Category Archives: Fruits & Vegetables

Blueberry

 

Botanical Name: Vaccinium corymbosum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Vaccinium
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales

Common Name:Blueberry

Habitat: Blueberries are native to North America. The highbush blueberry varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.

They are now grown commercially in the Southern Hemisphere, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia .

Description:
Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue– or purple–colored berries. They are usually prostrate shrubs that can vary in size from 10 centimeters (3.9 in) to 4 meters (13 ft) in height. In commercial production of blueberries, the species with small, pea–size berries growing on low–level bushes are known as “lowbush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), while the species with larger berries growing on taller cultivated bushes are known as “highbush blueberries”.

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The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and 1–8 cm (0.39–3.15 in) long and 0.5–3.5 cm (0.20–1.38 in) broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is a berry 5–16 millimeters (0.20–0.63 in) in diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark purple when ripe. They are covered in a protective coating of powdery epicuticular wax, colloquially known as the “bloom”. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the peak of the crop, in the northern hemisphere, can vary from May to August.

Uses:
Blueberries are sold fresh or are processed as individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or dried or infused berries. These may then be used in a variety of consumer goods, such as jellies, jams, blueberry pies, muffins, snack foods, or as an additive to breakfast cereals.

Blueberry jam is made from blueberries, sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Blueberry sauce is a sweet sauce prepared using blueberries as a primary ingredient.

Blueberry wine is made from the flesh and skin of the berry, which is fermented and then matured; usually the lowbush variety is used.

Nutrients:
Blueberries consist of 14% carbohydrates, 0.7% protein, 0.3% fat and 84% water (table). They contain only negligible amounts of micronutrients, with moderate levels (relative to respective Daily Values) (DV) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber (table).[36] Generally, nutrient contents of blueberries are a low percentage of the DV (table). One serving provides a relatively low caloric value of 57 kcal per 100 g serving and glycemic load score of 6 out of 100 per day.

Phytochemicals and research:
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, other polyphenols and various phytochemicals under preliminary research for their potential role in the human body. Most polyphenol studies have been conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), while content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

Medicinal Uses:
Blueberry is used for preventing cancer, cataracts and glaucoma and for treating ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), colic, fever, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. Blueberry is also used for improving circulation and memory, and as a laxative.

As early as 1927 studies were being published on the health benefits of Blueberry Leaf for controling blood sugar, but the benefit of antioxidants wasn’t commonly known or hadn’t really made it to being a household word until the scientists Ehlenfeldt and Prior published their findings in 2001 on the ORAC, phenolic and anthocyanin concentrations in fruit and leaf tissues of the highbush blueberry. Kind’a heavy readin’ for a simple country girl, but what they basically found was that the leaf was 31 times higher in anthocyanin antioxidants than the fruit. Jest sayin’.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry
http://wildaboutberries.com/blueberry-leaf_302.html
http://www.google.com/search?q=medicinal+uses+of+blueberry&client=safari&rls=en&oq=medicinal+uses+of+blueberry&gs_l=heirloom-serp.12..0i30l2.1160377.1167178.0.1171399.14.14.0.0.0.0.385.3236.0j4j7j2.13.0….0…1ac.1.34.heirloom-serp..1.13.3232.If9rvRfxIfU

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Black Grapes

Description:
Black grapes, also sometimes known as Concord grapes or slipskin grapes, are sold fresh or made into fresh juice, jams or jellies. They are rich in a number of nutrients, including natural antioxidants, and can be part of a healthy diet that reduces the number of calories you consume, helping you lose weight.

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Food Value:

Calorie Content:
Fresh black grapes are low in calories, with a 1-cup serving containing only 62 calories and less than 1/2 gram of total fat. While you can eat the grapes whole and raw, making a fresh juice from them by blending 1 cup of grapes with 1/2 cup of fresh water will give you 1 cup of fresh juice that is lower in calories than a commercially produced grape juice, even if unsweetened. One cup of commercial grape juice has 152 calories per serving and also less than 1/2 gram of total fat. Substituting whole grapes or fresh grape juice for a 12-ounce can of grape soda once a week can reduce your caloric intake by over 5,000 calories, or roughly 1.5 pounds of body weight, in the space of one year.

Dietary Fiber Content:
Black grapes are a good source of dietary fiber, which gives bulk to your diet, helping you eat less.Dietary fiber can also help reduce the symptoms of constipation as well as lower your blood cholesterol levels. A serving of black grapes has 0.8 gram of dietary fiber, a high amount for the small serving size. This provides 2 to 3 percent of the recommended dietary intake and can help you meet the daily recommendation, which is important as most Americans have a diet that is too low in fiber.

Sugar Content:
Black grapes are naturally sweet, with almost 15 grams per cup. The American Heart Association recommends you choose natural sugars, such as those found in grapes, over added sugars because natural sugars have greater nutritive impact. Because of their natural sweetness, you can use grapes as a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth or sugar craving. In addition to eating them fresh, you can also freeze grapes and eat them as a refreshing, low-calorie and sweet dessert, substituting them for other foods, such as ice cream or cake, that are often high in added sugar.

Antioxidants and Fruit Intake:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of fruit each day as part of a balanced diet, which is important for healthy weight loss. Black grapes are also a rich source of the natural antioxidant resveratrol, a type of flavonoid. In 2011, the “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences” published a report that stated that diets high in resveratrol led to overall reduced body fat levels as well as a decrease in overall weight gain.

Vitamin Contents:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adult men and women consume 2 cups of fruit each day. A cup of most sliced or chopped raw fruits fulfills half of this requirement, including 1 cup of whole grapes – equivalent to about 32 whole seedless grapes. Both the red and green varieties are low in fat, high in fiber and a source of essential vitamins.

Vitamin K:
Each 1-cup serving of fresh grapes contains 22 micrograms of vitamin K. For a man, this amount supplies 18 percent of his recommended daily allowance; for a woman, a cup of grapes fulfills 24 percent of her vitamin K requirement per day. Your body needs adequate vitamin K to build strong bones and to synthesize several of the proteins required for blood coagulation. If your diet lacks foods rich in vitamin K, you may be more likely to develop osteoporosis or bleed too much when injured.

Vitamin B-6:
As an adult, you should get at least 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6 each day. Grapes contain 0.13 milligrams of vitamin B-6 in every cup, supplying 10 percent of the required daily intake. Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin. Along with other B vitamins, it helps you metabolize the protein, fats and carbohydrates in your diet. People who consume plenty of vitamin B-6 may have a lower risk of depression, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Thiamin Source:
Every 1-cup serving of fresh grapes supplies 0.1 milligram of thiamin, or vitamin B-1. Consuming this amount of grapes would fulfill 8.3 percent of a man’s daily requirement of the nutrient and 9 percent of a woman’s recommended intake. Because this isn’t a very good source of the vitamin, you can’t get your daily recommended intake from grapes alone. Thiamin supports the health of your immune system and aids in the production of adenosine triphosphate, the primary compound your cells use for energy. Most Americans aren’t severely deficient in thiamin, says UMMC, but if you regularly don’t get enough, you may have a higher risk of developing cataracts.

Riboflavin Needs:
Riboflavin, another member of the B family of vitamins, is needed to synthesize red blood cells, to support nervous system function and to help prevent free radical compounds from damaging DNA or cellular tissue. You may have a higher risk of cataracts if your diet doesn’t contain enough riboflavin. You may also suffer from digestive disorders or fatigue. A 1-cup serving of grapes contains approximately 0.1 milligram of riboflavin, or about 7.6 percent of a man’s recommended daily intake and 9 percent of a woman’s. Consume additional sources of riboflavin to meet your DRI.

Health Benefits:
Black grapes, velvety colored and deliciously sweet and juicy, can be consumed fresh and raw, dried as raisins or as a juice. Rich in nutrients, black seedless grapes are similar in taste and texture to red or green grapes, but because of their skin color, they have a higher antioxidant content. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of fruit each day as part of a balanced diet, and eating black grapes will help you meet that goal.

