11 Surprising Benefits of Daikon
Some of the most important benefits of daikon include its ability to prevent certain types of cancer, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen bones, aid respiratory health, and stimulate weight loss.
Although radishes are quite common Europe and the Americas, daikon is an unusual type of white, winter radish that grows primarily in the East, namely in Southeast and East Asia. The daikon is characterized by large, rapidly growing leaves and a long, white root. It is technically considered a cruciferous vegetable, and therefore has many of the same benefits in its leaves as those other popular vegetables, but is also praised for the nutrient content of its root, which is commonly pickled and eaten as a vegetable in Japan, China, and other Asian countries as a part of their cuisine. Daikon is also commonly used in diced form as an ingredient in soups, salads, curries, rice dishes, and various condiments, while the leaves are often consumed as typical green salad vegetables. The juice is most commonly marketed as a healthy beverage for a wide range of conditions.
The impressive qualities of daikon, including its low food energy levels and high nutrient content, are what make it such a highly sought after ingredient in many foods, and the health benefits of daikon have been well known for generations. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of daikon.
Health Benefits of Daikon
Respiratory Health: The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activity with the expectorant properties of daikon and daikon juice make it ideal for clearing up respiratory issues. If you have excess phlegm or mucus in your respiratory tracts, it can capture bacteria and allow it to grow. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm, but also eliminate bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.
Digestive Health: Daikon juice has also been shown to possess similar enzymes to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase. These can facilitate more efficient digestion of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into more easily manipulable compounds for the body. This can reduce constipation and increase nutrient uptake efficiency in the gut.
Detoxify the Body: Daikon has long been known as a diuretic by nature, which means that it stimulates urination. This helps to keep the kidneys clean and functioning at a high level by stimulating the elimination of excess toxins, fats, and even water through urination.
Cancer Prevention: Daikon not only has a high nutrient content, but also possessed certain antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce various types of cancer, particularly of the stomach. Nitrosamine is the specific compounds found in daikon that prevents the development of many cancer-causing substances.
Immune System: The high concentration of vitamin C in daikon makes it an ideal partner for your immune system, as it stimulates the production of white blood cells and helps to speed healing and repair throughout the cells and tissues of the body. Daikon leaves are the richest source of vitamin C, so if you want a health boost, have a daikon leaf salad with some daikon juice on the side!
Anti-inflammatory Action: Research has shown that the level of anti-inflammatory compounds found in daikon juice and the normal roots and leaves can significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body, which leads to a healthier heart, a lower chance of developing arthritis, treats gout, and eases discomfort and pain from injuries and strained muscles.
Bone Health: Like most other cruciferous vegetables, daikon is a rich source of calcium, which is essential for bone health. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis or are beginning to feel the pain of your age, adding some daikon and calcium to your diet can definitely improve your conditions and slow that natural aging process.
Weight Loss: Although this is mainly a second-degree symptom of eating daikon, the low calorie and cholesterol nature of the vegetable, combined with its high fiber and nutrient content, makes it a weight loss aid, as it fills you up and gives you the essential nutrients of your day, without significantly boosting the amount of consumed calories or cholesterol in your daily diet.
Skin Health: Daikon oil is relatively rare, but it can be applied directly to the skin for anti-aging results. Similar results are also experience when daikon is normally consumed, but the antioxidant properties of the vegetable help to prevent the effects of free radicals, which are the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. You can prevent wrinkles, increase the glow and circulation to the skin, and even reduce the appearance of blemishes and ages spots.
A Final Word of Warning: Some evidence has been suggested that daikon and other radish varieties shouldn’t be eaten by people with gallstones. Other than that, daikon is not commonly known as an allergen and is generally considered healthy for anyone.