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Black Radish: Properties, Benefits, Contraindications, Uses, How to take it

January 15, 2021
Black Radish

Although it is not the case with its close relatives, the black radish is in the group of unknown vegetables for many of us. In fact, you may have been overlooking their presence during your visits to the local market. To get a little familiar with this tuber and to know what it is, what it tastes like, what are its nutrients, properties and health benefits, forms of consumption, as well as its contraindications and possible side effects, read on below.

What is black radish?

What is black radish

The black radish or Spanish radish, scientifically known as Raphanus sativus L. var. Niger 1 is a radish with dark brown or black skin, apparently native to Europe and Asia. This tuber is significantly larger than traditional radishes, averaging between 7 and 10 cm in diameter. Its flavor is stronger and more penetrating. Hence its presence does not go unnoticed in food.

Depending on the variety, this radish can be round/cylindrical or elongated. Its flesh is crisp, white, slightly bitter, and noticeably spicier than ordinary radishes. Black radish skin is particularly spicy, so it is recommended to peel it before use to soften the flavor.

While this tuber is not common in most supermarkets, its popularity has grown in recent decades due to its impressive nutritional profile and health benefits. Besides being consumed as food, it is also used as a supplement to treat different health problems.

Other data of interest

  • The Tudor family of the British monarchy loved the crunchy, spicy taste of black radish.
  • This radish is rich in vitamin C, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins of group B.
  • Its appearance is quite attractive due to the contrast between the almost translucent white on the inside and the charcoal color on the outside. It is often an intriguing addition to the presentation of many dishes.
  • In ancient Egypt, black radish was considered a sacred food and was often used with garlic to treat ailments.
  • Ayurvedic medicine promotes good digestive health and liver detoxification, boosts the immune system, and combat aging.

Nutritional value of black radish

Despite being a low-calorie tuber (only 10 calories per cup), black or Spanish radish is very nutritious. Its most abundant essential nutrients are2:

  • high amounts of dietary fiber
  • vitamins (vitamin C, E, A, and vitamins B)
  • minerals (iron, iodine, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, calcium)
  • anthocyanins and enzymes
  • antioxidants

Properties and benefits of black radish for health

Properties and benefits of black radish for health

Regular consumption of black radish has been linked to numerous health benefits, such as improving our liver and digestive function, eliminating gallstones, controlling hormone levels and blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, caring for skin and hair, prevention of constipation and abdominal bloating, detoxification of the body, increased mental alertness, among others. Let’s take a closer look at some of these and other properties.

1. Promotes healthy skin

Thanks to its detoxifying properties and high levels of vitamins B and E, eating black radish helps protect the skin against inflammatory conditions and oxidative stress, two common causes of the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.

2. Helps improve liver function

Glutathione has been ranked as one of the most important antioxidants in the body. One of its functions is to ensure that the liver does not accumulate too many toxins3. However, as the body ages, glutathione levels begin to decline4. That is why it is necessary to maintain a regular consumption of foods rich in glutathione, such as black radish.5.

3. Stimulates the immune system

The high levels of vitamin C in this tuber help support the body’s immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, our first line of defense against unwanted pathogens, bacteria, and toxins. 6.

4. Promotes weight loss

Black radish is very low in calories and relatively high in dietary fiber, causing a greater feeling of fullness without increasing your daily caloric intake too much 7. This is a beneficial property for people who want to lose weight and keep their metabolism stable.

5. Helps treat hyperthyroidism

According to various research, if you suffer from hyperthyroidism or have been diagnosed with Graves disease, frequent consumption of this vegetable can help regulate your hormonal levels in the body and improve thyroid health 8.

6. Improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels

Several studies have found that this unusual tuber helps lower cholesterol levels and keep blood pressure within a healthy range, which helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, among other complications. 9.

7. It has anti-cancer properties

Some of the antioxidants present in this vegetable, for example, anthocyanins, help reduce oxidative stress and neutralize the damage caused by free radicals, leading to a lower risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases 10.

