Simply ‘radish’ing- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Some seasonal vegetables seldom make it to the list of favourites, regardless of the host of health benefits that come along with them. More often than not, it takes some serious coercion or an impressive presentation to make them a part of everyday diet.

The humble radish, mullangi or mooli is one such. Wearing a conical shape, bearing a crunchy texture and peppery taste, this edible root vegetable belongs to the family Brassicaceae. The root skin of this annual or biennial crop comes in a range of colours like white, pink, red, purple and yellow. Quick to harvest, it’s predominantly found in parts of Southwest China, Asia and Europe.

The zesty flavour of the root vegetable lends itself well to many recipes. A few ways to incorporate it into your diet would be in the form of pickled vegetables, soup, dal, paratha, curry, chutney and dips. “Cooking a radish dulls the pungent flavour and brings out an earthy, sweet taste.

It’s as good as a cucumber when it comes to water content. Both the leaf and root vegetable are rich in nutrition. It’s available in plenty during summer and will keep the body hydrated,” says Dhanalakshmi R, dietitian, Rainbow Children’s Hospital.

Prevents cancer
Eating cruciferous vegetables like radishes may help prevent cancer. High in sulphur, the vegetable protects body cells from genetic mutation and thereby eliminates cancer- causing cells. It also reduces the potential of cancer cells to grow.

Rejuvenates skin
Rich in vitamin-C, radish improves skin texture, increases elasticity and formation of collagen. The fibre and water content also keeps skin hydrated particularly during summer. The folate content additionally reduces premature ageing.

Supports digestion
Radish is rich in fibre and nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. An individual would normally require 25 g of fibre per day and radish offers a good amount of it. It prevents acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders and reduces gastric ulcer by protecting tissues in the gut.

Antifungal properties
Radishes are a natural antifungal. They contain the antifungal protein RsAFP2. A study shows that RsAFP2 caused cell death in Candida albicans, a common fungus normally found in humans. When Candida albicans overgrows, it may cause vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections and invasive candidiasis.

Cardiovascular Improvement
Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease. The radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow. The vegetable also lowers blood pressure and hypertension. Consuming in limited quantities is important.

Portion size
Radishes are packed with vitamins and minerals without many carbs or calories. They are a healthy vegetable to add to your diet. However, eating significant amounts of radishes may interfere with hormone production in your thyroid if you have an iodine deficiency. It’s best to eat radishes, and other cruciferous vegetables, in moderation.

RADISH CHUTNEY

INGREDIENTS

  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Bengal gram: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 5 to 6
  • Red chilli: 4-5, Small tamarind: small ball size
  • Garlic: 6-7,
  • Small onion: 10
  • Radish: 2
  • Mustard: 1 tsp

METHOD

  • Soak tamarind in water.
  • In a pan, add oil and saute Bengal gram, urad dal and red chilli on a low flame. Let it cool for a while.
  • Add oil in the same pan.
  • Saute garlic, onion, radish and salt until the pungent smell of radish goes away.
  • Let it cool for 15 minutes.
  • Combine both in a mixer and grind into a paste.
  • Season with mustard and curry leaves.
  • Can be consumed with rice, roti and dosa.

Nutritional break-up (per 100 g)

RADISH
Calories: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 6.7 g
Protein: 0.8 g
Fibre: 2.6 g
Rich in vitamin C: 19.9 mg
Biotin: 2.6 mg, Folate: 27.9
micrograms
Calcium: 30.2 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg, Water: 93.5 g

LEAVES
Calories: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 2.7 g
Protein: 2.2 g
Fibre: 1.8 g
Biotin: 4.39 micrograms
Folate: 53.1 micrograms
Vitamin C: 67. 5 mg
Calcium: 234 mg
Iron: 3.8 mg

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