Radish greens are the leafy tops of the radish plant.

The radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a small root crop that is a popular and colorful addition to salads or cooked dishes. You can buy it with the leaves intact or removed.

In this article, we explain whether radish greens are edible and review their potential health benefits and downsides.

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Ina Peters/Stocksy United

Radish greens are the edible tops of the radish plant, and are commonly eaten as a vegetable in Korea and China (1, 2).

A member of the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables, radish greens are nutritious and enjoyed as mature leaves, microgreens, or radish sprouts (3).

Per cup (128 grams) cooked, radish greens contain (4):

  • Calories: 70.4
  • Carbohydrates: 8.3 grams
  • Protein: 4.5 grams
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.3 grams
  • Potassium: 16% daily value
  • Magnesium: 28% daily value
  • Iron: 7% daily value
  • Vitamin C: 77% daily value
  • Vitamin K: 171% daily value

Radish greens are low in calories but are a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. They are also rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Summary

Radish greens are the edible tops of the radish plant (Raphanus sativus L.). They are rich in magnesium and vitamins C and K.

Some of the active compounds in radish greens may have health benefits, but we need more human research.

In mice studies, erucamide extract from radish greens reduced memory deficits. Therefore, it may have the potential to guard against memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease (6).

Antioxidant extracts from radish greens showed great potential in test-tube research for protecting lung tissues from damage oxidative stress due to the buildup of free radicals (7).

Free radicals are a natural by-product of metabolism in the body, but if the levels of free radicals exceed those of antioxidants, oxidative stress can result. Oxidative stress damages tissues and may increase chronic disease risk (8).

It’s important to note that these potential health benefits of radish greens are based on test-tube and animal research of extracts, and more human research is needed to determine benefits of eating the whole plant itself.

Summary

Test-tube and animal research of radish green extracts showed that they could play a role in reducing memory loss and protecting the lung tissues against oxidative stress and damage. However, we need more human research.

Not much data are available regarding the risks of radish greens themselves to human health.

However, one study of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) — pollutants found in water that pose risks to human health — determined that radish greens are a potent source of these CECs (9).

However, this is due to irrigation practices and reusing wastewater, not the radish greens themselves.

This means that with proper farming practices and washing prior to serving, radish greens are safe to consume.

Some people may experience allergic reactions when handling or eating radishes, though radish does not appear to be a common allergen (10).

Summary

Reuse of wastewater and irrigation practices increase the presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in radish greens, but radishes themselves aren’t unsafe. Some people may have allergies to radish.

Radish greens are reported to have a pleasant taste similar to mustard greens, but they can range in flavor from slightly bitter to earthy and spicy.

Mature radish greens are prepared in a similar manner to other leafy vegetables, and radish microgreens are used as garnishes or to enhance salads (11).

Here are some ways to eat radish greens raw or cooked:

  • Add to salads, soups, or stews.
  • Top sandwiches or toasts like avocado toast.
  • Prepare in a cooked or fresh dish with radish roots.
  • Blend into sauces like pesto or marinara.
  • Add to casseroles.
  • Steam or sauté and eat as a side dish.

Summary

Radish greens range in flavor from slightly bitter or spicy to earthy. They can be eaten raw or cooked in salads, soups, and casseroles, or they can be sautéed or steamed and enjoyed as a side dish.

Radish greens are the edible tops of the radish plant. They are commonly eaten as vegetables in some cultures.

They are rich in magnesium and vitamins C and K, and they may help reduce memory loss and protect the lung tissues against oxidative stress and damage, according to test-tube and animal research.

However, we need more human studies to confirm these benefits.

Radish greens have a pleasant taste similar to mustard greens. You can eat them raw or cooked in salads, soups, and casseroles, or you can sauté or steam them and enjoy them as a side dish.

Just one thing

Try this today: Build a nutritious salad base with mixed greens like arugula, kale, and radish greens. Top with grilled chicken or fish, nuts, and cheese for a filling lunchtime meal. Don’t forget to add your favorite veggies.