11 Surprising Benefits of Daikon

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Daikon has many amazing benefits that include cancer prevention, stronger immune system, lower inflammation, and improved digestion. Further, it helps strengthen bones, detoxify the body, improve respiratory health, and stimulate weight loss.

What is Daikon?

Daikon is a type of white, winter radish that grows primarily in Southeast and East Asia. It 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. It 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 a typical green salad vegetable. 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, make it a highly sought after ingredient in many foods. Further, the health benefits of daikon have been well known for generations.

Closeup of freshly sliced daikon with leaves on a wooden table

Nutrition Facts

Radishes, oriental, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]94.62
Energy [kcal]18
Protein [g]0.6
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.1
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]4.1
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.6
Sugars, total [g]2.5
Calcium, Ca [mg]27
Iron, Fe [mg]0.4
Magnesium, Mg [mg]16
Phosphorus, P [mg]23
Potassium, K [mg]227
Sodium, Na [mg]21
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.15
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]22
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.02
Niacin [mg]0.2
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.05
Folate, DFE [µg]28
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]0
Vitamin A, IU [IU]0
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.05
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Health Benefits of Daikon

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits.

Improves Respiratory Health

The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activities with the expectorant properties of daikon and its juice make it ideal for treating respiratory issues. The excess phlegm or mucus in your respiratory tracts can capture bacteria and allow it to grow. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm but also eliminates bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy.

Improves Digestion

Daikon juice has also been shown to possess similar enzymes to those found in the human digestive tract, including amylase and esterase. These enzymes can facilitate more efficient digestion of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This can prevent constipation and increase nutrient uptake efficiency in the gut.

Detoxifies 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.

Anticancer Potential

According to a research article by the American Chemical Society, daikon sprouts contain certain antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant/radical scavenging properties which help to lower the risk of colon cancer. It is also shown to exhibit hepatoprotective activity. However, more research is needed to exactly know how daikon can help in cancer prevention.

Boosts Immune System

The high concentration of vitamin C in daikon makes it ideal for your immune system, as it stimulates the production of white blood cells. This helps speed up healing and repair of the cells and tissues throughout 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 Agent

Research has shown that the anti-inflammatory compounds found in daikon juice, its roots, and leaves can significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body. This helps boost heart health and reduces the risk of developing arthritis. It also treats gout and eases discomfort and pain from injuries and strained muscles.

Improves 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 of developing osteoporosis or are beginning to feel the pain related to old age, adding some daikon and calcium to your diet can definitely improve your condition and slow the natural aging process.

Weight Loss

Intake of daikon fills you up and provides your body with essential nutrients, without significantly increasing the calorie count or cholesterol intake in your daily diet. This is due to its low calorie and cholesterol nature, combined with its high fiber and nutrient content, making it perfect for a weight loss diet.

Skin Care

Daikon oil is relatively rare, but it can be applied directly to the skin for anti-aging effects. Similar results are also experienced when daikon is normally consumed. The antioxidant properties of the vegetable help to prevent the effects of free radicals, which are the harmful by-products of cellular metabolism. You can prevent wrinkles, improve skin glow, increase circulation to the skin, and even reduce the appearance of blemishes and age spots.

Word of Caution: Evidence has been suggested that daikon and other radish varieties shouldn’t be eaten by people with gallstones. Other than that, it is not commonly known as an allergen and is generally considered healthy for everyone.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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