Turnips are a healthy vegetable in the same family as cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, arugula, watercress, and mustard greens. It is a white-skinned root vegetable that is nutrient-packed. Turnips are rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, folate, and niacin. It’s also high in fibre and low in calories.
Benefits of turnips
Improve heart health
Potassium in turnips functions as a potential vasodilator, possibly helping to reduce the strain on blood vessels and arteries. This has the effect of lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to heart attacks and strokes. Dietary fibre is excellent for scraping off excess cholesterol from the heart and eliminating it from the body. High cholesterol is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
May aid in digestion
Turnips are classified as dietary fibres which makes them great for digestion. They help bulk up stool which makes things go smoother. It can help treat symptoms of constipation, diarrhoea, cramping, and bloating as well as gastric issues that can occasionally arise. The fibre also increases the efficiency of nutrient absorption to your body.
May improve blood circulation
The iron in turnips makes them an asset for people who suffer from low blood cell count or anaemia. Iron is required in the formation of red blood cells which is needed by the body to oxygenate, repair, and run the body’s organ systems. More iron may translate to better circulation to the extremities of the body.
May boost the immune system
Vitamin C and ascorbic acid present in large quantities boost the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and antibodies and also acts as an antioxidant. White blood cells protect the body from infectious diseases and disease-causing pathogens. Antioxidants protect cells from damage thus reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
May improve bone strength
Calcium in turnips helps in the growth and repair of bone matter throughout the body. Calcium is important in boosting bone strength and mineral density especially as we grow older with a higher risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
May have anticancer potential
One study found that the consumption of Chinese white turnips can help in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Cruciferous vegetables like turnips help lower the risk of prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancer. Vegetables like cabbage, turnips, and broccoli may reduce the risk of cancer because of the high glucosinolate content in them.
May fight inflammation
Turnips are packed with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K which have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 in particular helps soothe inflammation as well as maintain the overall health of the body. 6 Health Benefits Of Eating Foods Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Their Sources
Inflammation is linked to a variety of illnesses including asthma and heart disease. The leaves are also eaten and boiling them can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from gout, arthritis, and other chronic pain.
May boost metabolism
The vitamin B complex in turnips makes it easier for the body to control the enzymatic processes that occur all around the body. Vitamin B complex also ensures that all parts of the body are functioning properly including stabilizing the levels of various hormones.
May protect sexual organs
One study found that Kaempferol in turnips prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the ovary lowering the risk of ovarian cancer. Turnips also have anti-microbial properties which protect against prostate cancer.
There are over 30 varieties of turnips of different sizes, colours, and flavours. