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Daikon (White Radish)

January 15, 2021
Daikon (White Radish) benefits and uses

If you are a lover of vegetables, especially daikon, I invite you to continue reading to learn about its main characteristics, nutritional properties, health benefits, consumption options, as well as some frequently asked questions related to its cultivation and storage.

What is daikon?

Daikon, also known as white radish, daikon turnip, or Japanese radish,  is a type of white radish that grows mainly in Southeast and East Asia. Its appearance is similar to a white carrot , its texture is crunchy and its flavor is milder compared to the taste of  normal radish . It is widely used in the preparation of oriental dishes; It can be eaten raw as part of a salad or as an ingredient in soups, salads, curries, rice dishes, among other preparations.

Characteristics and data of interest

  • The daikon plant is grown mainly for its root or tuber, however its leaves are also edible and versatile in the kitchen.
  • The name “daikon” derives from Japanese and means “big root”, but in reality this radish was originally grown in Europe and mainland Asia, mostly in China.
  • The root of the daikon radish is cylindrical, with a white skin similar to that of a carrot or turnip .
  • This tuber can grow up to twenty inches long, with a diameter of 4 inches.
  • The flavor of daikon root is similar to that of a radish, but mild and less spicy, with a crisp and juicy texture.
  • Daikon is available year-round, however fall and winter crops taste better.
  • Japan is said to produce and consume 90% of the world’s annual Daikon radish crop. This tuber is a staple of Japanese cuisine.

Nutritional properties of daikon

Nutritional information (1 radish, 338 g):

  • Calories: 61
  • Grease: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodio: 71 mg (2%)
  • Potasio: 767 mg (21%)
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g (4%)
  • Dietary fiber: 5 g (20%)
  • Azúcar: 8 g
  • Protein: 2 g 4%
  • Vitamin C: 124%
  • Calcium: 9%
  • Iron 7%
  • Vitamin B-6: 10%
  • Magnesium: 13%
  • Potasio: 767 mg (22%)
  • Phosphorus: 77.7 mg (8%)

What is daikon good for? Importance, benefits and uses

Including white radish in your diet is a more than wise decision, since this vegetable offers important benefits for good health.

One of the best benefits of daikon is its ability to improve digestion , thanks to an enzyme called diastase, which helps relieve indigestion, heartburn, and can even curb hangovers.1  On the other hand, isothiocyanates, which give it its typical spicy flavor, can helpimprove blood circulationand prevent blood clots.

The juice extracted from raw daikon has traditionally been used to relieve headaches and migraines, fever, swollen gums, and hot flashes, due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects .2

Daikon radish also contains high amounts of potassium, vitamin C, and phosphorous, nutrients and antioxidants that are essential for maintaining good overall health.

The benefits and uses of Japanese radish can not only be attributed to the root (tuber), as its leaves also have impressive nutritional value. In fact, they are rich in vitamin A (essential for eye health) and much richer in vitamin C than the root itself. Likewise, it is a good source of beta-carotene, sodium, iron, phosphorus and calcium.

Here is a summary of the main healthy benefits of daikon:

  • Strengthens immunity. The vitamin C present in daikon stimulates the production of white blood cells, and this in turn can speed up repair and healing in the body.
  • Promotes digestive health. Consuming daikon facilitates the digestion of proteins, complex carbohydrates and fats, increasing the absorption of nutrients in the intestine and avoiding constipation.
  • Relieves inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of daikon juice can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, promote good heart health, reduce the risk of gout and arthritis, reduce pain in possible injuries and muscle cramps.
  • Relieves respiratory problems. It can help eliminate excess phlegm, fight bacteria and other pathogens present in the airways.
  • Promotes healthy bones and skin. Its high calcium content can be helpful in preventing osteoporosis. It also has antioxidant benefits that help prevent wrinkles, improve circulation, and even reduce the appearance of age spots.
  • Supports natural detoxification . By having a diuretic effect, daikon stimulates urination and helps keep the kidneys free of toxins.
  • It has preventive potential against cancer . This vegetable has antioxidant phenolic compounds that have been linked to a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer.
  • It helps control weight. Daikon is a low-calorie vegetable, high in fiber and essential nutrients; This makes it an excellent option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Helps alkalize the body.  Ideally, our blood pH level should be alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45. Did you know that daikon radish is an alkalizing food?3  Foods that are rich in magnesium, calcium, and sodium generally provide alkalinity.

It may interest you:  Horseradish: Properties, Benefits and Possible Contraindications

How to use it in the kitchen?

As with other radishes, daikon can be consumed in many different ways. It is common to see it as an ingredient in a delicious soup, a stew or other meat dishes. It can also be roasted, boiled, baked or steamed as we do with carrots. Daikon works great as a  substitute in recipes that call for other types of radishes . In general, it is an extremely versatile vegetable.

Daikon leaves should not be left out as they are just as nutritious and flavorful as the root. It is always recommended to use fresh leaves, ideally the same day they are purchased. They can be used as a complement to a soup, sautéed or to add color to your dishes.

Frequent questions

What is the origin of the daikon?

This tuber is native to the coasts of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, however about 1,300 years ago daikon became very popular in Japan as varieties adapted to the climate and native tastes were developed. For centuries, daikon saved the Japanese over and over again from famine, so much so that  today it is essential in the Japanese diet .

What is the daikon plant like?

The daikon plant is an annual herbaceous plant, which belongs to the Brasicaceae or Cruciferous family.

Its root , which in this case is the edible fruit of the plant, is thick and fleshy, as well as variable in size and shape.

Its stem is small, branchy and hairy. Once the daikon plant blooms, the stem can reach a height of ½ to 1 meter.

The leaves are rough, petiolate and large, with irregularly serrated edges.

The daikon flower is usually white and grows in the form of large, open clusters.

The seeds of the radish plant are small, with a diameter of approximately 5 mm; they are circular in shape and brown in color.

Does the daikon get fat?

Daikon is a low-calorie tuber , which is also high in fiber and many other nutrients. These properties are ideal for people who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight; its consumption provides the body with essential nutrients and fuel, without significantly increasing the number of calories.

What does daikon taste like?

The flavor of Daikon root is similar to that of a radish, somewhat mild and less spicy, with a crisp and juicy texture.

How is daikon grown?

If you are thinking of growing your own daikon crop in the garden, you should know that this plant is grown in the same way as other varieties of radish , but they need more space and time to harvest. Pay attention to the following tips:

  • Daikon radish needs plenty of sun and regular water to grow.
  • Place the seeds 2 cm deep in the ground, with a 15 cm space between them.
  • Make sure there is drip irrigation to keep the soil moist.
  • Daikon is usually ready to harvest within 60 to 70 days after planting.

What other names does it have?

The name “daikon” derives from Japanese, and means “big root”. Other common names are white radish, mooli, oriental radish, Japanese radish, Chinese radish, lobok, and Korean radish (in which case the daikon is green in color).

Its scientific name is Raphanus sativus or longipinnatus.


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My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.