The small leafy vegetable with a bulbous root, looks almost like a decorative vegetable. Turnip is one of the vegetables whose leaves as well and the root are packed with nutrients. The health benefits of turnips includes cancer prevention, improved cardiovascular health, improved hair and skin health.
Turnips can be found all year round in the local market, however, they are freshly available generally before the onset of winters. Therefore, while selecting turnips select the ones that are small or medium in size as the smaller the turnip, the sweeter it is. Also, try to pick the ones that still have green leaves attached to them as it is a sign of freshness.
Turnip is a gorgeous looking vegetable that has been used since 1500 BC. Originating from India for its oil bearing seeds, the turnip became a household vegetable even during the Roman times.
The typical part of the vegetable that is consumed are the white bulbous roots. However, not too many people know that turnip leaves are also highly nutritious. Turnips are a valuable addition to your healthy diet as the health benefits of turnips are numerous in nature.
One of the key health benefits of turnip is detoxification of your body. The green leaves of turnip contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates. This compound can help in first activating detoxification enzymes and then regulating their activity.
Also, consuming cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer such as lung and colon cancer. Further, like other cruciferous vegetable, turnip leaves contain high amounts of Suphur, which gives them the cancer fighting capabilities.
The root of the vegetable, which is consumed in various forms is also a powerhouse of health benefits and nutrients. Some of the health benefits of turnip roots are improving your cardiovascular health, bone health, help in digestion. To know about all the health benefits of turnip, refer to the ‘Health Benefits’ tab of the product.
Although primarily found as a white root vegetable with a purple top, turnips are available in other different colors as well. Some of them are white turnips, purple turnips, yellow turnips and green turnips.
Some other articles on Health Benefits of Turnip
Storage: The roots can be stored for a few weeks at low temperatures (32°-35° F) and high relative humidity (95 percent or above).
Cleaning & Cutting: Wash roots in cold running water to remove sand, soil and any fungicide residues from the surface. Trim the top and bottom ends. Peeling may not be necessary if roots are young; however, large turnips will have tough skin that should be removed.
How to Buy: Look for fresh roots that are small to medium in size, firm, round and impart delicate sweet flavor. Avoid larger as well as over-matured roots as they are woody in texture due to excess fiber content and, therefore, unappetizing.
Special Steps: Use top greens as early as possible since they lose nutrients rather quickly.
TIP: Remove the top greens as they rob nutrients of the roots.
Turnip greens indeed are the storehouse of many vital nutrients. The green tops compose of many minerals and vitamins several times more than that in the roots. They are very good source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.
Mineral Content: Turnip are excellent source of important minerals like calcium, copper, iron, potassium, and manganese.
Vitamin & Compounds: Turnip are good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, carotenoid, xanthin, and lutein. Its top greens are also a very good source of B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamin.
Water Content: Turnip is 92 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Turnip provide 28 calories per 100 g.
Vitamin-C which is there in Turnip is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant required by the human body for synthesis of collagen. It also helps the body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevention from cancers, inflammation, and helps boost immunity.
Asthma: Turnips are rich in vitamin c, which is a powerful antioxidant and also acts an anti-inflammatory. These properties can help cure asthma or can curb the symptoms of asthma.
Atherosclerosis: Turnips, like other vegetables, has a high quantity of insoluble fiber, and this is good for cardiac health.
Bruising: Those who eat more of vitamin C rich vegetables like turnips, are less likely to suffer from bruising.
Capillary Structure: Turnips are rich in flavonoids, which are good for maintaining the structure of capillaries.
Calories: Turnips are low in calories and a good vegetable for those who want to remain fit and healthy.
Free-radicals: Turnips are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and these properties can fight free radicals in the body.
Cancer: Turnips are said to control and reduce the risk of cancers of the lung, bladder, pancreas and the stomach. It also decreases the chances of diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Turnip Greens: Turnip greens are rich in nutrients and are good for overall health and well being.
Nutrients: Turnips are rich in magnesium, phosphor and calcium. These vegetables are also rich in minerals and vitamins, especially folate. Turnips are also a good source of iron, calcium and riboflavin. These veggies also contain a lot of lutein, which can prevent cardiovascular diseases and cataracts.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Turnip greens are good for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Since the greens contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps in the formation of vitamin A in the body, which is important for the proper working of the immune system. It also helps to produce as well as maintain healthy membranes, especially the membrane that lines the joints.
Colon Health: Turnip greens are packed with vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Vitamin C helps to reduce the levels of free radicals in the body and maintains good immune function. Studies have shown that the vitamin is also good for colon function and can reduce colon tumors. Vitamin E is also good for colon health and studies have shown that it can prevent colon cancer.
Heart Health: Turnips have great anti-inflammatory properties, which are considered key in preventing heart attacks and heart disease. They may also help the body lower cholesterol and contain excellent amounts of folate, a B-vitamin that is critical to cardiovascular health.
High In Antioxidants: Turnips offer a wide array of antioxidant support, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, manganese and beta-carotene. While the roots are a great source of vitamin C, the leaf greens are chalk full of all of these antioxidants. They also offer complex phytonutrient support, which helps stimulate antioxidant activity and increases the positive results of combatting free radical activity and preventing DNA damage to cells.
Anti-Inflammatory: Turnip greens are great sources of two excellent anti-inflammatory agents: vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin K is a potent regulator of the body’s inflammatory response system. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids are essential building blocks of the body’s inflammation system and help reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis and other disease that may be the result of chronic inflammation.
Digestive Health: Turnip greens are high in fiber which helps support the body’s digestive system. Some research suggests that glucosinolates may also help the stomach process bacteria like Helicobacter pylori.
Bone Health: Turnips are a great source of calcium and potassium, essential minerals for healthy bone growth and helping to prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Weight Loss: Any low calorie, nutrient rich foods like turnips can be a great addition to an effective weight loss program. The high fiber content of turnips should promote an active, healthy metabolism as well.
Lung Health: The carcinogens present in cigarette smoke cause vitamin A deficiency, resulting in lung inflammation, emphysema and other lung problems. The vitamin A contained in turnip greens helps in maintaining healthy lungs by counteracting this defect.
Treatment of Common Ailments: The curative power of turnips is beneficial in preventing several common illnesses such as lack of hunger and hemorrhoids. Regular consumption of turnip can even cure kidney stone if it is small enough.
Prevents Body Odor: Body odor is a common problem, particularly in the summer months. Turnip juice is quite beneficial in getting rid of body odor. Drinking turnip juice is generally good for health and also helps to avoid body odor.
Strengthens the Immune System: Turnip root plays an important role in the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. The beta-carotene content in turnips helps the body in producing healthy membranes.
Eye Health: Turnip greens are a rich source of lutein, a carotenoid that promotes eye health and prevents ocular diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Thyroid Problem: Individuals with thyroid problems should limit or avoid eating turnips because it contains substances called goitrogens which can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Digestion: It contains sulfur compounds that cause flatulence and digestion problem.
Here are some recipes that you can try at home.
1) Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots
2) Mashed Turnips and Sage
3) Gina’s Turnip Greens
4) Roasted Turnips