Parsnip vs Daikon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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 important 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. The main difference between parsnip and radish is that parsnip is a biennial plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae, whereas radish is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, having an edible root. Daikon tastes like red radish, it contains more water than parsnips. Parsnips have white skin, they are similar in texture to carrots, although not so sweet.
Daikon, also known as mooli, belongs to the Raphanus genus. This is a winter radish that is usually characterized by long white roots and fast-growing leaves. The most common types of daikon 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 hard structures when raw.
Both daikon and parsnip can be eaten in a variety of ways such as baked, boiled, fried, sauteed, roasted, steamed, and grilled. They are easy additions to a healthy diet.
In this section, we are going to 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 of 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, 3 times more Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B1, 2 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. It contains 3 times more zinc, 2 times more phosphorus, more iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and less sodium than daikon. Both vegetables contain equal levels of copper.
The glycemic index of parsnip is almost 3 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 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.
The number of calories of parsnips is 4 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 a lower number of calories than parsnips, therefore they are a good choice in the case of a low calories diet. Moreover, daikon also is a great choice in the case of low fats, low carbs diets.
Both daikon and parsnip are considered non-starchy vegetables, which means they are very low in carbs. Studies show that eating non-starchy vegetables can promote a healthy body weight .
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 powerful 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 .
The high levels of folate in parsnip can also reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, which are associated with higher risks of heart diseases .
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, which is 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, 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 .
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 .
Boost Immune System
Research shows that the compound falcarindiol (FAD), found in parsnips, may stop immune cells from reaching maturity. This ability of parsnips can be used in new therapies for the treatment of autoimmune and allergic diseases.
On the other hand, daikon is a great source of Vitamin C. 100 grams of daikon contains 22 mg of Vitamin C, which is 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. A cup of chopped parsnips contains over 45 milligrams of magnesium. At the recommended daily intake for most adults of 320-420 mg, parsnips easily provide more than 10% of their magnesium needs .
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 negative effects by cooking them and increasing their selenium intake .
Parsnip is relatively safe when applied to the skin. Nevertheless, when it is used on the skin, parsnip can cause the skin to become extra sensitive to the sun.
Parsnips are richer in minerals, vitamins, contain less sodium and are cheaper than daikons. They have 3 times more zinc, phosphorus, and 7 times more Vitamin K. On the other hand, daikons contain more Vitamin C, lower in calories, saturated fats, and sugars than parsnips.
- Health benefits of herbs and spices
- Health attributes of roots and tubers
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
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|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values