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Daikon, to lose weight “at the root”
It is considered a fat-burning food that has an effect on different body parts whether it is fresh or dry. Here is how it is used.
Originally a radish native to Asia, daikon is harvested since a few years even in Europe. It looks like a big white carrot but it is a radish belonging to the cabbage family, Brassicaceae, with turnip-like leaves.
Daikon has many unbelievable therapeutic virtues and it is rich in nutrients. It is high in minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamins of group B and fibres, it has fat-burning properties because it metabolises them. This is not by chance that in Japan it is served with tempura or fried foods. It has detoxifying, anti-swelling, diuretic and cleansing virtues and it is recommendable for those who suffer from water retention and cellulite. It relieves congestions, so, it is useful if you have the cough or cold. Finally, it is very low in food energy: 100 g of daikon provide only 15 calories.
Fresh daikon: it has an effect on superficial fat. It is available at drugstores and in well-equipped supermarkets. Its taste is similar to that of radishes. The upper part of the daikon radish is sweet and it is preferable to eat it raw in thin slices or minced; the lower part is hotter and it is generally steamed and then stir-fried. This root is also good when baked, alone or with other vegetables, and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and herbs. It is an excellent side dish for fish and a healthy and secret ingredient in your soups. It should be kept in a dry and fresh place for a couple of weeks.
Dry daikon: it has an effect on visceral fat, body fat stored around a number of organs that affect how they function. The dried root should be revived in lukewarm water before using it; you can find it in herbalist’s shops, grocery stores that sell macrobiotic food. In Japan it is said that daikon burns the fat around the heart and liver. According to a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011, to understand if we have too much body fat, we should measure waist circumference. Basically, researchers found that waist circumference is an easy way to discover if we have too much fat storage inside our body and it is a greater predictor of atherosclerosis. Limits according to researchers are 102 cm for men and 88 for women, even if they recommend to maintaining waist circumference under the threshold.
Daikon radishes can be served with cereals, legumes and vegetables. They are available julienned and then fermented with umeboshi (Japanese condiment made from salted plums). The slight lactic fermentation reduces the spicy flavour and it provides enzymes that help your digestion.
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