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What are some health benefits of radishes?

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Quick Answer

Radishes are good sources of calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, fiber and potassium. Low in fat and cholesterol with only 19 calories per cup, radishes are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps protect against cardiovascular disease, immune system deficiencies, prenatal health issues, inflammation and eye problems.

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Full Answer

Radishes belong to the brassica family. Vegetables in this family, such as kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts, contain sulforaphane and indole-3, two natural compounds that have been studied and shown to fight cancer in laboratory animals. Experts believe these substances fight prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth while encouraging the body to detoxify itself. The substances are weakened by cooking, so for the best benefit, consume radishes raw.

There are several types of radishes, including daikon, black radishes, watermelon radishes and horseradish. Radishes are generally classified by their crop season: summer, fall, winter or spring. Radish farmers further categorize the crop into groups based on shape, size, color or crop duration. Radishes grow in most states, but are most widely grown in California and Florida. They were first cultivated in China, but they spread throughout Europe by the 1500s and reached Massachusetts by 1629. The Chinese believe the regular consumption of radishes and other brassica vegetables promotes good health and wellbeing.

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