The sulphur compounds in radish (specifically glycosides) are responsible for its characteristic pungent flavour.
These substances stimulate our digestive juices and appetite, but not everyone likes them. To increase tolerance, choose fairly young, small radishes, serve them fresh and well chilled, and chew them thoroughly. Radish needs to be eaten young: it develops a woody taste if it matures in the earth and grows to larger than normal size. The radish harvest should last no longer than five days. Larger radishes are best eaten grated. To take some of the “bite” out of them, you can soak them in salt water (except for China radish, or daikon, which has a milder flavour).
To sum up, radishes are useful for recharging the body with minerals and vitamins (especially potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C), and are a good part of a fibre-rich diet. Like the other cruciferous vegetables, they are thought to play a role in fighting cancer.
The tops are full of good, nutritious stuff!
Radish tops (leaves) are high in provitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C and iron. So don’t neglect the fresh, green parts of the plant—they’re also delicious in soups!
Radishes are chock-full of minerals and trace elements
LBecause they are root vegetables, growing underground, radishes absorb plenty of minerals. They are rich in potassium, so they have excellent diuretic properties—and they’re naturally low in sodium, which further helps prevent water retention. Their high concentrations of calcium (with a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio greater than 1, which promotes good absorption of calcium), magnesium and sulphur are worthy of note.
They provide iron (accompanied by copper, which improves its proper absorption by the body), zinc, fluorine, and trace amounts of iodine and selenium. Radishes are also a significant source of vitamin C, with an average of 23 mg per 100 g (an adult’s daily need is around 80 mg). Vitamin C is better preserved in radishes than in other vegetables, including leafy vegetables like spinach, and because they are almost always eaten raw, maximum intake is ensured (there’s no loss due to cooking). Radishes also contain a wide range of B-group vitamins (including vitamin B9 or folic acid, vitamin B3 or niacin, and vitamin B6), and small amounts of provitamin A (carotene). Last but not least, fibre (consisting mainly of cellulose and hemicellulose) is quite plentiful in radishes (around 1.5 g per 100 g).