Could Radishes Aid Cardiovascular Progress?
When you’re driving home from work thinking about dinner just around the corner, what do you usually look for in a healthy, balanced meal? Protein, healthy carbohydrates and at least one vegetable usually make the list. It’s no secret that whole foods and vegetables are beneficial for your overall health, and especially your heart. But a recent breakthrough in cardiovascular science indicates that one unique vegetable could contain important compounds that prevent heart disease. Also known as the Sakurajima Daikon, this giant radish native to Japan is now thought to contain specific compounds associated with cardiovascular health.
A Breakthrough in Research
The Sakurajima Daikon is one of the largest vegetables found in the world, and has grown in Japan for centuries. Normal radishes contain both valuable antioxidants and a compound called Nitric Oxide, which is known to reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of stroke or heart attack. Researchers suspected that the healing potential of the Sakurajima radish might be greater due to its extreme size. Researchers tested this theory by exposing human and pig cells to extracts from both normal radishes and the Sakurajima radish. Compared to normally sized radishes (the kind you’d find at the grocery store), this Japanese vegetable promoted more nitric oxide production on the cellular level.
But the discovery doesn’t end there—researchers also found that a plant hormone called “Trigonelline” influenced positive changes in the coronary blood vessels. Trigonelline is also found in coffee, and is currently considered a potential treatment for diabetes and related disorders. This discovery could have long term clinical implications in the fight against stroke, heart attack and cardiac failure. Scientists are still trying to determine the mechanisms of action in Trigonelline, but its potential is vast. Studies indicate it could foster hypoglycemic, antimigraine, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tumor activity in the body. But how can you take advantage of these benefits at home on a daily basis?
What Steps Can I Take Today?
While most of us don’t have access to this very specific Japanese variety of radish, the health benefits of radishes are still available at your local grocery store. Standard radishes are packed full of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Like most vegetables, radishes are also low calorie and low in net carbs. Incorporating radishes into your regular diet can be a fantastic supply of vitamins and minerals key to heart attack prevention. Potassium and magnesium also play key roles in regulating your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart; both essential minerals are found in radishes. If your daily sodium intake is a little too high, for example, potassium and magnesium can help improve your electrolyte balance. This is directly related to your blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.
If you’re interested in learning more about your heart health and risk of cardiovascular disease, visit www.cvgcares.com to schedule an appointment with an experienced cardiologist. For atrial fibrillation testing, heart structure tasting, stress testing, and more—our dedicated staff can help. The Cardiovascular Group serves the metro Atlanta area from nine convenient locations.