Parsnip vs. Daikon — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Parsnips are richer in minerals and vitamins, contain less sodium, and are cheaper than daikons. They have three times more zinc and 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.
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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 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 but 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 Brassicaceae family plant with an edible root. Daikon tastes red radish; it contains more water than parsnips.
Daikon, also known as mooli, belongs to the Raphanus genus. Long white roots and fast-growing leaves usually characterize this winter radish. 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 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, sweet 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.
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 these vegetables․
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.
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.
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.
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.
The average PH value of daikon falls in the range of -5.3 - 5.7, whereas the PH value of daikon equals 7.5. Daikon is more alkaline than 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.
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.
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 fewer calories than parsnips; therefore, they are a good choice in a low-calorie diet. Moreover, daikon is also an excellent choice for 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 .
Both of these products may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Daikon can lower blood total cholesterol and triglyceride levels .
Daikon may decrease arterial hypertension by increasing the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) by vascular endothelial cells [2,3]. This effect is unknown for parsnip.
Daikon has antioxidant activity that is important for lowering cardiovascular risk factors .
Compared to daikon, parsnip contains higher antioxidant levels . It should be noted that the high folate levels in parsnip can also reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, which are associated with higher risks of coronary heart disease .
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 .
Daikons are low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables containing 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 .
Several studies show a direct link between consuming 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 .
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 .
Parsnips contain a decent amount of magnesium and calcium, two essential minerals for bone development. At the recommended daily intake of 320-420mg for most adults, parsnips quickly provide more than 10% of their magnesium needs . A cup of chopped parsnips contains over 45 milligrams of magnesium.
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 .
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.
- Health attributes of roots and tubers
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
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.
- Parsnip - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170417/nutrients
- Daikon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168451/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.