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Daikon vs Parsnip - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on April 28, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Daikon
vs
Parsnip

Summary

Parsnips are richer in minerals, and vitamins, contain less sodium and are cheaper than daikons. They have three times more zinc, phosphorus, and seven times more Vitamin K. On the other hand, daikons contain more Vitamin C, lower in calories, saturated fats, and sugars than parsnips.

Introduction

Have you ever wondered if daikon and parsnip are the same, or can you substitute daikon for parsnip? If yes, here you can find the answers to these and other essential questions, such as what are the differences between these vegetables, their impact on your health, and so on.

What’s The Actual Difference?

Daikons and parsnips are similar in appearance; however, they have different textures, tastes, and affiliations. Parsnips have white skin; they are similar in texture to carrots, although not so sweet. The main difference between parsnip and radish is that parsnip is a biennial plant that belongs to Apiaceae. In contrast, radish is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, having an edible root. Daikon tastes like red radish; it contains more water than parsnips.

Varieties

Daikon, also known as mooli, belongs to the Raphanus genus. This is a winter radish usually characterized by long white roots and fast-growing leaves. The most common daikon types are French Breakfast Radish and Daikon White Radish. The parsnip belongs to the Pastinaca genus; it is a root vegetable related to the carrot. This vegetable is native to Eurasia and was used as a sweetener before the cane sugar. The most known parsnip types are the Hollow Crown and Harris Model.

Taste and Use

Daikons have a peppery flavor; sometimes, the taste tends to be milder depending on growing conditions. Unlike daikons, parsnips have a spicy sweetness taste. Both daikon and parsnip have wood-like rigid structures when raw.

Both daikon and parsnip can be eaten in various ways: baked, boiled, fried, sauteed, roasted, steamed, and grilled. They are easy additions to a healthy diet.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of daikons and parsnip. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between this vegetables․

Micronutrients

Daikon consists of about 95% water, whereas parsnip consists of about 80% water.

The content of micronutrients in parsnips is higher than that of daikon. Parsnips have more protein, carbs, fiber, and monounsaturated fats than daikons. These vegetables lack trans fat.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of parsnip is richer than that of daikon.

Parsnip contains 74 times more Vitamin K, three times more Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B1, and two times more Vitamin B3.

It is also richer in Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and Folate. On the other hand, daikon contains more Vitamin C.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Daikon
1
:
Contains more Vitamin C +29.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +150%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +250%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +334.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +95.7%
Contains more Folate +139.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +7400%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 74% 5% 5% 4% 9% 11% 22% 0% 1%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 30% 0% 57% 23% 12% 14% 36% 21% 51% 0% 57%
Contains more Vitamin C +29.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +150%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +250%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +334.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +95.7%
Contains more Folate +139.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +7400%

Minerals

Overall, parsnips are richer in minerals than daikon.

Parsnip contains three times more zinc, two times more phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and less sodium than daikon.

Both vegetables contain equal levels of copper.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Daikon
0
:
Contains more Calcium +33.3%
Contains more Iron +47.5%
Contains more Magnesium +81.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +208.7%
Contains more Potassium +65.2%
Contains less Sodium -52.4%
Contains more Zinc +293.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.12
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 9% 15% 12% 10% 21% 3% 5% 39%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 11% 23% 21% 31% 34% 2% 17% 40%
Contains more Calcium +33.3%
Contains more Iron +47.5%
Contains more Magnesium +81.3%
Contains more Phosphorus +208.7%
Contains more Potassium +65.2%
Contains less Sodium -52.4%
Contains more Zinc +293.3%
Equal in Copper - 0.12

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of parsnip is almost three times higher than that of daikon.

The GI of parsnip is equal to 97, whereas the GI of daikon is equal to 32. Daikon is considered low glycemic index food, and parsnip is considered high glycemic index food.

Acidity

The average PH value of daikon falls in the range of -5.3 - 5.7, whereas the PH value of daikon is equal to 7.5. Daikon is more alkaline than a parsnip. Now let’s have a look at the potential renal acid load. The PRAL value of food shows how much acid or alkali a given food produces when broken down in the body. The PRAL value of daikon is -4.4, while the PRAL value of parsnip is equal to -5.9. This indicates that these vegetables in the body are more alkaline.

Calories

The number of calories of parsnips is four times higher than that of daikon. Daikon has 18 calories per 100g, while parsnip has 75 calories per 100g.

Health Impact

The nutritional values are presented for raw daikons and raw parsnip.

Weight Loss and Diets

Eating low-calorie, high-fiber foods can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. In this case, daikons have a lower number of calories than parsnips; therefore, they are a good choice in a low-calorie diet. Moreover, daikon also is an excellent choice in the case of low fats, low carbs diets.

Both daikon and parsnip are considered non-starchy vegetables, which means they are shallow in carbs. Studies show that eating non-starchy vegetables can promote a healthy body weight [1].

