A radish is the root of a plant related
closely to mustard, another surprisingly healthful
plant. It’s generally used as a garnish or salad
ingredient because of its mild-to-peppery flavor and
unique red-and-white coloration, but it’s much more than
just a garnish.
This plant comes in several varieties, though the most
common in North America is the oval, red-skinned
version. Look for the ones with unblemished and
bright-colored skin, a firm and compact texture, and
short, bright green leaves. You might also look for
daikon, an oriental version that looks like a cross
between a white carrot and a turnip. Regular radishes
can be found in most grocery stores, while daikon is
primarily sold in Oriental specialty markets. To store,
break the leaves off, put the roots in a plastic bag,
and keep refrigerated no more than a week. When you’re
serving them, you can soak radish in ice water for an
hour or two for extra crispness; or you can braise
thin-sliced daikon in a bit of sesame oil and serve hot
for an Oriental treat.
Ordinary radishes are a great source of vitamin C and
are rich in minerals like sulphur, iron, and iodine.
Daikon is even better, a source of vitamin C, potassium,
magnesium, and folate as well as sulphur, iron, and
Radishes can be added to vegetable juice to spice up the
flavor a little. In this form, they can help clear your
sinus cavities and soothe your sore throat. The vitamin
C in radishes is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory,
and has been shown to have a positive effect on asthma
symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Potassium can help lower your risk of kidney stones and
strokes, and radishes along a diet high in other fruits
and vegetables can significantly lower your risk of
Besides, the earthy-spicy flavor of radish, unlike any
other vegetable, can bring out unexpected flavors in
your meals. With no drawbacks, what’s not to like?