So crunchy and a bit spicy, red radishes are a very healthy and yummy snack of which you don’t throw away anything because also the leaves may be really useful! Yes, because, according to several scientific studies, such as the work published in the journal Biomedicine and pharmacotherapy by a Chinese team (Luo et al, Jul 2018) or in the Journal of Functional Food (Goyeneche et al, Jun 2015) and Nutritional research and Practice (Kim et al, Aug 2011), the leaves of red radish are a powerful source of antioxidant, anti cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds.
In particular, the scientists have observed that the leaves of radish, scientific name Raphanus sativus, are rich in phenolic compounds with an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action such as salicylic acid, the active substance of aspirin, caffeic, ferulic and vanillic acids. Moreover, it seems that the amount of antioxidants in the leaves of radish is not only higher than the quantity found in the root but that it is also comparable to the amount of antioxidants in green tea. Thanks to these characteristic the leaves of radish are able to fight the damages of the free radicals and the inflammations by inhibiting the mediators of inflammatory processes, but they result also anti cancer since they inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis, namely the death of cancer cells. Finally, the leaves of radish contain vitamin C, about 36 mg for 100 grams, a good amount if you consider that the recommended daily intake for an adult is around 100 mg. The leaves bring also fibers, proteins and, among the mineral salts, the most represented is the calcium. For this reason, the next time you eat red radishes, don’t throw away the leaves but eat them in salads!