Cardiovascular Health

Overall, vegetable consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart and other chronic diseases.
Daikon and parsnip are highly nutritious vegetables, rich in potent plant compounds, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These compounds may protect your body from disease. Besides, parsnips are rich in potassium vitamin C, which may balance your blood pressure. These vegetables are also rich in natural nitrates that improve blood flow [2].
The high folate levels in parsnip can also reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, which are associated with higher risks of heart diseases [3].

Cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, parsnip contains cancer-fighting folate. Moreover, they are rich in sulforaphane, which research has shown is effective in fighting breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Parsnip is also a great source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant with free-radical scavenging activity. Thus, it protects against cancer. According to one study, polyacetylenes extracted from parsnips have possible chemoprotective effects and cytotoxic activity [4].

Diabetes

Daikons are low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables; they contain chemical compounds called glucosinolate and isothiocyanate that may help regulate blood sugar levels. Daikon contains coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that may help block the formation of diabetes [4].

According to several studies, there’s a direct link between the consumption of fiber-rich foods, such as parsnips and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. One cup of parsnips contains 7 grams of soluble fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar [5].

Boost Immune System

Research shows that the compound falcarinol (FAD), found in parsnips, may stop immune cells from reaching maturity. This ability of parsnips can be used in new therapies to treat autoimmune and allergic diseases.

On the other hand, daikon is an excellent source of Vitamin C. 100 grams of daikon contains 22mg of Vitamin C, 30% of the RDA. Vitamin C is mainly found in the leaves of plants [5].

Bone Health

Parsnips contain a decent amount of magnesium and calcium, two essential minerals for bone development. A cup of chopped parsnips contains over 45 milligrams of magnesium. At the recommended daily intake of 320-420mg for most adults, parsnips quickly provide more than 10% of their magnesium needs [6].

Side Effects

Daikons are presumed to be relatively safe vegetables. However, they might not be suitable for those suffering from gallstones. People with impaired thyroid function can minimize the risk of harmful effects by cooking them and increasing their selenium intake [7].

Parsnip is relatively safe when applied to the skin. Nevertheless, when used on the skin, parsnip can cause the skin to become extra sensitive to the sun.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27174619/
  2. Health benefits of herbs and spices
  3. Health attributes of roots and tubers
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21114468/
  5. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/2/362
  6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/mcn.12368
  7. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13596-015-0183-9
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: April 28, 2022

Infographic

Daikon vs Parsnip infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Daikon Parsnip
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Daikon Parsnip Opinion
Net carbs 2.5g 13.09g Parsnip
Protein 0.6g 1.2g Parsnip
Fats 0.1g 0.3g Parsnip
Carbs 4.1g 17.99g Parsnip
Calories 18kcal 75kcal Parsnip
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 2.5g 4.8g Daikon
Fiber 1.6g 4.9g Parsnip
Calcium 27mg 36mg Parsnip
Iron 0.4mg 0.59mg Parsnip
Magnesium 16mg 29mg Parsnip
Phosphorus 23mg 71mg Parsnip
Potassium 227mg 375mg Parsnip
Sodium 21mg 10mg Parsnip
Zinc 0.15mg 0.59mg Parsnip
Copper 0.115mg 0.12mg Parsnip
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Vitamin E 0mg 1.49mg Parsnip
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 22mg 17mg Daikon
Vitamin B1 0.02mg 0.09mg Parsnip
Vitamin B2 0.02mg 0.05mg Parsnip
Vitamin B3 0.2mg 0.7mg Parsnip
Vitamin B5 0.138mg 0.6mg Parsnip
Vitamin B6 0.046mg 0.09mg Parsnip
Folate 28µg 67µg Parsnip
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0.3µg 22.5µg Parsnip
Tryptophan 0.003mg mg Daikon
Threonine 0.025mg mg Daikon
Isoleucine 0.026mg mg Daikon
Leucine 0.031mg mg Daikon
Lysine 0.03mg mg Daikon
Methionine 0.006mg mg Daikon
Phenylalanine 0.02mg mg Daikon
Valine 0.028mg mg Daikon
Histidine 0.011mg mg Daikon
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.03g 0.05g Daikon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.017g 0.112g Parsnip
Polyunsaturated fat 0.045g 0.047g Parsnip

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Daikon Parsnip
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
11
Daikon
25
Parsnip
Mineral Summary Score
14
Daikon
22
Parsnip

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
4%
Daikon
7%
Parsnip
Carbohydrates
4%
Daikon
18%
Parsnip
Fats
0%
Daikon
1%
Parsnip

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Parsnip
Parsnip contains less Sodium (difference - 11mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Parsnip
Parsnip is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Parsnip
Parsnip is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Parsnip
Parsnip is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Daikon
Daikon is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.3g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Daikon
Daikon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.02g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Daikon
Daikon is lower in glycemic index (difference - 65)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Daikon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168451/nutrients
  2. Parsnip - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170417/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.