The Nutritional Benefits of Daikon

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Daikon – also known as Chinese radish – is a type of winter radish known for its ivory napiform root and fast growing leaves.  This radish is native to East and Southeast Asia. It’s cultivated as a vegetable. Daikon radish sprouts are also harvested as a garnish or as an ingredient in salads.

Daikon radish comes in a variety of shapes. Some are spicier and others are very mild in flavor. It’s also packed with essential vitamins, especially vitamin C. In today’s post, we are listing down all the amazing nutritional benefits of eating daikon radishes.

Protects from Cancer

Did you know daikon radish is part of a class of superfoods? Just like most cruciferous vegetables, daikon radish is packed with powerful anti-cancer compounds called antioxidants. These compounds protect from free radical damage that leads to cell mutation. A clinical research found that daikon juice helps inhibits the formation of toxic chemicals and carcinogenic compounds in the body. It also purifies the liver, ridding the organ of toxic buildup!

High in Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant too. It strengthens the immune system, keeps the gums and teeth healthy and protects from cancer! That’s because vitamin C reverses the effects of free radical damage. It inhibits oxidative stress and supports the immune system at the same time. Just a 100-gram serving of daikon yields about 34% of your daily allowance of vitamin C.

Full of Fiber

That’s right, daikon is loaded with soluble fiber too! Fiber aids in weight loss, it keeps the heart healthy and aids in digestion. Fiber also flushes out toxins in the colon and lowers cholesterol in the blood. Eating daikon regularly helps protect from cardiovascular diseases. If you’re a diabetic, boosting your consumption of fiber helps manage blood sugar level too.

A study published by Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010 found that most Americans consume less than their average daily allowance of fiber. Just a cup of sliced daikon yields about 2 grams of fiber!

High in Copper

Copper is a beneficial mineral that aids in the production of connective tissues. This nutrient also protects the integrity of connective tissues in the heart. Copper is linked to elastin and collagen production. This means eating daikon regularly will restore the youthfulness of your skin! Elastin and collagen also play a critical role in the production of blood vessels.

The body needs nutrients like copper to synthesize enzymes to metabolize iron and control the metabolic rate.

Aids in Weight Loss

Because it’s high in soluble fiber, daikon radish also aids in weight loss too. Fiber binds with fat so it’s eliminated from the body – rather than being absorbed in the intestines. Apart from fiber, daikon also contains digestive enzymes amylase, diastase and esterase. All these enzymes help convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into readily digestible compounds.

In addition, daikon is incredibly low in calories. That’s why it’s a popular salad ingredient. 3 ounces of sliced daikon yields a measly 18 calories! Although it’s low in calories, it’s packed with energy giving nutrients. These nutrients include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and dietary fiber.

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