Produce of the Week

Produce of the Week: Daikon Radish

Radishes are among the most nutritionally loaded yet low-calorie vegetables you can enjoy today. When it comes to flavor, the daikon radish is considered milder and less peppery than other radishes. Served raw, it’s mild and tangy, with a crisp and juicy texture. When cooked, it tastes similar to cooked turnips.

Daikon can improve digestion, thanks to an enzyme called diastase, which helps relieve indigestion, heartburn and may even curb hangovers. Meanwhile, isothiocyanates, which give daikon its peppery and pungent qualities, may help improve blood circulation and prevent clots.

The juice extracted from raw daikon has been traditionally used to alleviate headaches, fever, swollen gums and hot flashes, as it has anti-inflammatory and cooling effects. Daikon radish also contains high amounts of potassium, vitamin C and phosphorus – nutrients that are essential for good health.

While you may think that the benefits are only attributed to the root, you’ll be surprised to know that daikon leaves have an impressive nutritional value, too. They’re actually loaded with vitamin A, essential for eye health, and vitamin C – more than the root, actually. They also provide beta-carotene, sodium, iron, phosphorus and calcium.

A good summary of the health-promoting properties of this food:

  • Alleviates respiratory issues. It can help clear out excess phlegm and eliminate bacteria and other pathogens from your respiratory tract.
  • Promotes digestive health. Daikon helps facilitate better digestion of proteins, complex carbs and fats, which in turn prevents constipation and increases nutrient uptake in the gut.
  • Assists in detoxification. It stimulates urination, which is necessary for keeping the kidneys clean.
  • Has potential cancer-preventive ability. This vegetable possesses antioxidant phenolic compounds that may help reduce certain types of cancer.
  • Bolsters your immunity. The vitamin C in daikon stimulates white blood cell production, which may speed up repair and healing in your body.
  • Alleviates inflammation. Daikon juice’s anti-inflammatory properties can help decrease inflammation throughout your system, which may lead to a healthier heart, lower gout and arthritis risk and reduced pain from injuries and muscle cramping.
  • Promotes bone and skin health. Its high calcium content may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis. It also has antioxidant benefits, which may help prevent wrinkles, increase circulation and even reduce the appearance of blemishes and age spots, giving your skin a natural glow.
  • Helps with weight management. Daikon is a low-calorie and low-cholesterol vegetable, but it’s high in fiber and many other nutrients – qualities that are ideal for people who want to maintain a healthy weight.

Enjoy shredded radish instead of cabbage in your next batch of homemade coleslaw!