Anthocyanins are the flavonoid compound that gives black grapes their dark color; the darker the fruit, the higher the anthocyanin content. A natural antioxidant, anthocyanins protect your body from damage from free radicals, produced as your body breaks down food, reducing the risk of cell damage and death and potentially slowing down the aging process. A study published in the 2010 “Annual Review of Food Science and Technology” found that anthocyanins may help reduce inflammation and cancer activity, alleviate diabetes and control obesity.

Polyphenols also are present in high concentrations in black grapes. One of the most widely found and consumed natural antioxidants, they occur mainly in fruits and plant-based drinks, including juices and red wine made from black grapes. A 2005 publication of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition cites polyphenols as preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancers and osteoporosis. They may also help prevent neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of diabetes. Most of the studies were in vitro or animal experiments, however, so the research isn’t conclusive.

According to “A History of Food,” black grapes have a lower glycemic index than other grapes. While “Harvard Health Publications” cites the average GI for all grapes as 59, black grapes, according to “A History of Food,” have a GI of 43 to 53. The lower the GI is, the less effect the food has on your blood sugar and insulin levels. This means grapes won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which, in addition to being dangerous for diabetics, can lead to energy highs and crashes.

Resveratrol Content:

A phytonutrient, resveratrol is present in high concentrations in all grapes, including black grapes. A natural antioxidant, resveratrol may be useful in increasing lifespan and preventing the growth and development of cancer cells. But the majority of studies of the substance have been done on yeast, insects and animals, so the effect of resveratrol in humans isn’t yet understood. Some scientists believe it may be the resveratrol content of red wine that makes the “French Paradox” possible — low levels of cardiovascular disease among the French despite high levels of cigarette smoking and saturated fat in the typical French diet.

Resources:
https://www.livestrong.com/article/277286-benefits-of-black-grapes-in-weight-loss/

Sweet Potato

Botanical Name: Ipomoea batatas
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: I. batat
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names: Sweet Potato, Yam, Kumara 
Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, Oxalis tuberosa (a species of wood sorrel), is called a “yam” in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes to be labeled as “sweet potatoes” and not as “yams”

The Portuguese took the Taino name batata directly, while the Spanish also combined it with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. In Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic it is called batata. In Mexico, Peru, Chile, Central America, and the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote (alternatively spelled kamote in the Philippines), derived from the Nahuatl word camotli. Boniato is another name widely used in mainland Spain and in Uruguay.

In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates (kumala, umala, ‘uala, etc.), which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

In New Zealand, the most common variety is the Red (purple) cultivar, and is called kumara, though orange (Beauregard) and gold varieties are also available. Kumara is particularly popular as a roasted food or in contemporary cuisine, as kumara chips, often served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Occasionally shops in Australia will label the purple variety “purple sweet potato” to denote its difference to the other varieties. About 95% of Australia’s production is of the orange variety named “Beauregard”, originally from North America, known simply as “sweet potato”. A reddish-purple variety, Northern Star, is 4% of production and is sold as kumara.

In Papua New Guinea, sweet potatoes are known as kaukau in Tok Pisin. In South Korea, sweet potatoes are known as ‘goguma’

Habitat: The origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be in either Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. In South America, Peruvian sweet potato remnants dating as far back as 8000 BC have been found. Now sweet potato is grown all over the world.

Description:
Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is an herbaceous perennial plant grown for its edible storage roots. The sweet potato plant is a branching, creeeping vine with spirally arranged lobed, heart shaped leaves and white or lavender flowers. The plant has enlarged roots called tubers which act as an energy store for the plant. The tubers can be variable in shape and can be red, yellow, brown, white or purple in color. Sweet potato vines can reach 4 m (13 ft) in length and the plant is usually grown as an annual, harvested after one growing season. Sweet potatoes may also be referred to as yams or Spanish potatoes and originate from Central America.

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Cultivation & Propagation:
Sweet potatoes grow very well in tropical and subtropical climates and they are very sensitive to cold weather.
The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. in well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 5.6–6.6. Sweet potatoes should be planted in full sun and require plenty of space as the vines will spread over large areas. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.

