5 Benefits of Daikon Radish (and Full Nutritional Values)

Daikon radish is a versatile type of radish that is native to East Asia.

It features heavily in cuisines across Asia, and it is available to buy around the world.

This article will explore the benefits of daikon radish and delve into its complete nutritional profile.

But first, let’s explore what daikon radish is in a bit more detail.

Raw daikon radishes.

What Is Daikon Radish?

Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus) is a root vegetable that provides a broad range of vitamins and minerals, along with several potentially beneficial compounds.

The image above portrays the appearance of daikon radish, characterized by its long white body, somewhat reminiscent of a lengthy, white carrot.

Native to East Asia, daikon radish is particularly prevalent in Japanese cuisine.

Besides its common name of ‘daikon radish,’ the vegetable may also be known by the monikers:

  • Asian radish
  • Daikon
  • Japanese radish
  • Mooli
  • White radish (a generic term encompassing several varieties of white radish)

Daikon radish is full of water, with a water content of 93% once cooked (1).

It’s a vegetable with a crunchy and refreshing taste, and it features in a diverse range of Asian recipes.


Now, let’s delve into some of the benefits of daikon radish.

1) Daikon Radish is Hydrating

Cooked daikon radish boasts a water content of 93 grams per 100 grams, making it one of the most hydrating vegetables.

This high water content has a number of potential benefits:

  • Low calorie provision: Since daikon radish is mainly water, it only provides a small number of calories.
  • Hydrating: A 155-gram cup serving of daikon radish provides 144 ml of water, thus playing a role in overall hydration (1).
  • High volume: Due to its high water content, daikon radish has a relatively high volume. Foods with a high volume may promote satiety and help us to feel, thus contributing to a reduced calorie intake (2, 3, 4).
Key Point: Daikon radish contains a high volume of water and relatively few calories. Vegetables with a high volume may help enhance the feeling of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake.

2) Contains Glucosinolates That Are Linked To Health Benefits

Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds found in various vegetables.

These vegetables include several cruciferous vegetables, such as bok choy, brocolli, cabbage, and kale (5). Daikon radish also contains glucosinolates (6).

Notably, upon consumption, glucosinolates convert into several breakdown products like isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have a pungent (or bitter) taste and smell, possibly to deter pests as a plant defense mechanism (7, 8).

Isothiocyanates are a variety of phytochemical with a large body of research documenting their potential health benefits.

Within this body of research, a 2022 umbrella review comprising 57 systematic reviews and meta-analyses examined the association between isothiocyanate intake and multiple health outcomes. Among its findings, consumption of isothiocyanate-containing cruciferous vegetables was linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality, as well as cancer mortality and depression (9).

Research has demonstrated that isothiocyanates may have chemopreventive effects. In other words, they may potentially help to lower the risk of cancer (10).

In a 2019 study investigating the mean isothiocyanate content across various vegetables, daikon radish ranked fourth highest, boasting a mean isothiocyanate content of 57.6 μmol/100 g wet weight. This placement followed arugula, watercress, and mustard greens (11).

Key Point: Daikon radishes are among the richest dietary sources of isothiocyanates, phytochemicals associated with long-term health benefits.

3) Low In Calories, Yet a Good Source of Nutrients

As previously mentioned in this article, daikon radish boasts a low calorie count as it is mainly composed of water.

Despite this, the radish offers a reasonably good range of essential nutrients in the way of vitamins and minerals.

For instance, a 155-gram cup serving of cooked daikon radish contains only 59 calories while delivering at least 5% of the recommended daily value for the following nutrients (1, 12):

  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
Key Point: Daikon radish provides a broad range of essential nutrients, with five of them present at moderately high levels.

4) Some Varieties of Daikon Radish Contain Anthocyanins

This potential benefit of daikon radish applies to specific varieties of the vegetable.

Some varieties of daikon radish have purple flesh, and this purple hue comes from their high anthocyanin content (13).

Anthocyanins belong to the polyphenol class of phytochemicals (plant chemicals) and are thought to have beneficial effects on human health. They contribute a blue, red, or purple pigment to foods, and they can be found in foods like berries, grapes, and plums.

On this note, a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies demonstrated that anthocyanin intake was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (9% reduced risk) and cardiovascular disease mortality (8% reduced risk) (14).

However, the authors noted that large randomized controlled trials are necessary to provide further support to these findings.

Key Point: Daikon radish with purple flesh contain a high level of anthocyanins, polyphenols that may provide health benefits.

5) Daikon Radish Can Be Fermented

In addition to its use in a variety of cooked dishes, daikon radish can undergo fermentation.

Numerous fermented daikon radish dishes form a part of the diet in East Asian countries, and these include:

  • Tsukemono: A fermented Japanese dish featuring daikon radish mixed with salt and rice bran, either alone or alongside other vegetables like cucumber and turnips (15).
  • Kimchi: Various varieties of kimchi, a traditional Korean dish, incorporate daikon radish among their ingredients (16).

Fermented foods such as tsukemono and kimchi offer probiotics, which are believed to benefit the gut microbiome and overall health. The 'microbiome' refers to the community of 'beneficial bacteria' residing in the stomach and intestines (17, 18, 19, 20).

Key Point: Fermenting daikon radish is a popular practice, and it regularly appears in fermented Asian foods like kimchi and tsukemono.

The Nutritional Profile of Daikon Radish

The following tables present the complete nutritional values of cooked daikon radish per 155-gram cup serving.

