The Radish is a quick growing vegetable cultivated in many areas around the world. From the Brassicaceae family, which includes the Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli and Cauliflower, the Radish is botanically recognised as Raphanus sativus.

There are several varieties of radishes grown for various reasons. They are common in salads in many countries. There are varieties that can be grown through various seasons making them an all year round option.

Farmers have found deep-rooted radishes, such as the Oil Seed Radish beneficial for breaking up clay soils, allowing for the production of other edible root crops. They also assist in the flow of nutrients through all cropping plants. The roots of many plants often grow only on the surface of clay soils because that’s where the nutrients are trapped. These are excellent organic and till free methods of building up agricultural land.

Health wise, Radishes are a good source of Vitamin C and B Group Vitamins including Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Vitamin 6 and Folate (Vitamin B9). They are a good source of Dietary Fibre and Carbohydrates.

Radishes contain good measures of Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron.

Radish roots can be cooked but they are typically used raw. They can be grated and mixed through salads for a mild peppery flavour or sliced for a more pungent taste. I can remember helping my grandmother pick fresh radishes and making sandwiches during our school holidays.

The leaves of the radish are also edible and can be used in salads when young or cooked as a typical leaf vegetable.

Finely grated radish mixed with a couple of tablespoons of fat free mayonnaise makes an excellent sandwich spread on its own or with meat and salad.

Radish has long been recognised for its benefits in naturally remediating the effects of hay fever by reducing the build up of mucous.

Radishes are believed to have cancer prevention properties and may assist with symptoms of Arthritis, Kidney Stones and Digestion. Regular consumption of radish may assist with regular bowel function and a reduction in constipation.

Radishes may assist in the regular maintenance and function of the Liver and kidneys.

The high Potassium content of Radishes may assist with maintenance of high blood pressure and this should be taken into consideration if using prescription medicines for the regulation of blood pressure. Consult your doctor regarding high potassium foods.

There are many similarities between the health benefits and uses of radish and other members of the Brassicaceae family.

As always, always consult your doctor for advice on any particular condition and always tell them if you intend to try something natural for a specific complaint. Even some natural foods can interact with prescription medications.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites for Organic Health related products and information on living an Organic Lifestyle for general health information and articles on living a Healthy Lifestyle.

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