Edible Uses:
Sweet potato tubers are eaten cooked as a vegetable or may be processed into flour or starch. The leaves can be eaten fresh or after cooking. Sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have got over 400% of our daily needs for vitamin A in one medium spud, as well as loads of fiber and potassium. They have got more grams of natural sugars than regular potato but more overall nutrients with fewer calories.

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People allover the world eat sweet potato (both the tubers & the leaves) as vegetable  & also  in different forms.

Medicinal Uses & health benefits:
Possible health benefits of consuming sweet potatoes:
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like sweet potatoes decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Diabetes:
Sweet potatoes are considered low on the glycemic index scale, and recent research suggests they may reduce episodes of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in people with diabetes. The fiber in sweet potatoes makes a big difference too. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium sweet potato provides about 6 grams of fiber (skin on).

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 grams of fiber per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men, which most people do not reach.

Blood pressure:
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults are meeting the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium.3 One medium sweet potato provides about 542 milligrams.

Also of note, high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.

Cancer:
Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.4 Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

Digestion and regularity:
Because of its high fiber content, sweet potatoes help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Fertility:
For women of childbearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources appears to promote fertility, according Harvard Medical School‘s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

Immunity:
Plant foods like sweet potatoes that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost from their powerful combination of nutrients.

Inflammation:
Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in sweet potatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.6

In a study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food, purple sweet potato extract was found to have positive anti-inflammatory and antilipogenic effects as well as free radical scavenging and reducing activity.

Vision:
According to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision.

Also of note, the antioxidant vitamins C and E in sweet potatoes have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.

A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease the risk of and progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Other Uses:
In South America, the juice of red sweet potatoes is combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth. By varying the proportions of the juices, every shade from pink to black can be obtained.

All parts of the plant are used for animal fodder.

Sweet potatoes or camotes are often found in Moche ceramics.

Several selections are cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage, including the dark-leafed cultivars ‘Blackie’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ and the chartreuse-foliaged ‘Margarita’.

Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental varieties, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the vast root systems.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are breeding sweet potato varieties that would be grown primarily for biofuel production.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/281438.php
https://www.plantvillage.com/en/topics/sweet-potato/infos/diseases_and_pests_description_uses_propagation

Luffa Acutangua (Bengali Jhingha)

Botanical Name : Luffa Acutangua
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Angled luffa, Chinese okra, Dish cloth gourd, Ridged gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable gourd, Strainer vine, Ribbed loofah, Silky gourd, Ridged gourd, Silk gourd, and Sinkwa towelsponge

Names in other languages:

Assamese: Jeeka
Bengali : Jhingge , Jhinga and Sataputi
Burmese: Bjuda; also Boun Loun
Hindi: Torai, Turai
Gujarati: Turiya
Kannada: Heere kayi
Tagalog: Patola
Lao: Mark noy
Vietnamese: Muop Khia
Tamil: Peerkangai
Telugu: Beera kaaya
Thai: Buap liyam
Marathi: Dodaki
Konkani: Gossale
Indonesian: Gambas, Oyong
Javanese: Oyong
Mandarin Chinese: Pinyin: Guangdongsigua
Cantonese Chinese: Sin qua or sing kwa(Australian spelling), Ling Jiao Si Gua, You Lin Si Gua, Sze Gwa, Sigwa
Hokkian: Kak kuey
Malayalam: Peechinga
Malay: Petola segi
Sinhalese: Watakolu
Japanese: Ito uri, Tokado hechima

Habitat : Luffa Acutangua is native to India and naturalized throughout tropics and subtropics of the world.

