FoodDiscover the hidden health benefits of Japan's daikon radish

Discover the hidden health benefits of Japan's daikon radish

Daikon - pure health straight from Japan
Daikon - pure health straight from Japan
Images source: © Canva | Arndt Vladimir

2 July 2024 18:16

You have seen this vegetable in the store many times, but perhaps you never wondered what it truly is. It’s worth catching up because daikon — Japanese radish — is an exotic curiosity from the Land of the Rising Sun and an excellent source of health benefits worth knowing.

Japanese cuisine is considered the healthiest in the world—alongside Mediterranean cuisine, which has much in common—and the Japanese eat healthily, live long, and remain fit into their later years. Sea fish, to which the descendants of samurais are both sentimentally attached and have good access, is just one of the ingredients of this success. The second is the fermentation process often used in their cuisine, and the third is vegetables, among which we find the daikon radish.

Japanese radish — a brief introduction

It is said that in Japanese cuisine, there are no incidental ingredients. The culinary masters there select products carefully, loving tradition and culture. Daikon radish has been consumed in Japan for centuries, and its taste and characteristic spiciness are supposed to signify having something akin to a soul. Well, that’s what they used to say. Today, we call it something different: nutritional value. And indeed, there are many.

However, before we explain what we gain from regularly consuming Japanese radish, let’s discuss the basics. Daikon is a vegetable that grows to a length of about 90 centimetres, but its weight varies greatly. There is a record in the Guinness World Record for a radish that reached... over 30 kilograms—quite a lot.

Daikon for health

Japanese radish, from which the Land of the Rising Sun chefs prepare salads, pickles, and the so-called tsuma, i.e., sushi decoration, has an exciting taste and many nutritional values. A high content of B vitamins and ascorbic acid characterises Daikon. It also contains minerals: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, among others.

Daikon is a vegetable that has an extraordinary impact on human health.
Daikon is a vegetable that has an extraordinary impact on human health.© Canva | Profeta

Japanese radish also shows antibacterial and antiviral properties. Phenolic compounds help keep the skin young and reduce the risk of cancer, and unique enzymes accelerate the digestion of fats and carbohydrates. Considering this and its high-fibre content, a straightforward conclusion can be drawn. Daikon is the ideal vegetable for weight loss!

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