Radish Leaves: The Benefits and Ways to Use Them

19 October, 2020
Next time you buy radishes, don't throw away their leaves. Not only can you prepare them like any other green leafy vegetable, but they may also have certain health benefits. Discover what they are today!

Radish leaves are not one of the most popular foods in the kitchen. However, if you knew all their benefits, you would surely include them in your diet. In addition, their mild flavor makes them combine well in any salad or dish.

When you use this plant, the first thing you do is cut off its leaves. However, they contain nutritional compounds that could have a positive influence on your health. If you’re still reluctant to try them, we’ll tell you what their properties are and how to consume them. You may just change your mind!

Radish leaves, what are their benefits?

Truth be told, there aren’t many studies regarding their properties. However, popular culture has long used radishes as an adjuvant to treat certain mild conditions like fever, sore throat, biliary disorders, and inflammation. Learn more about their benefits below.

A gardener holding a bunch of radishes.
People have used radishes for medical purposes for years, but studies are just now proving some of their properties.

Read also: 7 Reasons Why You Should Eat Radishes

They help supplement your diet

Due to their low-calorie content, you can include radish leaves in any diet to maximize their benefits. In fact, you can mix them with kale or some other green leafy vegetable in salads and enjoy them.

In relation to this, a publication from Illinois University Extension details the nutritional components of a wide variety of vegetables. The publication states that half a cup of radish contains approximately 12 calories and practically no fat.

Radish leaves contribute to digestive health

Radish leaves may help facilitate digestion. Although scientific evidence is still lacking to prove their effects, some animal studies suggest that their fiber content may be responsible for this benefit.

Indeed, research published in the Food and Agricultural Organization of The United States states that consuming this part of the plant may improve gastrointestinal function and fat metabolism.

It could have effects on diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels increase above normal parameters. This condition is quite prevalent in the world population and originates from low insulin production by the pancreas or tissue resistance to its action.

According to a review published in the journal Nutrients, it appears that all parts of the radish have anti-diabetic properties. As for its leaves, they may reduce glucose absorption by the intestine. However, further clinical studies on these effects are necessary.

You may be interested: How to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

How to use radish leaves to take advantage of their benefits?

The most common way to eat radishes is by slicing them and eating them raw. However, you can use radish leaves in different dishes and prepare them the way you would any other green leafy vegetable. Some preparations with this food are the following:

  • Salads: Just like lettuce or spinach, you can add radish leaves to any salad.
  • Soups: You can cook radish leaves in soup and make them part of the variety of vegetables that it contains.
  • Milkshakes: When making these drinks, you can add some radish leaves. They’ll add nutritional value without affecting the flavor.
  • Omelet: This dish is simple to make and has a very pleasant taste. Its preparation is the same as that of an egg and spinach omelet, only that, instead of the latter ingredient, you’ll use radish leaves.
  • Sautéed: You can also stir-fry them in the wok along with other vegetables. You only need salt and whatever spices you prefer.
Radish slices.
Radish slices are the traditional way of consuming this plant, but there are many other preparations.

Contraindications and adverse effects

The consumption of radish leaves is almost always considered safe. However, in large quantities, it can irritate the stomach. Also, some people may be allergic to this food, although it’s not very common.

At the same time, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be especially careful when consuming radishes. This is because there’s not enough information about their effects during this period.

What’s more, since it helps lower blood sugar levels, people with hypoglycemia should refrain from excessive intake. If you suffer from gallstones, you should also be cautious about eating radish leaves. This is because this food increases the flow of bile and this action can cause sudden pain due to the blockage of the stones.

Finally, don’t forget that, in moderate amounts, the use of this plant does not have any adverse effects. Therefore, you can include it in your diet without any problem and test its benefits. If you have any symptoms, it’s best to go to the doctor.

  • Banihani S. A. (2017). Radish (Raphanus sativus) and Diabetes. Nutrients9(9), 1014. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091014
  • University of Illinois Extension. Watch Your Garden Grow. Recuperado el 26 de agosto de 2020. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/veggies/radish.cfm
  • Rolón Riquelme, Olga Yolanda. “Efecto de la dieta macrobiótica como prevención del desarrollo de cánceres del aparato digestivo.” (2018).
  • Soliveres Higuera, Irene. “Dieta vegetariana y vegana durante el embarazo y la lactancia materna.” (2017).
  • Jang, H. S., Ahn, J. M., Ku, K. H., Rhee, S. J., Kang, S. K., & Choi, J. H. (2008). Effect of radish leaves powder on the gastrointestinal function and fecal triglyceride, and sterol excretion in rats fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.3746/jkfn.2008.37.10.1258