Radishes may be one of the most ignored vegetables because of their strong tart taste but they have been used as both a food and a medicine since before the Roman Empire. They offer a hefty amount of health benefits that might change your mind.

Radishes are extremely low in calories, naturally fat-free and carry a low glycemic load. One cup of radishes contains just 19 calories. Radishes are rich in fiber, vitamin C and folate. Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control and weight management.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights off cancer causing free radical damage. It’s also important for our immune, cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive system health. It also prevents skin wrinkling, eye diseases, stroke, cancer and stress. Folate (B12) plays a vital role in many bodily functions like cell repair and maintenance, DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and the formation of leukocytes and erythrocytes. It also prevents obesity and various cancers as well as preventing heart disease.

Radishes also contain potassium, magnesium and copper. Potassium is a vital electrolyte that regulates our water levels. It also lowers blood pressure and stroke risk; keeps the skin healthy and sends oxygen to the brain. Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body including transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Copper is key for collagen production, bone and blood vessel integrity and energy production.

They also provide us with calcium, manganese and an array of B vitamins. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, helps with weight management and prevents cancer. Manganese is important for skin health, bone production, blood sugar control and fighting off free radical damage.

The fiber, vitamins and minerals in radishes make them a smart choice for cardiovascular health because they’ve been shown to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The act as a natural decongestant, stimulate bile production and cleanse our kidneys.

Radishes provide an abundance of benefits in a tiny package with very little calories and add a unique flavor to salads, soups and other dishes. Maybe it’s time to give radishes another shot on your menu!