Turnip or Brassica rapa is a root vegetable of the Cruciferae family. It is considered a cousin of vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli and collards.
Turnips have been cultivated for over 4000 years. Not many people know that turnip greens, which are basically leaves of the turnip plant, are even more nutritious that the root. However, the root, which contains many essential vitamins and minerals as well, is the part that is commonly used.
Turnip Nutritional Value
One cup of cooked turnip, together with its greens, provides 29.7 milligrams of vitamin C, 000.1 milligrams of thiamin, 0.8 milligrams of niacin, 0.1 milligrams of vitamin B6, 677 micrograms of vitamin K, 52.8 micrograms of folate, 3.5 milligrams of vitamin E, 209 milligrams of calcium, 2.9 milligrams of iron, 39.1 milligrams of magnesium, 0.6 milligrams of zinc, 352 milligrams of potassium, 52.2 milligrams of phosphorus and 1.8 micrograms of selenium.
The same amount contains only 0.6 grams of fat and 1.7 grams of sugar.
Turnip Health Benefits
Turnip is a vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and it is very low in calories. This makes it a perfect vegetable for those who are dieting.
Turnip greens are a great source of vitamin A and lutein. Regular consumption of vitamin A has been directly linked to lowering the risk of cataract, and generally this vitamin is good for eyesight.
Vitamin C is found in great amounts in turnips. This vitamin is best known for its ability to boost the immune system and help it to ward off infections. It is also a potent antioxidant that repairs the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C is very helpful form many inflammatory processes, including asthma.
Turnips also contain flavonoids and other antioxidants that protect the body from dangerous diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Turnips are also rich in dietary fiber, which is why they are recommended for people who suffer from constipation.
Certain studies have found that turnip leaves contain certain anti-carcinogenic agents and that turnips are particularly effective as a form of prevention against lung, stomach and colon cancers.
This vegetable is also recommended for people who have arthritis because, due to its nutrients, it can alleviate the pain caused by this condition.
Although turnips offer these and many more health benefits, some people should be careful with them. Turnips contain oxalates, which can crystallize in the body and create certain health problems. Because of this, turnips are not recommended for people who have gallbladder or kidney problems.