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Ways of consuming black radish

Black radishes can be enjoyed in different preparations, both raw and cooked. Some of the most common options are:

  • Sautéed with a little butter
  • Finely sliced ​​as part of a salad
  • Baked, especially to make black radish chips
  • As an ingredient in soups and sauces

Tip: the longer the black radish spends underground, the tougher its skin and meat will be; When buying, it is advisable to put aside those large tubers and choose the smaller ones.

2 Easy and appetizing recipes with black radish

Crispy black radish chips


  • 1 pound black radish
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and dry the radishes well. Then slice them finely to get skinny slices (much better if you have a mandolin).
  3. Place the radish slices in a bowl, add the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well until all the slices are covered.
  4. Now spread the slices out on a baking sheet, making sure to form a single layer; if necessary, use 2 trays.
  5. Bake the radish chips for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown, dry and crisp. Remove the tray from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and enjoy healthy, low-calorie, and naturally spicy chips.

Satiating Black Radish and Apple Salad


  • 1 medium black radish, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced ​​very thinly
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, toasted and unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Combine the radish with the lemon juice in a small bowl and let it steep for 30 minutes. When it has softened a bit, add the apple, celery, and carrot.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil to moisten all the ingredients, add the sunflower seeds, stir well, and sprinkle with the mint and salt to taste.

In addition to its consumption as food, Spanish black radish is widely marketed as a supplement in capsules, tablets, juice, powder, and extract. Black radish supplements can be helpful for:

  • Improve liver and gallbladder function
  • Maintain a healthy digestion
  • Promote the natural elimination of toxins in the body

It is always recommended to purchase a product made from black radish that has been grown organically.

Contraindications and side effects

There are some side effects and contraindications that are associated with excessive consumption of black radish. Being part of the cabbage family, this radish also contains traces of toxins called glucosinolates, which, when consumed in large quantities, can interfere with thyroid hormone production and lead to the formation of a goiter.

On the other hand, some people could be allergic to this root vegetable. Hence they should avoid its consumption. The compound diallyl sulfide, found primarily in garlic, is also present in black radish as a by-product of glucosinolate. Diallyl sulfide has an allergenic and irritant effect for some people; it can cause rhinitis, allergic asthma, and contact dermatitis in susceptible people (allergy usually begins on the fingertips).

It is also not considered a safe food for people who suffer from gastritis and ulcers in the digestive system.

Experts do not recommend consuming 2 servings of vegetables from this family at the same meal. For example, the glucosinolate dose is likely to double black radish with broccoli, cabbage, turnip, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, or kale.

As a general rule, it is best to eat small portions of black radish and not eat it every day, especially if you have a history of hypothyroidism.

Photos and images

Black Radish     Black Radish

Quick answers to frequently asked questions

What is the origin of black radish?

Its true origin is still not entirely clear, but black radish is believed to be related to wild radish, an ancient tuber that was cultivated in Egypt even before the pyramids. The black radish variety was already popular in England and France since the 19th century, along with other radish varieties.

How can I grow black radish?

Black radish plants are slow-growing, about 60 days old. Typically sown in late summer or early fall, for a late fall to early winter crop. Take into account the following recommendations:

  • You can plant the radish seeds directly in the garden or indoors to transplant the seedlings later.
  • Sow the seeds in well-drained, loamy soil that has been raked and has no stones.
  • These should be spaced 2-4 inches apart or even further away if you want to harvest larger radishes.
  • Ideally, the growing area would receive at least 6 hours of sun, and the soil would have a pH of 5.9 to 6.8.
  • Black radish care is minimal. Just make sure to keep the soil slightly moist.
  • After 55 – 60 days, you can already collect the harvest; radishes will be 3 to 4 inches wide. A healthy radish will have very dark skin, dark brown to black, and will be firm.
  • Once harvested, you can use them immediately or store them in the refrigerator in a bag (without leaves or stems) for up to 2 weeks.

Does black radish make you fat?

Black radish is an extremely low-calorie root vegetable (only 10 calories per serving – 1 3-ounce cup). It is also high in dietary fiber, which helps create a greater feeling of fullness without increasing calories in a meal. It is considered as a food compatible with any weight loss plan.

What other names does it have?

Besides black radish, it is known as Spanish radish and Spanish black radish. Its scientific name is Raphanus sativus L. var. Niger.



My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.