Why You Need to Add the Monster Radish to Your Diet

Improve your circulatory health when you add the Sakurajima daikon, or the monster radish, to your diet.

Why You Need to Add the Monster Radish to Your Diet

Sacagawea was the Shoshone Indian who helped guide Lewis and Clark’s 1805 expedition from Montana to the Pacific. Her bravery and navigational abilities are legendary. The route she advised for their crossing of the continental divide—the Yellowstone River Basin—later became the route for the Northern Pacific Railway.

And now it seems that the Sakurajima daikon (from Sakurajima, Japan), otherwise known as the monster radish, can use its legendary health properties to guide you to a healthier heart—and not just from the exercise involved in transporting it! The largest Sakurajima on record weighed more than 68 pounds with a circumference of over three feet.

Researchers writing in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that bite-for-bite the monster radish induced more nitric oxide production than its smaller cousins. When nitric oxide is released into your bloodstream it causes blood vessels to relax, reducing blood pressure and improving the flow of your circulatory system. So like Sacagawea, the Sakurajima radish improves navigation—this time, of your blood supply throughout your body.

It may be tough to find the Sakurajima radish in grocery stores (they’re grayish-white and are the size of pumpkins), but you might come across them at a farmer’s market. You can also grow your own; non-GMO seeds are easily purchased online. These behemoths are a little tough, so they’re better when cooked or fermented (that’s how the Japanese prepare them). Consuming these large, healthy radishes should give you the extra benefit of ingesting a microbiome-enhancer. Plus, the greens, raw or sauteed, are delicious.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

More On Nutrition

How Should I Choose Healthy Milk Products?

video

How Should I Choose Healthy Milk Products?
There are many non-dairy alternatives to cow's milk that are now available, which allows you to enjoy milk without the side effects of having dairy. W...
What Are the Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

video

What Are the Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients you can give your brain; EPA and DHA do wonders for your mood and intelligence. Watch as ...
What Are the Health Risks of Drinking Cow's Milk?

video

What Are the Health Risks of Drinking Cow's Milk?
Some recent concerns about drinking cow's milk include evidence pointing to weight gain, plus increased risk of cancer, bone issues, inflammatory issu...
How Do We Feed the World's Growing Population?

video

How Do We Feed the World's Growing Population?
Adequate nutrition is one of the most basic human rights, but frequently goes unmet. As population growth continues to skyrocket, food scientists look...