Beets vs. Radish: Are They the Same? What’s Their Difference?

Beets and radishes, you may think they are the same, or you may think they are different. Anyhow, the debate is over. Beets and radishes are identical and different at the same time. Though, are beets radishes? 

The two are the same regarding their nutritional value and uses, though they differ in many other ways. All you need to know about radishes and beets are right here; no need to look further. 

Are Radish and Beet the Same?

Since beets and radishes look so similar, are they the same? The answer is simple, though they are alike in many means, they differ in just as many ways. Beets and radishes both vary in their own practices. 

A radish and a beet are both similar and different at the same time. From appearance to taste, you can tell the two apart in countless ways. Their health values are about the same, though their taste and size differ. 

Beets and Radish Overview

It would help if you learned the differences and similarities between radishes and beets for several reasons. You can use the two vegetables conversely most of the time. Though, you should be aware of the distinctions between a beet and a radish. 

The two can have major differences that can be sufficient or not for specific recipes. Learning the differences between the two can help you buy the right vegetable for your next recipe. 

What is a Beet?

Have you heard about beets and their benefits? A beet is part of the Chenopodiaceae family, along with quinoa and spinach. A beet is usually a rounded shape with deep reddish purple-tinted skin, along with the inside of the beet. 

Beets have many benefits, such as being packed with vitamins and minerals. 

Beets have several uses, like in cooking dishes or pickling them. 

Take a look at all the benefits a beet has to offer. You can often find miniature versions of the beetroot, though commonly, they are around 2 to 3 inches in diameter. 


A beetroot comes with many benefits, such as being full of nutrients. With only roughly 43 calories, beets have inorganic nitrates that bring many health benefits. The high amount of nitrates in a beet gives the vegetable the ability to lower blood pressure. 

Lower blood pressure will reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. Beets, loaded with vitamins and minerals, can improve your athletic performance. Since beets enhance your oxygen use and reduce time to fatigue, they are helpful for training, competing, or working out. 

Consider consuming beets at least two to three hours before working out to see the best results.

Along with being great for athletics, beets also have anti-inflammatory effects. Even better for working out! Being a good source of fiber, too, makes beets good for your digestive health and reduces your risk of health conditions.


With every pro, there is a con. Beets have many benefits, but what about the downsides? 

Like many other things, beets have a few drawbacks. Beets have a higher calorie content than a radish. Beets also contain lots of sodium, whereas a radish has little to no sodium. Sodium can be harmful to your health in large quantities. It could raise your heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure risk. 

As well as threats to your health, you do not want to eat beets raw. Raw beets have a rigid texture that you cannot easily bite into. Though, cooking them can solve that issue. 


As with most foods, beets do come with some risks. One primary concern is allergies. Many people are allergic to beets. You should ensure you are not one of them before consuming beets. 

Another thing to mention is that studies on animals show beets could cause low calcium and kidney damage. Although, those results have so far not shown up in humans. Though, that is only in high amounts. Eating too many beets could make existing kidney disease worse in humans. 

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should take precautions taking beets as a medicine as well to avoid any issues with their child.

What is a Radish? 

Now that you know all about a beet, what about a radish? 

Radish belongs to the Brassicaceae family. The same family includes cauliflower and broccoli. Low in fat and calories, radishes have shown they can control damage to your red blood cells. In the process of preventing harm, it increases your oxygen supply. A high oxygen supply is always good, regardless of who you are. 

Radishes can be the perfect vegetable for you to use in your next dish! Radishes fix problems with acidity of the stomach, gastric problems, obesity, and nausea. 


Radishes are low in calories, with around only 16 calories. As well as low calorie, radishes have low fat with roughly only 0.1 gram of fat per radish. Radishes are also known for their ability to manage the damage to your red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells can improve your oxygen supply to your blood. In turn, you will have a healthy blood flow. 

Radishes can also provide your body with ample fibers that protect your liver, improve digestion, and regulate your bile production. 

Besides many other health benefits, radishes are a good source of anthocyanins, ensuring your heart functions properly. They can also provide your body with potassium that helps lower your blood pressure and aids hypertension. Radishes are also great for your skin! They can prevent dryness, pimples and acne, and rashes.

With as many benefits as a radish has, who can turn it down? However, with every advantage, there is always a downside. 


Along with many benefits, radishes have a few downsides. Used and consumed in suggested amounts, radishes pose little threat. When you use radishes out of moderation, you run into more downsides. Large doses could lower your blood sugar, which sounds like a good thing. It is not always. 

Suppose you struggle to keep your blood sugar in the recommended range. In that case, you should take precautions, do not go overboard on the radishes. Another thing about blood sugar is that you should take extra precautions before surgery. Large amounts of radishes before surgery could tamper your body’s natural blood sugar control during and after surgery. 

You should stop consuming radishes for extra precaution at least two weeks before your surgery. 


Along with downsides, radishes also have a few risks. As stated above, radishes can be harmful in large doses to your blood sugar. Watch out for hypoglycemia or diabetes when consuming large amounts of radishes. Large amounts of radishes can raise other threats as well. Large amounts of radishes can aggravate your digestive tract. As a result of an irritated digestive tract, you can develop symptoms of IBS, commonly known as irritable bowel syndrome. 