Description:
Luffa Acutangua is a large climber, with usually 3-fid tendrills. Leaves orbicular in outline, 15-20 cm long, palmately 5-7 angled or sublobate, scabrid. Flowers yellow, large; male flowers in axillary 12-20 flowered racemes; female flowers solitary. Fruit 15-30 cm long, clavate-oblong, tapering towards the base, longitudinally ribbed.
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Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains a bitter substance luffin. Seeds contain 20% of a saponin glycoside, enzyme and a fixed oil (Chopra et al., 1992). Flowers and fruits contain free amino acids, arginine, glycine, threonine, lysine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic and glutamic acids and leucines. Ripe seeds contain bitter glycosidic principles, cucurbitacins B, D, G and H (luffins) and oleanolic acid; roots contain cucurbitacin B and traces of C (Ghani, 2003).
Edible Uses: 
The young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, and the shoots and flowers are sometimes also used……..CLICK  & SEE

Young fruit can be eaten raw like cucumber or cooked like squash, while the young leaves, shoots, flower buds, as well as the flowers can be eaten after being lightly steamed. The seeds can be roasted as a snack, or pressed to produce oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Luffa Acutangua plant is bitter tonic, emetic, diuretic and purgative and useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. Externally, it is used for shingles and boils. The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation. The fruits are anthelmentic, carminative, laxative, depurative, emollient, expectorant, tonic and galactagogue and are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy. The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits. Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery. Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases. Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints. It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.

Other Uses: Like Luffa aegyptica, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can then be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/luffa-acutangula.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa_acutangula
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/luffa_acutangula.htm
file:///C:/Users/COOLE_~1/AppData/Local/Temp/lnc85ewj.tmp/JNPPR-2012-2-1-127-134.pdf

Daikon (Indian Radish)

Botanical Name ; Raphanus sativus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: sativus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Daikon, Indian Radish

Hindi Name : Mooli,  Bengali Name : Mullo

In culinary contexts, “daikon” or “daikon radish” (from its Japanese name) is the most common in all forms of English, although historical ties to South Asia permit “mooli” (from its Hindi name and also in Urdu) as a general synonym in British English. The generic terms “white radish”, “winter radish”, “Oriental radish“, “long white radish”, etc. are also used. Other synonyms usually vary by region or describe regional varieties of the vegetable. When it is necessary to distinguish the usual Japanese form from others, it is sometimes known as “Japanese radish” or “true daikon”. The vegetable’s Mandarin names are still uncommon in English; in most forms of Chinese cuisine, it is usually known as Chinese white radish” although in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine it is encountered as “lobak”, “lo pak”, etc. In the cuisines of Hokkien-speaking areas such as Singapore, it is also known as “chai tow” or “chai tau” and, in South Asia, as “mooli”. In any of these, it may also simply be referred to as “radish”, with the regional variety implied by context. In English-speaking countries, it is also sometimes marketed as “icicle radish”.

In mainland China and Singapore, the calque “white carrot” or misnomer “carrot” is sometimes used, owing to the similarity of the vegetables’ names in Mandarin and Hokkien. This variant gave the title to a popular guidebook on Singaporean street food, There’s No Carrot in Carrot Cake, which refers to chai tow kway, a kind of cake made from daikon.

The official general name used by the United States Department of Agriculture is “oilseed radish”, but this is only used in non-culinary contexts. Other English terms employed when daikon is being used as animal feed or as a soil ripper are “forage radish”, “fodder radish”, and “tillage radish”

Habitat : Daikon is native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region (as well as in South Asia) but is primarily grown in North America as a fallow crop, with the roots left unharvested to prevent soil compaction and the leaves (if harvested) used as animal fodder.
Description:
Daikon is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant in the family Brassicaceae, grown for its edible taproot. The radish plant has a short hairy stem and a rosette (ground level horizontal and circular leaves) of oblong shaped leaves which measure 5–30 cm (2–12 in) in length. The top leaves of the plant are smaller and lance-like. The taproot of the plant is cylindrical or tapering and commonly red or white in color. The radish plant produces multiple purple or pink flowers on racemes which produce 2–12 seeds. The reddish brown seeds are oval, and slightly flattened. Radish is generally grown as an annual plant, surviving only one growing season and can reach 20–100 cm (8–39 in) in height depending on the variety. Radish may also be referred to by the name of the cultivar and names may include Chinese radish, Japanese radish or oriental radish……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Varieties:
The most common variety in Japan (aokubi-daikon) produces an elongated root in the shape of a giant white carrot approximately 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) in diameter. Most Chinese and Indian forms are roughly similar.

