Daikon (大根 – Japanese radish or ‘big root’) are white, large, long, hard, and crunchy vegetables from the radish family. They’re somewhat similar in appearance to fresh horseradish but have a subtler pepper flavour, like watercress. Also known as mooli, they can equally be eaten cooked or raw. You’ll often find them used in your chicken and veggie spring rolls. Curious? Then, please read on for these Top 5 Health Benefits of Daikon!
1. Promotes immune and respiratory health
The daikon radish possesses anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which make it excellent for maintaining the health of your respiratory tract and lungs. Infections caused by bacteria or viruses typically result in increased mucus production, which can obstruct your airways and make breathing difficult. This happens especially amongst asthmatics or people who suffer from chronic allergies. Daikon also contain bioflavonoids, (a large family of substances found in many of the same foods that are good sources of Vitamin C) that boost lung function and help reduce the incidence of asthma attacks.
2. Helps healthy kidney function
Say goodbye to kidney stones and hello to healthier kidneys, because daikon can help to naturally stimulate diuresis, preventing accumulation of waste in the kidneys where they can form painful renal stones.
3. Helps reduce the risk of cancer
Daikon radish has been studied for their role in cancer prevention, especially stomach cancer. In particular, daikon is good at eliminating nitrosamine compounds, highly carcinogenic nitrogen-based molecules that can come from consuming, for example, smoked food.
4. Diabetic friendly
Daikon are extremely low carbohydrate vegetables, which can easily be added in diabetic diets. They don’t cause spikes in blood sugar and are rich in fibre content. They also slow down sugar absorption and keep insulin levels stable.
5. Promotes healthy pregnancy
Folate is one of the most important nutrients to ensure a healthy pregnancy, with a single daikon root supplying approximately ¼ of your recommended intake, the slogan, ‘small but mighty’ applies here.
Why not try daikon? They can be boiled in stews and soups, stir-frys, baked or gently steamed with olive oil, salt, and lime or lemon juice for extra tang. You can eat them raw too, so try with your fave dip or peanut butter or add shredded raw daikon to your salads. Once you realize how versatile they are, they’ll likely remain a mainstay on your menu. Fan of daikon, got any delicious recipes? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (Check out our other Top 5’s to help you get and Keep YOUR Fit ON!)