Daikon do’s—and don’t’s

They say good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings. I guess one out of two ain’t bad but I certainly got skipped over in the good-sense department. Thankfully, I’m a natural when it comes to minding my health (this I owe to nurture. My mom’s idea of comfort food was a bowl of sticky brown rice and a side of crunchy seaweed). But I often get carried away on too much of a good thing. Case in point: A recent attempt at flushing out some, um toxins (i.e., red wine, potato chips), with mostly raw food that included multiple slices of daikon radish, left me feeling weak, bloated, and craving chips as salty as the Pacific. Daikon, if you didn’t know, is a staple in the Japanese diet and is one powerful radish. It has been used for centuries to cleanse the blood, increase circulation and, wait for it…  jet-propel metabolic rate. To boot, a 3oz serving contains a whopping 18 calories but provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. It is also a diuretic, has digestive enzymes, helps cleanse the kidneys and decongest the lungs. With all of these potent properties and purported weight-loss effects it’s hard not to think that eating mounds of it would leave us healthy and sinewy for the rest of our lives (we are American after all). But take it from me, when it comes to this large, white root vegetable (think carrot on steroids), less is definitely more. So this spring, to wake up a sluggish system, try pieces of daikon in soups, stews and grated in salads.

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