The turnip-shaped “giant white radish” or “Sakurajima radish” is cultivated around Kagoshima in Japan and grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and 45 kg (100 lb) in mass.

There are a number of non-white varieties. The Cantonese lobak, lo pak, etc. sometimes refers to the usual Chinese form but is also applied to a form of daikon with light green coloration of the top area of the root around the leaves. The “Korean radish”, also called “mu”, is similarly colored but with a rounder, more potato-like shape. Both are often spicier than the long white radishes. The heirloom “watermelon radish” is another Chinese variety of daikon with a dull green exterior but a bright rose or fuchsia-colored center. Its Chinese name is sometimes irregularly romanized as the “shinrimei radish” and sometimes translated as the “beauty heart”, “beautiful heart inside” or “roseheart radish”

Cultivation:
The Chinese and Indian varieties tolerate higher temperatures than the Japanese one. These varieties grow well at lower elevations in East Africa. It is best if there is plenty of moisture and it can grow quickly; otherwise, the flesh becomes overly tough and pungent. The variety “Long White Icicle” is available as seed in Britain, and will grow very successfully in Southern England, producing roots resembling a parsnip by midsummer in good garden soil in an average year.

The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if lifted and kept in a cool dry place. If left in the ground, the texture tends to become woody, but the storage life of untreated whole roots is not long.

Certain varieties of Daikon can be grown as a winter cover crop and green manure. These varieties are often named “tillage radish” because it makes a huge, penetrating root which effectively performs deep cultivation. They bring nutrients lower in the soil profile up into the higher reaches; are good nutrient scavengers, so they are good partners with legumes instead of grasses; if harsh winters, the root will decompose while in the soil in Spring releasing early nitrogen stores.
Propagation:
Radishes are fast growing cool-season vegetables that grow very well in cool moist climates. the optimum temperature for the growth of radishes is between 10 and 18°C (50–65°F) and they grow best in a well-draining sandy loams which are rich in organic matter with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8.. Radish should be grown in full sun to part shade.
Edible Uses:
The radish root can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked with other ingredients such as meat. The leaves of the plant are also edible and can bu used as a salad green.

Nutritional information:
Daikon is very low in food energy. A 100-gram serving contains only 76 kilojoules or 18 Calories (5 Cal/oz), but provides 27 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Daikon also contains the active enzyme myrosinase.

Medicinal Uses (Health Benefits):
Cancer Prevention:
Daikon is one of many cruciferous vegetables linked in studies with successful cancer prevention. Daikon contains several great antioxidants associated with fighting free radical damage, a known cause of cancer. Research has also shown that daikon juice helps prevent the formation of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens inside the body and helps the liver process toxins.

High In Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only combats free radical activity in the body but also offers great immune system support and helps prevent illness such as the common cold. 100 grams of daikon provides 34% the DV of vitamin C. Daikon leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C than that of daikon roots

Antibacterial & Antiviral:
Daikon appears to be able to combat bacterial and viral infections.

Anti-Inflammatory:
Research suggests that high levels of vitamin C and B, such as found in daikon, help to prevent chronic inflammation in the body which can lead to problems such as arthritis and heart disease.

Digestive Aid:
Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrates.

Diuretic:
Daikon helps the kidneys discharge excess water. A natural diuretic, it may also be helpful in treating urinary disorders.

Respiratory Health:
Raw daikon juice may help dissolve mucus and phlegm and aid in the healthy function of the respiratory system. Its ability to combat bacteria and viral infections may make it an effective combatant of respiratory disease such as bronchitis, asthma and flu.

Skin Health:
Applied topically or ingested, daikon juice has proven effective in preventing and treating acne and other skin conditions.

Bone Health:
Daikon leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight Loss:
In Asia, it is believed that daikon helps the body to burn fat, though this has not been proven. Whether it helps burn fat or not, daikon radish is extremely low in fat and cholesterol, but dense with nutrients, making it a great addition to any effective weight loss program.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://www.plantvillage.com/en/topics/radish/infos/diseases_and_pests_description_uses_propagation

10 Health Benefits Of Daikon Radish


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daikon