indian scientists found hexane in the vegetable, which, as it turned out in the course of research, has anti-cancer properties: it causes the death of mutated cells and inhibits the growth of malignant tumors. Radishes protect against toxins, including mycotoxin zearalenone (found in products from corn, oats, barley), which causes hormonal disorders in the body. Scientists have also found antifungal compounds in the root crop that are effective in the fight against fungi of the genus Candida.
The antibacterial properties of radishes help clear up acne and pimples. This fruit is useful for the respiratory system, in particular as a prevention of bronchitis, asthma. It has a gentle diuretic effect, which is useful for cleansing the kidneys and inflammation in the organs of the genitourinary system.
The circulatory system, skin, and immunity will also benefit from radish salad. And now it's time to talk in more detail about the most exciting properties of radishes.
Benefits of radish
Speeds up metabolism
Radish promotes weight loss.
But not only because of the warming effect. The potassium contained in the root accelerates metabolism, promotes the rapid transformation of fats and carbohydrates into energy. Also, the rate of metabolic processes is affected by fiber, which is rich in vegetables. Dietary fiber improves bowel function, reduces appetite, and limits the body's absorption of fat.
Radish stimulates the secretion of bile, which facilitates the work of the liver. Due to the presence of healthy fats and organic acids, the root crop speeds up the process of digestion. And the sulfur it contains destroys pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract.
Radishes improve the functioning of the liver, kidneys and intestines, thereby speeding up the digestive processes, as well as the time of elimination of toxins, metabolic byproducts, from the body. Thanks to these abilities, radish juice has been classified as a so-called detox product by nutritionists.
Protects against inflammation and bacteria
Radishes contain sulfur and mustard oil. Both substances are considered useful for the treatment of infectious diseases and inflammatory processes in the ENT organs. In addition, do not forget that the vegetable contains a sufficient amount of quercetin, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory substance.
The presence of iron, copper and manganese make radishes an important food for preventing anemia. These chemical elements play an important role in the process of hematopoiesis. Iron is the main component of hemoglobin, and copper improves iron absorption. But to enhance this effect, it is important to combine radishes with foods rich in vitamin C (for example, parsley), since ascorbic acid increases the absorption of the above substances.
Improves the condition of hair, nails and skin
Rich in sulfur and potassium improves skin condition (particularly with acne), strengthens hair and nails. Spring radish salads will prevent hair loss, have a beneficial effect on the condition of oily hair, and will be useful for the complex treatment of dandruff.
By the way, a nourishing hair mask is prepared from radishes. A mixture of olive oil and radish juice is rubbed into the scalp and left for half an hour. The result is shiny and soft hair.
Strengthens the heart and regulates blood pressure
Flavonoids not only determine the color of the root vegetable, but also make it good for the heart. Researchers say that these phytochemicals reduce the risk of developing cardiac disorders. Like bananas, radishes are an excellent natural source of potassium. And he, as science proves, is necessary for the regulation of blood pressure. Potassium relaxes blood vessels, thereby facilitating the efforts of the heart muscle to pump blood.
What diseases will radish cure
The healing properties of radishes have been noticed a long time ago. In traditional medicine recipes, root juice was treated from a common cold to cholelithiasis.
To eliminate the effects of hypothermia, a therapeutic cocktail was used from equal portions of radish juice, onion and honey. Anemia was treated with an alcohol infusion of the root crop. Crushed radishes (50 g) were poured with vodka (100 ml) and incubated in the dark for two weeks. Then the filtered infusion was diluted with water (in a ratio of one to one) and taken daily at bedtime in a tablespoon.
A decoction of dried vegetables helped to regulate metabolism, and for the treatment of gallstone disease, herbalists advised drinking beet-radish juice. In addition, fresh radish juice relieves itching in places of insect bites, relieves pain after a bee sting. And if you rub it into the temples and bridge of the nose, you can get rid of migraines. A gruel from a chopped vegetable, applied to the joints, will ease the pain of arthritis, and compresses using alcohol tincture of the root crop will quickly heal bruises and hematomas.
Home cosmetics from root vegetables
As already mentioned, radishes are good for the skin. But in addition to the treatment of dermatitis and eczema, it is able to improve complexion. Vegetable juice moisturizes dry skin well, and radish gruel masks make it soft and velvety. A tonic made from radish, cucumber, and parsley juice will lighten freckles and age spots. For oily skin, a grated root vegetable and milk mask is suitable. A nourishing mask made from starch, olive oil, and raw vegetable gruel will help refresh your face after winter frosts.
An important note: when using homemade radish cosmetics, it is necessary to protect the eyes from vegetable juice.
Possible side effects
Radish is classified as a goitrogenic food. In people with thyroid disorders, this vegetable can cause a worsening condition. It is also important to use the root crop with caution for people with ulcers, gastritis, colitis, flatulence, some diseases of the liver, pancreas, kidneys.
Radish readily absorbs chemicals from the soil in which it grows. Therefore, vegetables excessively “fertilized” with chemistry become dangerous for humans. Nitrate poisoning is at best manifested by signs of indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and at worst by thyroid dysfunction, reduced fertility, and anemia. Radishes loaded with nitrates can be recognized by their unnaturally large size, unusual color, and spots. To clean the vegetable from chemistry, it is necessary to rinse it under hot running water.
How to choose and store correctly
This is one of the first vegetables to appear on the market in the spring. Already in March, you can buy early varieties of radishes. Juicy fruits are easily recognizable by their fresh and bright green leaves. The root crop itself should also be of a rich color, without wrinkles and damage. Juicy radish - heavier, dried out or "wooden" (overripe) - light and soft.
Fresh root vegetables, peeled, can be refrigerated (packed in containers or cling film) for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage of radishes, a basement and a box of sand are suitable. Under such conditions, the roots will remain juicy for several more months.
Radishes have a long history. In ancient times, respect for this vegetable was manifested in golden figurines. Nowadays, every year in December, the Mexicans arrange a holiday in honor of the radish. Many bypass this vegetable, considering it not the most delicious. But gourmets say that there is no tasteless radish - the main thing is to know when to buy and what variety to choose from.