Surprising Vegetable May Protect against Heart Disease

Radishes aren’t the first food you might think of when you consider foods that protect against heart disease, yet they probably should be among them. Thatís because new research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that certain kinds of radish have heart-protective and heart-healing effects.

For the first time ever, scientists explored a particular type of radish known as the Sakurajima radish, or monster radish as it is also known due to its large size, for its potential heart-healing benefits. They found that the radishes had a significant influence on the production of nitric oxide (NO), which relaxes blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and prevents the formation of blood clots.

While monster radishes hold great promise in the treatment of heart disease, you donít need to search forever to find the enormous vegetables, the largest of which has been recorded at a whopping 69 pounds and nearly 4 feet in circumference, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. And, thatís good news because, letís face it: that might be hard to get home, although it would probably feed your family for a week or more. Other varieties of radishes have exhibited similar heart-healing properties.

Research published in the Journal of Food Science found that many varieties of radishes and radish sprouts offer a wealth of nutrients, particularly ones known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of plant nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as cholesterol-regulating, and blood vessel relaxing properties. If that wasnít enough reason to love them, radishes also contain plentiful amounts of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, both of which are potent anti-cancer compounds.

Radishes are also high in vitamin C, which helps boost collagen production. While collagen is a special protein that is predominantly known for its anti-aging role in keeping skin healthy and youthful looking, it also supports healthy blood vessels by keeping them pliable.

They are also a good source of various B vitamins, including: riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9), as well as vitamin K. Radishes are rich in minerals like: calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Donít be alarmed by the sodium in radishes if youíre on a low-sodium diet as natural sodium found in vegetables like radishes is a far superior way to get the sodium your body needs for health than by concentrated salt.

You can enjoy sliced radishes with hummus or another dip, grated or sliced atop salads, fermented like pickles, grated like horseradish with a little salt, sliced over a noodle dish (particularly daikon radishes), or roasted. You can also add a radish or two to a fresh juice for a bit of a pick-me-up without excessive heat.

I thinly slice radishes and quick-pickle them in a little lime or lemon juice with a pinch of sea salt. After they rest for about 5 or 10 minutes, they are ready to use in a salad, wrap, in tacos, or on a sandwich.

And, if youíre just not a fan of radishes, you may enjoy radish microgreens since they have a much milder flavor but are still packed with nutrition and the heart and other health benefits of their larger counterparts.

According to research by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland, of 25 types of microgreens tested, daikon radish microgreens were among the scientistsí picks for top 4 most nutritious.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter Worldís Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health and Get Slim with Enzyme-Rich Foods.† Follow her work.


Marie W
Marie W3 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Chrissie R
Chrissie R6 months ago

How much and how often must one eat this to actually derive these benefits?

Margie FOURIE6 months ago

I didnt know that, thank you

Carl R
Carl R6 months ago


Clare O
Clare O6 months ago


Clare O
Clare O6 months ago

Root suck up what is in the soil so make sure the soil is clean and water is clean

Angela K
Angela K6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Carole R
Carole R6 months ago

Good to know.

Teresa W
Teresa W6 months ago

interesting, thank you

Richard B
Past Member 6 months ago

thanks for sharing