Symptoms of IBS can include but are not limited to: 

  • Cramping of your intestines.
  • Bloating. 
  • Gas and flatulence. 
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Abdominal pain. 

Most cases of IBS symptoms will flare up for around two to four days. Your symptoms could lessen or even disappear entirely. With radishes, if you do not have IBS, your irritated digestive tract should clear up after a few days. 

Another risk to mention, as with any other food, is that you may be allergic. Although people are rarely allergic to radishes, it is not impossible. 

You may want to avoid radishes to ensure your safety if you have gallstones. Many people with gallstones that consume large amounts of radishes have issues with sudden pain. This pain comes from your gallstones blocking the bile duct in your body. 

Since radishes are beneficial to helping bile production, things will move easier. That said, your gallstones could block your bile duct, causing pain. 

What are the Differences Between Radishes and Beets?

Now that you know all about radishes and beets’ risks and benefits, you should look closely at the two. Both vegetables have differences and similarities in type, taste, use, and more. Look below to gain more insight into both radishes and beets. The more knowledge of the two you have, the better you can decide which vegetable you need next time in the grocery store. 


Primarily, beets and radishes have different classifications. While beets are known as root vegetables, a radish is not considered a true root vegetable. Most will consider a radish as a taproot. 

Radishes and beets are from two different families as well. A radish is from the Raphanus genus and the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae family includes cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, and broccoli. 

In comparison, a beet is from the Amaranthaceae family and the Betoideae subfamily. Beet is the same species, Beta Vulgaris, as chard and spinach. 


Radishes and beets look similar but also different. Depending on the variety of beet or radish, they can look alike. 

A radish is commonly smaller than a beet, though it is the same circular shape. An average radish measures around 1 inch in diameter. In contrast, a beet will measure between two and three inches in diameter. 

Radishes are often white, pinkish, or red in color on the exterior. Their interior is commonly white or pinkish. They have long stems and leaves that grow from the top of the radish. Beets are often reddish purple throughout the entire vegetable. 

Beets’ interior and exterior are the same color, but radishes are not. The average beet has a slightly bumpy and uneven surface. In contrast, a radish is smoother. 

You can tell beets and radishes apart by their differences in looks. 


Another distinct way that beets and radishes differ is in their taste. The taste of each vegetable can be an essential part of deciding between a radish and a beet. Whether eating them as a snack or mixing them into a dish, you must know the taste differences to achieve the correct flavor. 

Beets have a naturally sweet and earthy taste that is more neutral. Some say they are a touch bitter. Beets are naturally tough and crunchy. You should avoid consuming beets raw as they are tough and not easily chewed. The best way to enjoy a beet is after you cook it.

Radishes are the perfect snacking vegetable with a lingering sort of sweet aftertaste. You can easily eat raw radishes as they have the ideal amount of crunch and a rejuvenating taste. In contrast, radish has a distinctive taste. A radish has more of a spicy and pungent flavor that some describe as peppery. 


As you may know, both radishes and beets have specific uses. You can use both of these vegetables in many dishes and recipes. Both vegetables will provide an excellent taste. 

Beets are commonly used in salads to add a hint of sweetness due to their sweeter taste. Some say that beets can make anything taste better due to their high sugar content. Some may even use beets as a sweetener in their dish. 

Beets are commonly cooked into recipes due to their hard-to-chew texture, though you can consume beets raw. 

A few recipes you may find beets in can include but are not limited to: 

  • Crispy beet chips or fries. 
  • Beet fritters. 
  • Roasted balsamic beets. 

On the other hand, you commonly use radishes to give your recipe a zing due to their peppery flavor. The most popular way of consuming radishes is raw as a snack, though you can use them in many dishes. 

When eaten raw, radishes are crunchy and refreshing. You can also pickle your radishes to give them a soft and crunchy texture. Most people will simply cook their radishes by their preferred cooking method. 

You can eat your radishes raw, or you may find them in dishes such as: 

  • A radish, fennel, and blue cheese salad. 
  • Radish and kale soup. 
  • Rosemary and garlic roasted radishes. 

As you can see, beets and radishes both have many uses. Though perhaps you want to grow your radishes or beets at home. Can it be done? You can grow radishes and beets at home with the proper growing conditions. 

Growing Conditions

So you want to grow your radishes at home? Growing beets and radishes does not take much. Radishes and beets can be planted as companions in your garden as their growing needs are similar. However, there are some differences you need to be aware of. 

Beets take longer to mature than radishes. Radishes are fast-growing and harvested within 28 to 30 days of planting. That is where companion planting comes in handy. Companion planting of these two vegetables can be beneficial for thinning out vegetable seedlings. 

When you harvest your radishes, you loosen the soil by pulling the radishes up. The loose soil gives beets plenty of room to grow. Plants need air circulation in the ground to grow. Beets take much longer to mature, harvesting at 50 to 60 days. 

Both plants love loam soil that is a bit acidic. The best pH level of your dirt for beets and radishes is around 6.0 to 7.5. They will grow the best in cooler temperatures of above 40°F or 4°C and below temperatures of 95°F or 32°C. 

A beet usually is planted as a large bulb. In comparison, radish is a seed.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, beets and radishes have many similarities, but they also have many differences. When it comes to taste and appearance, the two differ a bit. On the other hand, they are similar in terms of benefits and risks.