Why You Should Eat Daikon Radish: Benefits And Recipes

Written by Aparna Mallampalli

Daikon radish is a part of many cuisines all over the world and is an add-on to many salads. It also doubles as a crunchy snack for weight watchers. Its rich nutritional profile offers important benefits. Here, we discuss its major benefits, nutrition profile, and the delicious daikon recipes you can try at your home. Read on!

What Is Daikon Radish?

Daikon radish is scientifically known as Raphanus sativus var. Longipinnatus. It is especially consumed in winters and offers an array of health benefits. It has a unique sharp taste and is popular in Japan. It usually grows in a cylindrical shape and resembles a carrot in texture.
Daikon radish is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also available in different types. Let us check them out in the next section.

Types Of Daikon Radish

Daikon radish usually is available in white with green leaves. However, few other types of daikon come in peculiar colors.

  • KN-Bravo: This daikon variety has purple skin. The flesh is light purple or white. It has a sweet flavor.
  • Alpine: This daikon variety is whitish and has a sweeter taste compared to other varieties. It is used mostly in making Kimchi.
  • Japanese Minowase: This daikon variety is the largest among all and has a sweet flavor. Japanese Minowases are white and have a crunchy texture.
  • Shunkyo: This daikon variety is known for its mixed sweet and spicy flavor. It has pink stemmed leaves.
  • Miyashige White: This daikon variety is white and grows as a cylindrical root. Its texture is crisp and it has a very mild flavor compared to other daikon varieties.
  • Watermelon Radish: This daikon variety has a unique peppery and sweet taste. It has pink flesh and greenish skin. It grows spherically.

Daikon radish has a rich nutrition profile. Read on to know more.

Daikon Radish Nutrition Facts

Following are the nutrients in 100 grams of daikon radish.

  • Calories: 61
  • Water: 94.6
  • Carbs: 4.1 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams

Vitamins

  • Vitamin C: 22 milligrams
  • Thiamine: 0.02 milligrams
  • Niacin: 0.2 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.046 Milligrams

Minerals

  • Iron: 0.4 milligrams
  • Calcium: 27 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 16 milligrams
  • Potassium: 227 milligrams

Daikon radish offers several health benefits. The following section elaborates them.

Health Benefits Of Daikon Radish

1. May Help Manage Diabetes

Research shows radish has insulin-like polyphenols that act as anti-diabetic compounds. Additionally, Japanese radish was found to reduce the levels of plasma insulin in diabetes rats. This mechanism effectively combats diabetes and also helps in maintaining glucose-related hormones.

2. May Aid Weight Loss

A study found radish may promote weight loss if consumed regularly. Radish may promote weight loss by decreasing leptin and adiponectin, which are hormones that may induce weight gain. Radish also manages lipids effectively and may promote weight loss. Raw daikon radish can be taken as a salad or a side dish.

3. May Promote Skin Health

Anecdotal evidence suggests that regular consumption of radish promotes skin health. Radish contains silicon. Silicon is required for collagen synthesis. As per a study, silicon improves skin elasticity and strength.

4. May Improve Digestion

Daikon radish contains fiber, which plays a crucial role in digestion. Including 1 or 2 servings of raw or steamed daikon in your diet may affect your digestive health positively. In a study, radish leaves were identified as potential substitutes for dietary fiber. These leaves are also known to improve gastrointestinal function. You can add them to your salads or use them as toppings on smoothies to reap the benefits.

5. May Promote Kidney Health

As per some research, intake of radish juice may increase urinary excretion of calcium oxalate. It seems that daikon radish may decrease the accumulation of minerals in the urinary tract and reduce the risk of stone formation. However, concrete research is quite scarce in this regard. Consult your doctor before you choose a radish-based diet for treating kidney stones.

6. May Minimize Cancer Risk

Research shows radishes may have potent anti-cancer properties. They are enriched with different bioactive compounds that exert various anti-cancer mechanisms. Radish can exhibit anti-cancer effects in colon cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Daikon radish is rich in secondary metabolites that have anti-cancer properties.

7. May Help Manage Hypertension

Radish leaves are antihypertensive. Animal studies have shown that leaf extracts of radish significantly increased nitric oxide production, which can have an antihypertensive effect. However, human studies are limited in this regard. It is highly recommended to consult your doctor before including radish leaves in your diet for its purported antihypertensive effects.

8. May Help Treat Fungal Infections

As per a study, radishes contain an antifungal compound called RsAFP2. This compound has antifungal properties and may inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, a fungus that causes infections in humans.

Including daikon radishes regularly in your diet may help minimize the recurrent Candida fungal infections in humans. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

9. May Help Treat Cough And Cold

Anecdotal evidence suggests that radish may relieve congestion in the throat. Its pungent taste may clear out the pain and soreness in the throat and loosen phlegm. However, clear scientific research is lacking in this regard.

10. May Fight Oxidative Damage

The antioxidants in daikon radish may help protect the body from oxidative damage. These antioxidants may fight free radicals and potentially reduce the signs of premature aging. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

These are the major benefits of daikon radish. Incorporating it into your daily diet can do wonders for your health. Check out the following delicious recipes with daikon radish!

5 Simple Easy And Delicious Daikon Radish Recipes

1. Tangy Daikon Salad

Tangy Daikon Salad

Shutterstock

What You Need

  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lemon juice (from one lemon)

Method

  1. Slice the daikon into pieces and grate it into fine threads.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to it and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the liquid after 10 minutes and transfer it into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add finely chopped bell pepper and cilantro.
  5. You can sprinkle some black pepper powder for added spiciness.
  6. A tablespoon of mayonnaise can be added to the salad to impart a creamy texture.
  7. Sprinkle some lemon juice and consume immediately without storing it.