The nutritional data is sourced from the USDA's FoodData Central database.

Daily values (% DV) have been determined using this USDA data along with the FDA's recommended daily values (1, 12).

Nutrition Facts

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories59 kcal
Carbohydrates5.12 g1.9%
Fiber2.32 g8.3%
Sugars2.81 g
Fat4.09 g5.2%
Saturated1.09 g5.5%
Monounsaturated1.38 g
Polyunsaturated1.25 g
Omega-30.18 g
Omega-61.06 g
Protein1.04 g2.1%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Table 1: Nutrition facts for cooked daikon radish per 155-gram cup serving


VitaminAmount% Daily Value
Choline10.1 mg1.8%
Folate, DFE32.6 mcg8.2%
Vitamin A, RAE17 mcg1.9%
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)0.017 mg1.4%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.056 mg4.3%
Vitamin B3 (niacin)0.363 mg2.3%
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)--
Vitamin B60.121 mg7.1%
Vitamin B120 mcg0%
Vitamin C18.9 mg21%
Vitamin D0 mcg0%
Vitamin E0.527 mg3.5%
Vitamin K5.42 mcg4.5%
Table 2: Vitamin composition of cooked daikon radish per 155-gram cup serving


MineralAmount% Daily Value
Calcium38.8 mg1.7%
Copper0.074 mg8.2%
Iron0.512 mg2.8%
Magnesium15.5 mg3.7%
Phosphorus31 mg2.5%
Potassium350 mg7.4%
Selenium0.93 mcg1.7%
Sodium246 mg10.7%
Zinc0.419 mg3.8%
Table 3: Mineral composition of cooked daikon radish per 155-gram cup serving

Note: daikon radish is naturally low in sodium, thus it is likely the USDA's data for 'cooked daikon radish' used salt in the cooking process.

What Does Daikon Radish Taste Like?

Now that we've explored the nutritional properties of daikon radish, let's learn about its taste profile.

First, it is crispy and crunchy as you bite into it, giving way to a softer texture as the radish releases its water content.

In this aspect, it shares similarities with water chestnuts, showcasing a similar crunchy texture. However, the longer the cooking time the softer daikon radish will become.

Daikon radish has a very mild taste, with subtle hints of sweetness. Furthermore, it lacks the robust peppery notes of red radishes.

Typically, daikon radish is usually pickled or used in cooked dishes, where it is seasoned with ingredients like soy sauce and garlic.

In this context, daikon radish is good at absorbing flavors, allowing these seasonings to significantly influence the way it tastes.

Key Point: Daikon radish offers a mild yet enjoyable flavor and a characteristic crunchy texture, which softens with prolonged cooking.

What is the Difference Between Daikon Radish and White Radish?

Some people wonder about the differences between daikon radish and white radish.

To briefly clarify, daikon radish is a white radish, but not all white radishes are of the daikon variety.

In this context, the term 'white radish' refers to a wide variety of different radishes with white flesh.

Daikon radish is just one of these varieties, while others may exhibit slightly different nutritional properties and flavor profiles.

Aside from daikon radish, some other popular white radish varieties include Korean radish and white icicle radish.

How To Prepare (and Cook) Daikon Radish

Preparing daikon radish is straightforward process that involves the following steps:

  1. Washing: Begin by washing the radish under cold water to clean it of any dirt.
  2. Peeling: Next, peel the daikon with a standard vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
  3. Cutting: After this, cut the radish into pieces. Some prefer to cut it into cube-shaped pieces, while others may prefer longer stick-like shapes. Once cut, the radish can be consumed raw, pickled, or cooked.
  4. Cooking: For those cooking daikon radish, most people either boil or stir-fry it. When boiling the radish, it only needs around 10 minutes to develop a softer texture. It can also be added to soups and stews for this 10-minute cooking time. When stir-frying the vegetable, its satisfying crunchy texture adds to the enjoyment of the finished dish. Adding daikon radish toward the end of stir-frying is recommended in this regard, with three to four minutes in the pan being sufficient to cook it while retaining its crunch.

Other Ways To Use Daikon Radish

Here are some other ways to enjoy consuming daikon radish:

  • Pickling: Pickled daikon radish is a popular way to prepare the vegetable. This requires making a brine solution with salt, vinegar, and any herbs or spices of choice. Add the daikon radish to a clear glass jar, cover with the brine, and leave it for a few days to develop its flavor before consuming.
  • Salads: Incorporate raw (or pickled) cubes of daikon radish into a salad for a refreshing and satisfying crunch.
  • Kimchi: Daikon radish is a key ingredient for kimchi. The finished product is flavorful due to the addition of ingredients like garlic, ginger, red pepper powder, and salt. For those interested, there are numerous 'radish kimchi' recipes available online.

Where To Buy

Despite not being a staple vegetable outside of Asia, daikon radish shouldn't be too difficult to find.

It may be available in any of these places:

  • Larger supermarkets/grocery stores may stock daikon radish.
  • Farmers markets, especially in areas with established East Asian communities, may offer the vegetable.
  • Asian grocery stores typically carry daikon radish.

Final Thoughts

Daikon radish offers a pleasant taste and a satisfying crunchy texture, and we can use it in a versatile range of ways.

While it isn't the most nutrient-rich vegetable, it provides a respectable amount of essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, folate, and potassium.

Moreover, daikon radish may offer health benefits due to its high level of isothiocyanates.

All in all, daikon radish is a versatile vegetable worth incorporating in the diet from time to time.

Photo of author

Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.