Diabetics are often advised to refrain from foods that have a high glycemic index (GI) as they can adversely affect blood sugar levels. Alternatively, those diagnosed with the lifestyle disorder are suggested to consume items that can help maintain the body’s blood glucose — and one such vegetable is the radish. A root vegetable widely consumed in winter, radishes — that can be enjoyed as a salad, soup, and in the cooked form — come packed with a host of health benefits.
“One of the richest sources of vitamin C, radish also has small amounts of phosphorous, manganese, potassium, magnesium, etc. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps battle free radicals in your body and prevents cell damage caused by aging, and an unhealthy lifestyle,” Dr Sneha Satla, senior dietician, Citizens Specialty Hospital, told indianexpress.com.
In a similar vein, Lovneet Batra, a nutritionist, also took to Instagram to list the many benefits of this humble vegetable. “Radish, also called mooli, is a common vegetable used in Indian kitchens. Thought to merely be an accompaniment to salads, radish has a large number of health benefits,” she captioned the post.
A post shared by Lovneet Batra (@lovneetb)
According to the nutritionist, following are the benefits of this vegetable: 
*Shows anti-cancerous properties: Eating cruciferous vegetables like radishes may help prevent cancer. According to a study, cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that are broken down into isothiocyanates when combined with water. Isothiocyanates help purge the body of cancer-causing substances and prevent tumour development. Agreed Dr Satla and said, “A few studies support that radish contains several types of isothiocyanates that cause cell death in some cancer cell lines.”
*Manages diabetes: The foods you eat affect blood sugar levels in different ways, and their glycemic index is indicative of the same. As such, lower the GI, the less blood sugar spike you will experience. Radish is a low-calorie, low-GI vegetable that is excellent for diabetics. It is also a great source of fiber that can help you lose weight and lower your blood cholesterol levels, too.
The potent, anti-diabetic properties of radish trigger the immune response, enhance glucose uptake and regulate blood sugar levels. “Adiponectin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. Radishes contain bioactive compounds that regulate adiponectin and play a vital role in controlling glucose homeostasis,” her post read.
Elucidating further, Dr Satla said, “Radishes also have the ability to enhance the antioxidant defense mechanism and reduce the accumulation of free radicals, affect hormonal-induced glucose hemostasis, promote glucose uptake and energy metabolism, and reduce glucose absorption in the intestine, etc.”
Concurred Shivani Kandwal, nutritionist, diabetes educator, Founder of Nutrivibes, who said that the presence of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which can help keep blood sugar levels in check and help with diabetes treatments, also make radishes diabetes-friendly. “So, if you are diabetic, it is advised to add half a cup of radishes to your daily diet plan. It can be eaten as a vegetable or even juiced. This supplement also has other health benefits that include reducing cardiovascular risks, eliminating urinary tract infections, fighting against free radicals, and improving lipid metabolism,” she added.
Also, eating radishes can help you feel fuller for longer, which can help to prevent insulin resistance. “Radishes have coenzyme Q10, which helps to prevent the development of diabetes. The high fiber content of radish roots helps to keep digestion going, prevents constipation, and aids the release of sugar into the blood slowly and evenly,” she added.
*Has antihypertensive effects:  Radishes are an equally good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure levels and keep the heart functioning properly. “They contain compounds called anthocyanins that help improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure,” wrote Lovneet. Adding, Dr Satla said: “Radish, being rich in potassium, helps improve immunity besides controlling blood pressure.”
*Great for the digestive system: Radish offers a combo of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is great for the gastrointestinal tract. “Fiber helps prevent constipation by bulking up your stool to help waste move through your intestines,” explained Lovneet.
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