Daikon (literally “big root”), also known by many other names depending on context, is a mild-flavored winter radish (Raphanus sativus) usually characterized by fast-growing leaves and a long, white, napiform root. Originally native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region (as well as in South Asia).
Daikon Radish refers to Japanese Radish or Chinese Radish. They are both the same except that Japanese Radish is thinner and longer, compared to Chinese Radish. It looks like a white carrot and has a crisp texture with a mild taste compared to normal radish. It is used mainly in Oriental dishes, but can also be eaten raw in a salad.
There are several types of radishes available in the market, but daikon radish is the most popular from the medicinal point of view. Another popular radish for its healing properties is the black radish, which is common in the West. Daikon radish is of course, common in the East.
Besides its medicinal and healing properties, the high nutritional content including Vitamin A, C, E and B-6, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and fiber are some of the reasons why daikon radish or Chinese radish should be part of your diet.
Raw daikon is used throughout Japan to complement the taste of oily or raw foods and, more importantly, to aid in their digestion. Laboratory analysis has shown that the juice of raw daikon is abundant in digestive enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract. These enzymes – diastase, amylase, and esterase – help transform complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into their readily assimilable components. Traditional Japanese restaurants serve grated daikon (daikon oroshi) in tempura dip to help digest oils, or shredded daikon with raw fish to help digest the protein. Grated daikon is a wonderful aid to people with a weak digestive system. It is important, however, to use grated daikon immediately. In just thirty minutes nearly 50 percent of its enzymes are lost.
Daikon has also been shown to be effective as a diuretic and decongestant. As a diuretic, raw daikon promotes the discharge of excess water by the kidneys. The result is increased urination and gradual reduction of the swelling condition known as edema. As a decongestant, the enzymes in daikon juice seem to help dissolve mucus and phlegm in the respiratory system and facilitate their discharge from the body.
Isothiocyanate doesn’t start out in Daikon. It turns out that this helpful chemical is a by healthy by product of the cell splitting presses that occurs when grating. This is one reason why it is recommended that you grate Daikon to unlock Isothiocyanate.
There are not a lot of people that cut off a 6 centimeter long piece and start eating Daikon like it’s a carrot; however before that happens remember what grating Daikon has in store, produces Isothiocyanate for an antiaging effect. Note that you don’t necessarily have to use a grater. The same can be achieved using a sharp knife slicing the Daikon into little bits and pieces.
Daikon and radish sprouts contain high levels of glucoraphenin, a glucosinolate which hydrolyses to form sulphoraphene. Sulphoraphene, like sulphoraphane from broccoli, is a potent inducer of phase 2 detoxification enzymes and consequently has potential anti-cancer action. Unlike broccoli however, daikon and radish do not possess epithiospecifier protein, a protein that inhibits conversion of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates, and consequently they may represent more suitable sources of phytochemicals with anti-cancer potential.
Research suggests that high levels of vitamin C and B, such as found in *daikon, help to prevent chronic inflammation in the body.
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.
As a decongestant, the enzymes in *daikon radish will help decongest the lungs by dissolving the mucus and phlegm, and removing it from our body. It does this by decreasing the inflammation and opening the respiratory tract.
This makes it an effective natural remedy for flu, asthma, and bronchitis.
To stay healthy, our blood pH level must be from 7.35 to 7.45. This is slightly higher than pure distilled water, which is at a neutral 7.
However, we tend to eat more acid-forming foods such as dairy products, meat, chicken, or fish. This may eventually lead to health problems.
To improve this situation, we must eat alkaline foods to balance the pH level in our body.
Daikon radish is one of these alkalizing balanced foods. In fact, foods that are rich in magnesium, calcium and sodium are usually alkaline forming.
As a guide to good balance, we must eat 65% alkaline foods and 35% acidic foods.
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.
At only 18 calories for every 3 ounces of *daikon radish, make this vegetable a low caloric energy food.
Hence, it is a great vegetable to include in your diet for weight management. On top of that, it is also packed with antioxidants. Vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and dietary fiber.
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.
The digestive enzymes amylase, diastase and esterase in *daikon will convert fats, proteins. And complex carbohydrates into compounds that are easy to digest.
This support the traditional Asian belief that eating *daikon radish will help with weight loss.
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.