2. Spicy Daikon Curry

What You Need

  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
  • ½ a tablespoon of pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chilis
  • 1-inch garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ½ a tablespoon of mustard seeds
  • Few curry leaves

Method

  1. Peel the daikon and grate into fine threads.
  2. Wash it in saltwater.
  3. Squeeze out the extra water and transfer it into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add ½ a tablespoon of turmeric and ½ a tablespoon of salt. Keep the mixture aside.
  5. In a food processor, add the onion pieces, cumin powder, pepper powder, green chilies, curry leaves, grated coconut, garlic pods, ginger, and ½ a tablespoon of salt. Make it into a coarse paste.
  6. Heat a pan and transfer the daikon turmeric and salt mixture and cook on a low flame until it releases all the water.
  7. After 5 minutes, add the coconut paste and stir it well.
  8. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. In a separate pan add a teaspoon of oil and add mustard seeds. Let them splutter and add this to the cooked daikon.
  10. Add some cilantro and switch off the flame.

3. Radish And Lemon Juice

What You Need

  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 lemon
  • Few mint leaves
  • Crushed ice

Method

  1. Peel the radish and wash it in saltwater.
  2. Cut it into pieces and soak in saltwater to minimize the sharp taste and pungent smell.
  3. After 15 minutes, drain the excess water out and transfer it to a blender jar.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of honey, crushed ice, and squeeze the lemon.
  5. Blend it into a fine paste until you get enough liquid.
  6. Sieve the juice and discard the residue.
  7. Garnish with mint leaves and consume immediately without storing.

4. Radish Beetroot Smoothie

What You Need

  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 lemon
  • Black pepper powder, as needed
  • Few mint leaves

Method

  1. Peel the radish and wash it in saltwater.
  2. Cut it into pieces and soak in saltwater to minimize the sharp taste and pungent smell.
  3. After 15 minutes, drain the excess water and transfer it to a blender jar.
  4. Peel the beetroot and slice it.
  5. Add to the blender.
  6. Add salt and yogurt and blend to a smooth paste.
  7. Transfer the smoothie into a serving dish and sprinkle some black pepper powder.
  8. Squeeze the lemon and garnish it with mint leaves.
  9. Do not store it as the color may change after 3 to 4 hours.
  10. Consume immediately after preparation.

5. Pickled Radish

What You Need

  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of white vinegar

Method

  1. Peel the radish and wash it in saltwater. Allow it to dry completely for an hour.
  2. Cut it into cubes and keep them aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of warm water and ⅓ cup of white sugar.
  4. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and ⅓ cup of white vinegar. Mix all the ingredients.
  6. Add the radish cubes and mix them with a wooden spoon.
  7. Transfer the mixture into a glass jar and refrigerate before serving for at least 2 hours.
  8. This pickle can be stored for at least 2 weeks in a refrigerator.

How To Select And Store Daikon Radish

Always select those that are heavy and taut. They should also be solid and have a slightly pungent smell. Their skin must be soft.

Fresh daikon can be stored for at least two weeks by wrapping it with a damp cloth or a plastic bag. The leaves should be stored separately in a plastic bag. Alternatively, they can also be chopped and sealed in a plastic bag (to retain freshness) and stored in a refrigerator.

Do not freeze daikon or its greens as they may lose the flavor.

Conclusion

Daikon radish is replete with many nutrients and is especially a watery vegetable. Including it in your diet can benefit your overall health. However, few may not like its pungent smell and sharp taste. But you may try mixing it with other bland ingredients like coconut paste to make it more palatable. Try any of the above-mentioned recipes and start consuming daikon radish today!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can you eat daikon radish raw?

Yes, you can eat daikon radish in its raw form. It is a healthy side dish and has a tolerable peppery taste. You can dip it in honey or sprinkle some sugar or salt to improve its taste. However, if you are allergic to radish, do not include it in your diet in either raw or cooked form.

Should daikon be peeled?

There is no need to peel daikon radish if its skin is firm. But if you store it for a few days or observe tiny dots on its skin, it is better to peel it off before cooking or serving raw.

Does daikon radish cause gas?

Daikon radish is high in fiber. If consumed in excess, you may experience gas, bloating, stomach pain, and abdominal cramps. Hence, stick to two servings per day. If you observe any above-listed symptoms after consuming daikon radish, visit your doctor immediately.

Can you eat daikon at night?

Yes, you can eat daikon at any time of the day. This cruciferous vegetable has high water content and is suitable for consumption even at night. Its fiber and other nutrients may also aid in easy digestion at night.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Deciphering the Nutraceutical Potential of Raphanus sativus—A Comprehensive Overview
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5622774/
  2. Effect of Fresh Red radish Roots Juice on some Bio-marker for hypertrophy of adipose tissue in Obese Rats
    https://bnni.journals.ekb.eg/article_108366.html
  3. Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7827176/
  4. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy*
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4938278/
  5. Effect of Radish Leaves Powder on the Gastrointestinal Function and Fecal Triglyceride and Sterol Excretion in Rats Fed a Hypercholesterolemic Diet [2008]
    https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=KR2009001541
  6. Influence of radish consumption on urinary calcium oxalate excretion
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15449653/
  7. The antihypertensive effect of ethyl acetate extract of radish leaves in spontaneously hypertensive rats
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22977684/
  8. The plant defensin RsAFP2 induces cell wall stress septin mislocalization and accumulation of ceramides in Candida albicans
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08017.x
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Aparna is a professor-turned-content writer with over 5 years of experience in life sciences. Her passion for writing and interest in the healthcare and wellness industry pushed her toward a career in content writing. She has a master’s in Microbiology and aims to use her knowledge of life sciences to break down complex information into easily understandable content for the readers. When she’s not working, Aparna loves cooking and collecting keychains.