Radish Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Radishes, annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman  

The spicy, peppery radish (Raphanus sativus) is a root vegetable, but is less starchy than many other root veggies, like potatoes and parsnips. It is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, related to turnips, cabbage, and broccoli. The radish seems to have been one of the first European crops introduced to the Americas.

You can enjoy its zingy crunch raw on a salad, or cook as you would a potato for milder flavor. Radishes are low in calories, provide some fiber and are a good source of vitamin C. Learn more about radish nutrition.

Radish Nutrition Facts

Radishes contain just 19 calories, nearly 2 grams of fiber, and plenty of vitamin C. There are other micronutrients in radishes as well. The following nutrition facts are provided by the USDA for 1 cup (116g) sliced, raw radish.

  • Calories: 19
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 45mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugar: 2.2g
  • Protein: 0.8g


Radishes lack starch, which is an easily digestible form of carbohydrate that quickly breaks down into simple sugars. The carbs in radishes are half simple sugars (glucose and fructose) and half fiber.

The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much and how fast a food raises your blood sugar. As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of radishes (but it is presumed to be low).


Radishes have just a trace of fat. The vitamin A and vitamin K in radishes will absorb more readily if they are consumed with healthy fats such as polyunsaturated fat or monounsaturated fat. If you roast radishes, coat them with a little olive oil to add heart-healthy fats. If you eat radishes on a salad, drizzle a tablespoon of oil on top as a salad dressing.


Like most vegetables, radishes are not high in protein. There is just under 1 gram of plant protein in a cup of raw radish slices.

Some people wonder if radishes are a superfood. While they are nutrient-dense (they offer nutritional benefits for few calories), it's important to bear in mind that "superfood" is largely a marketing term, often used initially by industry and lobbying groups to seed the notion that a particular food provides so much benefit that it deserves a special status.

Vitamins and Minerals

Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, with 17 milligrams per 1-cup serving. This is 23% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women and 19% of the RDA for men. Since the body can't produce its own vitamin C, consuming it in the diet (or via supplements) is essential.

Radishes also contain smaller amounts of folate and vitamin B6 and the minerals potassium, manganese, and calcium.


Radishes are a low-calorie food, with just 19 calories per cup of sliced radish. All of the calories in radishes come from carbohydrates and protein, as there is almost no fat in radishes.


Radishes are a low-calorie food that is rich in Vitamin C. They also impart micronutrients like folate, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and calcium. There is also some fiber in radishes, although very little protein, and essentially no fat.

Health Benefits

Radishes have some healthful properties thanks to their fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidant content. For example, vitamin C is important in many physiological processes, including protein metabolism, wound healing, and immune system regulation.

May Lower Blood Sugar

Researchers have suggested that consuming radishes may be beneficial for people with diabetes, because radishes slow sugar absorption and reduce the starch-induced post-meal glycemic load.

Provides Antioxidants

The antioxidant compounds in radishes may provide some of their anti-diabetic power. Anthocyanins help give radishes their bright range of colors, and research suggests that consuming more of them is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants are beneficial because they can help repair oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. This stress can contribute to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions.

Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease

Like antioxidants, dietary fiber has many health benefits. These include preventing and managing heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and digestive diseases. Researchers are also looking at fiber's ability to prevent infection and even improve mood and memory.

May Reduce Risk of Cancer

Radishes may not seem to have much in common with broccoli, but both are cruciferous vegetables. Research has shown some associations between a diet high in these nutritious veggies and a lowered risk of cancer. Specific to radishes, a study of radish extract found that it could inhibit the proliferation of certain cancer cells in a lab setting.

Prevents Gallstones

Like other cruciferous vegetables, radishes contain a compound called glucosinolate. It has antioxidant and anticancer properties and can decrease cholesterol levels in the liver. This, in turn, can prevent the formation of gallstones.

Low in FODMAPs

A diet low in certain carbohydrates called FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) may help ease symptoms in people with bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. Radishes are suitable for people following a low-FODMAP diet.


Food allergy to radish is rare but has been reported in the medical literature. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, itching and swelling around the mouth, and even difficulty breathing. If you suspect a food allergy, talk to a healthcare professional about diagnosis and management.

Adverse Effects

Some people may find the flavor of radishes too spicy. Cooking them, rather than eating them raw, can make them more mild. If you are not accustomed to eating a lot of fiber, increase your intake of fiber gradually to prevent temporary digestive symptoms.


Radishes come in a variety of colors, sizes, and types. Daikon radish and Korean radish are popular in East Asia. White and red European radishes are the types usually used in American cuisine. All are similar in nutritional value, but preparation matters. For example, pickled radishes contain more sodium than fresh versions. And yes, horseradish is related to the familiar red radish.

We typically eat the root of the radish, but the leaves are also edible. Radishes are part of the mustard family and their greens are nutritious and tasty, like mustard greens. They can be eaten raw or cooked, just like the radish root itself.

When It's Best

Radish season peaks in spring, but radishes are easy to find and purchase year-round. (They're also easy to grow in a home garden.) When selecting fresh radishes, look for firm, smooth, brightly colored roots with fresh leaves still attached.

Storage and Food Safety

Separate greens and radishes for storage; you can keep the greens in the refrigerator for a few days and the radishes for a few weeks. To freeze, cut and blanch first. Thawed radishes will work best in cooked dishes, rather than salads or other fresh preparations.

How to Prepare

Most people are used to having a few raw slices of radish on a salad. But to make radishes the star of your salad, dice radish and cucumber and toss them with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

Or try cooked radishes; some of the peppery bite is lost when they are cooked, and you can season them with a variety of herbs or spices.

  • Roasted: Trim and halve radishes, toss them with a little olive oil and salt, and roast in a hot oven (400 to 450 degrees F) for 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  • Sautéed: If you love breakfast potatoes or hash, try substituting halved or quartered radishes for the potatoes. Sauté them with oil, butter, or a little bacon grease and seasonings.
  • Poached: Boil or steam halved or quartered radishes until they are tender.
  • In stews and soups: Substitute radishes for potatoes, turnips, or rutabaga in any slow cooker or pressure cooker recipes for stews or soups.
11 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.