Why is turmeric so essential for preventing cancer, AND for supporting cancer treatment? Here’s a huge reason: epigenetics.
Food is information to your genes, both supporting and regulating healthy gene expression.
This may sound a little over-the-top for a recipe introduction but this powerful recipe, from my nutritionist Romilly Hodges, does just that.
Perhaps most importantly—not only is it extremely easy to whip together, it also tastes AMAZING!
The science: With the right ingredients, food provides the materials needed for epigenetic modulation through methylation and acetylation. Daikon radish is a good source of nutrients such as folate, choline, vitamin C, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, many of which directly support methylation cycles and DNA programming. Turmeric has methylation adaptogenic properties, helping to balance DNA methylation and avoiding excessive methylation. Pickling both together creates a potent probiotic (and prebiotic!) that will support a healthy microbiome—a top-notch microbiome provides additional folate for us to use and also favorably regulates gene expression.
Food pairing benefits: Daikon radish skin contains an enzyme called myrosinase, which increases the benefits or another anti-cancer and methylation adaptogen food group – cruciferous veggies. If you pair a little of this unpeeled radish with some broccoli, Brussels sprouts or bok choi, you’ll increase the conversion of glucoraphanin to sulforaphane, making it much more bioavailable and potent. Daikon radish is also a crucifer itself, so its benefits are compounded. Cool, huh?
Even if you don’t care much for the science, know that it is there, and that this recipe definitely helps you to eat for your genes. Plus the briny, tangy but mellow taste is a delicious compliment to your meals.
To learn more about how to eat and live your way to methylation health, click here for articles and our eBook, which contains over 40 exclusive recipes, free of gluten and dairy as well as dietary plans and lifestyle interventions.
|Eating for Your Genes: Turmeric-Pickled Daikon|
|Servings||Cook Time||Passive Time|
|30||20Minutes||4-5Days for fermenting|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|20Minutes||4-5Days for fermenting|
- 2 Cups Water
- 1/4 Cup Sea salt I used Celtic sea salt
- 1/4 Cup Unrefined sugar
- 1 Tsp Ground turmeric
- 1/4 Cup Apple cider vinegar Or rice vinegar
- 3 Medium daikon radishes About 2 lbs
- Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer and add the salt, sugar and turmeric. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Meanwhile, grate the radishes and pack into a glass food jar, leaving about 2-3 inches of space at the top.
- Add the remaining cup of water and the vinegar to the brine and let cool. Pour gently over the radishes making sure they are completely covered. Place a small glass container or cleaned cabbage leaf if you need to, to keep the radish completely submerged.
- Seal and keep in a dark room-temperature place for 4-5 days. Every couple of days, open the jar to release pressurized air and to mix the daikon to distribute the turmeric color evenly.
- Place in the refrigerator. Lasts for up to 1 month. Serve 1-3 tbsp with meals.
Anyone worried about the amount of salt in this and other “pickling” recipes. I love to make my own probiotic sources that aren’t dairy based, but the salt doesn’t even taste good. Waaaaaaaay too much salty taste.
Thanks for commenting, Jamie. The salt is a necessary part of the preservation/safe fermentation process. The result should be a condiment that you can use to season other foods too, to dilute the saltiness. Small amounts rather than large. Also, you might want to try a different salt – we like Celtic Sea Salt, which is quality tested for heavy metal contamination. – Hope this helps!
As for salt amounts, my understanding is that by using a salt that still has all the minerals (i.e., “Celtic,” “Himalayan,” etc.) one does not have to worry about raising blood pressure. The problem comes when we use refined salt which has had all the “balancing” (if you will) minerals removed. However, 4 Tbsp of salt, even real salt, in 1 qt does seem like a lot; I would probably use less. It will get pickled.
Root vegetables are so awesome, sucking up minerals and nutrients from the dirt, and fun to grow too. Googled this up pretty fast but I like the Rejuvelac recipe too.
Great recipe as well! It would be good to add some daikon to that one too, along with the cabbage, to reap more sulforaphane benefits from the cruciferous cabbage – more potent anti-cancer and epigenetic modulation effects.
Do I have to use the sugar.? I do not eat sugar. I have fermented quite a bit and use celery juice in place of salt..works great plus adds mineral benefits. Thanks for recipe.
Hi Monte, you could certainly try it without sugar, but it will not ferment as much since daikon is a very low carbohydrate vegetable. The sugar feeds the Lactobacillus fermentation process and is consumed itself during that process, forming lactic acid. You have to leave it until you get a tangy, sour (but pleasant) taste to know that the sugar has been consumed, and that you have maximized the lactobacillus formation. I’m all for experimenting! Let us know how you get on. – Romilly
Can I use honey or coconut nectar instead of sugar?
Yes that would work – those would both provide the carbohydrates that the bacteria need to grow on. Let us know how you like it!
Isn’t black pepper and/or some kind of fat a necessity in order to make the curcumin in turmeric reasonably bioavailable?
Mike, you’re absolutely right! Piperine (in black pepper) improves absorption of curcumin, and curcumin is fat soluble so absorption increases with fats. – DrKF
My concern is a vinegar in the recipe. If we are going to have a fermented vegetable by lactofermentation , vinegar will kill all bacteria , oncluding beneficial,and it would be just pickled vegetable, meaning there would be no Probiotic left . Same as pickled cucumbers , for example, in a jar you can buy in any store . Vinegar would keep fermentation off and shelf life of the pickles would be very long. I am Holistic Nutrition Health Coach and the subject of Fermented Foods is one of my passion. I teach classes for my local community on how to ferment vegetables, dairy and make fermented drinks.
Also, i would like to add that in the case of using vinegar amount of salt in the recipe definitely could be less, since preservation of the daikon will be due to use of vinegar and not salt . In real fermenting process large amount of salt (2-4-6% solution) is necessary to prevent food from detrimental bacteria . Lactobacteria withheld the amount of salt , producing final product known as fermented vegetable .
Would this recipe using the vinegar adversely affect someone with histamine intolerance?
If you are sensitive to histamine, you may not do well with vinegar or fermented foods in general. However, everyone’s tolerance level is different. Don’t forget that boosting your resilience is key to long term tolerance.
— Romilly Hodges MS CNS CN
You state that Daikon radish skin contains an enzyme called myrosinase, yet the recipe says to peel the Daikon to prepare. Surely this is counter productive?
Yes, that’s a good adjustment to the recipe. I am fixing it now. Thank you for letting me know!
Great recipe and excellent information. I thought vinegar was a big no no when fermenting foods. Doesn’t vinegar kill some of the good bacteria? It would be very helpful to understand why we are using vinegar.
Vinegar changes the flavor profile makes it more of a quick pickle than a lacto-fermentation. We’re using raw fermented ACV here, so the brine isn’t absent active culture. You can skip the ACV, but keep in mind it will take a bit longer to ferment.