Daikon Radish is a cruciferous vegetable that has its roots in Europe and Asia. Today, there are several different types of Daikon Radish. They vary in terms of color, appearance, and flavor. Asians and Indians mainly use it while preparing dishes because of its medicinal value.
Daikon Radish is cultivated around the world to be consumed by human beings and livestock. Also, its seed oil is usually used when preparing cosmetics. The majority of farmers plant it on their lands to reduce soil erosion and boost fertility and harvests.
Daikon Radish normally has a crispy texture similar to that of large carrots. Their flavor is quite mild and most people describe it as slightly spicy and sweet. Although most of them are usually white with green leafy tops, daikon comes in different colors such as purple, red and green. They also take three shapes namely cylindrical, spherical and oblong.
History Of Daikon
Daikon was originally grown in the Mediterranean before it was brought to China. The word “daikon” is a Japanese word which means “large root.” Today, it is intensively cultivated across continental Asia. The Asians appreciate the nutritional value of its roots.
The vegetable is consumed most in Japan and China. Daikon is cultivated and grown like any other vegetable. However, it requires more space and time to mature. Sunlight, water and a temperature below 80 degrees Fahrenheit are essential for the cultivation and growth of the vegetable.
Varieties Of Daikon
There are several interesting varieties of daikon. They include:
- Miyashige White – This daikon’s root is cylindrical and grows about 45 centimeters long. It is white and with a mild flavor and crisp texture.
- KN-Bravo – KN-Bravo is a good looking daikon with purple to white skin. The roots can grow up to 15 centimeters long. The KN-Bravo has a sweet flavor.
- Alpine – The Alpine daikon has shorter roots compared to other varieties. It is one of the best varieties to use when making a fermented vegetable dish popularly known as kimchi. It has a sweet taste.
- Watermelon Radish – This daikon variety has a pale to green skin that reveals a pink flesh when dissected. It’s quite peppery with slightly sweet taste.
- Japanese Minowase – Minowase daikon is one of the popular varieties across the world with roots growing up to 61 centimeters long. They are white with a crunchy texture and a sweet flavor.
Daikon Radish has very low calories with an impressive nutritional content. Daikon weighing three hundred grams has about:
- 60 calories
- 14 grams of carbs
- two grams of protein
- five grams of fiber
It also contains several other vitamins and minerals such as folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the body that boosts the immune system and repairs worn-out tissues thus facilitating growth. Additionally, it is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells of the body from oxidative damage.
Pregnant women should consume foods rich in folate because it plays an important role in the growth and development of the unborn child.
Consuming a diet rich in daikon will improve your health in several ways.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Daikon is rich in plant compounds which will improve your health by boosting your immunity against specific diseases. A test tube research conducted a few years ago found that an extract of daikon contained polyphenol antioxidants and quercetin which have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
2. Loaded with protective plant compounds
Daikon and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in biological compounds such as glucosinolates which when broken down form isothiocyanates. Test tube studies show that these compounds contain strong anti-cancer properties.
3. Promotes weight loss
Daikon is a low-calorie food that is rich in fiber. It can, therefore, help you lose or maintain your weight if you have such a goal. Daikon is also low in carbs. Research shows that non-starchy vegetables promote healthy weight. Daikon is rich in fiber which reduces hunger levels by slowing down the digestion process which boosts weight loss.
4. Protects against chronic diseases
Daikon Radish is a cruciferous vegetable rich in plant compounds, minerals, vitamins and fiber which all work in unison to boost the body’s immunity. Although adding other vegetables to your diet will improve your health, consuming Daikon Radish will protect you against a wide range of diseases.
Medical experts have reported that people who consume cruciferous vegetables regularly have a reduced risk of specific cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Plus, other studies conclude that consuming cruciferous vegetables can help you live longer.
5. Rich in iron
Anemia is usually caused by low concentrations of hemoglobin. Patients are normally advised to consume foods rich in iron to increase the concentration levels of hemoglobin. Among these foods are daikon and other cruciferous vegetables.
6. Improves respiratory health
Daikon radish has antibacterial, antiviral and expectorant properties which make it ideal for treating and healing the respiratory system. In most cases, when bacteria infiltrate your respiratory system, your body will produce mucus or phlegm to trap the bacteria. Daikon Radish is known for clearing the mucus or phlegm and eliminating bacteria and other disease-causing organisms thus keeping your respiratory system healthy.
7. Improves digestion
Daikon has been reported to contain enzymes such as esterase and amylase which are usually found in the human digestive tract. These enzymes make the digestion process of complex proteins, carbs, and fats more efficient. This prevents constipation and increases the efficiency of nutrient uptake in the intestines.
8. Detoxifies the body
Daikon Radish is a natural diuretic. This means that it is a urination stimulant. Daikon cleans the kidneys and improves their functioning by stimulating the excretion of excess fats, toxins, and water through urination.
9. Strengthens the bones
Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, daikon is rich in calcium which is crucial for bone strength and health. If you have developed osteoporosis or beginning to feel the pain related to the advancement of age, consuming daikon regularly will improve your health and slow down the aging process.
To reduce and eliminate anti-aging effects on your skin, you should apply daikon oil. If you cannot find daikon oil, you should consume it. The properties of the oil are similar to those of the vegetable itself. As we said earlier, daikon is rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals and other by-products of metabolism. You can improve your skin glow and appearance by consuming daikon regularly.
Side Effects Of Daikon
Daikon is an edible vegetable with tons of benefits. However, it has several side effects. Consuming too much daikon can affect people with asthma and dermatitis. Also, people suffering from gallstones should seek medical advice before consuming this vegetable.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should seek medical advice before consuming daikon radish.
Daikon Radish is a low-calorie vegetable rich in nutrients that will improve your health in several different ways. By consuming it regularly, you’ll protect yourself against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. Also, you’ll improve your respiratory and digestive systems.
Before consuming the vegetable, it’s important to seek medical advice if you have certain conditions. This is because the daikon has several side effects which might not favor you. With the facts we’ve discussed in mind, you should consider adding daikon to your diet and consuming it. Today, there are several different ways to add daikon to your diet.
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