Originally cultivated in China, large, colorful watermelon radishes are a nutritious root vegetable. The Chinese have long believed in the healing powers of this vegetable, thanks to its high phytochemical profile including zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. Watermelon radishes are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
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The Watermelon Radish
Unlike the common red globe radish, the watermelon radish has a muted green to white exterior and a fleshy, bright-pink interior. It is also much larger, weighing up to 1 lb., and has a much sweeter flavor. Peak season for watermelon radishes is in the fall, but they are usually available year-round.
One cup of watermelon radishes provides only 16 calories. Watermelon radishes are 89 percent water, which can lend to improving your hydration. Due to their low calorie contribution, watermelon radishes may be served cooked as a side dish or raw as part of a salad without negatively impacting the nutrient profile of the dish.
Watermelon radishes are a rich source of vitamins. A 1-cup serving includes 11 milligrams of vitamin C, 8 milligrams of vitamin A and 1.08 milligrams of niacin. Less than 1 milligram of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin also also provided per 1-cup serving of watermelon radish. It also offers a generous serving of folate, at 25 micrograms per cup.
Eating watermelon radishes can improve your intake of 10 minerals essential to a balanced diet. These include 43 milligrams of phosphorus, 33 milligrams of potassium, 19 milligrams of calcium and 17 milligrams of magnesium, as well as moderate quantities of sodium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.