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Turnip vs Daikon - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on November 02, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Turnip
vs
Daikon

Summary

Turnips are richer in minerals, and vitamins, contain less saturated fats and are cheaper than daikons.

On the other hand, daikons contain less sodium and lower calories, saturated fats, and sugars than parsnips. The glycemic index of daikon is also lower.

Introduction

In this article, you can find the differences between daikon and turnip and their impact on your health.

What’s The Actual Difference?

It is easy to confuse daikon with turnip because they both have similar tastes and coloring. Daikon and turnip are both root vegetables in the cabbage family.

However, daikon is a radish, not a turnip. The main difference between the daikon and the turnip is that the turnip is generally smaller than the daikon. Daikon tastes like red radish; it contains more water than the turnip. Turnip has a slightly milder taste than daikon.

Both daikon and turnips can be eaten in various ways: baked, boiled, fried, sauteed, roasted, steamed, and grilled. They can be easily added to a healthy diet.

Nutrition

Below, you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between raw daikon and raw turnip.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of turnip is higher than that of daikon.

Turnip contains more Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6.

On the other hand, daikon contains more Vitamin K and folate.

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
Turnip
6
:
3
Daikon
Contains more Vitamin E +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +50%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +44.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +95.7%
Contains more Folate +86.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +200%
Equal in Vitamin C - 22
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 1% 0% 70% 10% 7% 8% 12% 21% 12% 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% 0% 0% 74% 5% 5% 4% 9% 11% 22% 0% 1%
Contains more Vitamin E +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +50%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +44.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +95.7%
Contains more Folate +86.7%
Contains more Vitamin K +200%
Equal in Vitamin C - 22

Minerals

Daikons are richer in minerals than turnips. They contain more iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Daikons are also lower in sodium.

However, turnips are richer in calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.

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
Turnip
3
:
5
Daikon
Contains more Calcium +11.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +17.4%
Contains more Zinc +80%
Contains more Iron +33.3%
Contains more Magnesium +45.5%
Contains more Potassium +18.8%
Contains less Sodium -68.7%
Contains more Copper +35.3%
Equal in Calcium - 27
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 9% 12% 8% 12% 17% 9% 8% 29%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 9% 15% 12% 10% 21% 3% 5% 39%
Contains more Calcium +11.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +17.4%
Contains more Zinc +80%
Contains more Iron +33.3%
Contains more Magnesium +45.5%
Contains more Potassium +18.8%
Contains less Sodium -68.7%
Contains more Copper +35.3%
Equal in Calcium - 27

Glycemic Index

Daikon is considered low glycemic food. The glycemic index of turnip is two times higher than that of daikon. The GI of turnip is equal to 73, whereas the GI of daikon is equal to 32.

Calories

Daikon has 18 calories per 100g, while a turnip has 28 calories per 100g. Both are considered low-calorie foods.

Carbs

Both vegetables have low-carb content. Daikon has 4.2 g of carbs, whereas turnip has only 6.43g.

Fiber

Daikon contains 1.6g of fiber per 100g, while a turnip has 1.8g.

Health Impact

Diabetes

Daikons contain glucosinolate and isothiocyanate chemical compounds that may help regulate blood sugar levels. Daikon contains coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that may help block the formation of diabetes [1].

In a 9-month study of rats fed a high-sugar diet, treatment with 45 mg of turnip extract per pound of body weight reduced blood sugar levels while increasing insulin levels compared to the control group [2].

Anti-inflammatory effects

Turnip glucosinolates degrade into indoles and isothiocyanates, both bioactive byproducts with anti-inflammatory properties.

Arvelexin, a type of indole found in turnips, has been shown in studies to block pro-inflammatory compounds such as nitric oxide, a free radical involved in the inflammation process [3].

Side Effects

Daikon is thought to be a relatively safe vegetable. However, daikons may not be suitable for people who have gallstones. Cooking and increasing selenium intake can reduce the risk of harmful effects in people with impaired thyroid function [4].

If you have thyroid problems, it is best to avoid eating turnips because they contain compounds that can affect the thyroid gland and interfere with hormone function [5].

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21114468/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4800080/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21877949/
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13596-015-0183-9
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27571216/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: November 02, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Turnip vs Daikon 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.
Turnip Daikon
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Turnip Daikon Opinion
Net carbs 4.63g 2.5g Turnip
Protein 0.9g 0.6g Turnip
Fats 0.1g 0.1g
Carbs 6.43g 4.1g Turnip
Calories 28kcal 18kcal Turnip
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 3.8g 2.5g Daikon
Fiber 1.8g 1.6g Turnip
Calcium 30mg 27mg Turnip
Iron 0.3mg 0.4mg Daikon
Magnesium 11mg 16mg Daikon
Phosphorus 27mg 23mg Turnip
Potassium 191mg 227mg Daikon
Sodium 67mg 21mg Daikon
Zinc 0.27mg 0.15mg Turnip
Copper 0.085mg 0.115mg Daikon
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Vitamin E 0.03mg 0mg Turnip
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 21mg 22mg Daikon
Vitamin B1 0.04mg 0.02mg Turnip
Vitamin B2 0.03mg 0.02mg Turnip
Vitamin B3 0.4mg 0.2mg Turnip
Vitamin B5 0.2mg 0.138mg Turnip
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.046mg Turnip
Folate 15µg 28µg Daikon
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0.1µg 0.3µg Daikon
Tryptophan 0.009mg 0.003mg Turnip
Threonine 0.025mg 0.025mg
Isoleucine 0.036mg 0.026mg Turnip
Leucine 0.033mg 0.031mg Turnip
Lysine 0.036mg 0.03mg Turnip
Methionine 0.011mg 0.006mg Turnip
Phenylalanine 0.017mg 0.02mg Daikon
Valine 0.03mg 0.028mg Turnip
Histidine 0.014mg 0.011mg Turnip
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.011g 0.03g Turnip
Monounsaturated Fat 0.006g 0.017g Daikon
Polyunsaturated fat 0.053g 0.045g Turnip

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Turnip Daikon
Low Fats diet Equal
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
12
Turnip
11
Daikon
Mineral Summary Score
13
Turnip
14
Daikon

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
5%
Turnip
4%
Daikon
Carbohydrates
6%
Turnip
4%
Daikon
Fats
0%
Turnip
0%
Daikon

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Turnip
Turnip is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.019g)
Which food is cheaper?
Turnip
Turnip is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Daikon
Daikon is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.3g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Daikon
Daikon contains less Sodium (difference - 46mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Daikon
Daikon is lower in glycemic index (difference - 41)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

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. Turnip - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170465/nutrients
  2. 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.

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