“When white radishes are in season, doctors should take a break.”
– Ancient Chinese proverb.
As one may discern from this Chinese proverb, the unassuming daikon radish (along with its cousins, the black or red radish) has long been considered a superfood in many Asian cultures because of its ability to re-balance the digestive system, boost the immune system, and gently cleanse the body. These properties are famously useful for addressing side effects of chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatment!
Other important benefits of radish include its ability to prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the respiratory and immune system, facilitate weight loss, improve bowel function, reduce risk of heart disease, regulate blood pressure and hormones, and strengthen bones (little known fact: radish is rich in calcium).
We’ve chosen this root vegetable to be on our shopping list for our upcoming Taoist seasonal super-cleanse not only because of its unique ability to support the body during the process of receiving, releasing, and lightening up, but also because of its spicy essence and white color, the taste and color associated with supporting the energy of autumn and its corresponding organs, the Lung and Large Intestine. These organs also energetically support the “letting go” process of our body, mind, and spirit!
Daikon radish is available in most Asian marts and some supermarkets, as well. Choose one that is firm, heavy for its weight, and not too large. If you can’t find daikon, then choose its cousin, red radish, which are readily available in most grocery stores.
The following recipe is an easy way to add some radish into your diet: cut a 4 inch long section of daikon (or about 5-6 red radishes) into semi-circle slices or small cubes. Quickly saute some diced garlic and chopped scallion whites in hot oil and a dash of salt, then add the cubes or slices, stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, add a little water if it begins to stick. Add a bit of mushroom powder to taste for flavor. Best served piping hot, it will still be crunchy when it’s at the height of its flavor!
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