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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Radishes Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 95.3 g
Calories: 16 kcal
Protein: 0.7 g
Carbohydrate: 3.4 g
Dietary fiber: 1.6 g
Sugars: 1.9 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 14.8 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 25 μg
Vitamin K: 1.3 μg
Calcium: 25 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Phosphorus: 20 mg
Potassium: 233 mg
Sodium: 39 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

Radishes are a root vegetable and a member of the brassica family, native to Europe. Most commonly used as a salad vegetable, the humble radish is a quick growing and spicy vegetable that is low in calories and high in benefits for your body.

Much like its family member, horseradish, radishes are low in calories, great for dieting, high in vitamin C, and contain a number of extremely potent anti-cancer compounds.

The nutritional breakdown of radishes is fairly simple: the only standout statistics are the fact that 100g gets you 29% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C for a mere 16 calories (USDA database). As we know, vitamin C is great for us, and a necessary component of our cardiovascular health, our absorption of iron and so on.

The only other standout benefit of the radish is the fact that, for less than 1% of your DV of calories, radishes provide you with 6 % DV of your daily fibre. Couple that with the fact that 16 calories is a whole 100g of food, and that’s a recipe for being satiated without piling on the pounds.

Digestive health is also a significant benefit of the high levels of dietary fibre. Fibre lowers cholesterol (see Brussel sprouts), and is an essential part of a working gut. In addition, the sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables may stop excess growth of Heliobacter pylori, a bacteria that can lead to stomach cancer.

The real benefits of radishes, however, lie in their cancer-protective compounds. As we have seen, the brassicas are high glucosinalates, some of which break down into sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.

These compouds have been tested for tumour prevention, breast cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer, and protection from chemotherapy drugs, and have shown positive results (see ‘Bok Choy’).

As with horseradish, the most interesting part of the radish is the presence of allylisothyocyanate, a compound rich in anti-cancer and anti-microbial effects. The anti-cancer effects of the compound have been proven only to a point in the literature: positive effects on cultured cancer cells and in animal tests.

However, if these hopes are correct, the fact the compound is extremely available for oral consumption, coupled with its strong protective potential against cancer cells, would be one more reason to eat radishes.