Radishes are little root vegetables that happen to pack a lot of nutrients. Some of the benefits of eating radishes include reduced inflammation and lower cholesterol. One study even seems to indicate that radish root extract has specific anti-cancer properties.
Still, while these pink vegetables are nutrient-dense and mostly harmless, they can have potential side effects, especially when eaten raw. One major side effect of eating radishes is that when they are consumed raw, they can possibly impact the health of our thyroid.
The key connection between radishes and our thyroid health is a natural substance found in radishes called goitrogen. Goitrogens are a group of compounds found in many different types of vegetables and fruits, including broccoli, kale, strawberries, and certain soy products.
When a food that is rich in goitrogens is eaten in its raw form, the goitrogen chemicals are released. In order for our thyroid to work properly, it needs iodine to absorb and convert into T3 and T4 hormones. And according to a paper published in the journal Biochemistry & Pharmacology, goitrogens (the chemical found in radishes) are known to block the process of iodine reaching the thyroid gland. In other words, radishes have the potential to interrupt our thyroid function. The paper also mentions that much larger quantities of goitrogens have the potential to cause an enlarged thyroid, but it would be almost impossible to consume that large of a number of goitrogens with just radishes.
So eatthis.com reports that, if you're set on keeping radishes in your diet, then the easiest way to solve this potential thyroid issue is simply to cook your radishes. According to the Journal of BMC Endocrine Disorders, the process of cooking goitrogenic foods lowers their ability to impact our thyroid hormone production. But if you're ever concerned with how your food is affecting your health, and your thyroid health, it's always best to consult with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.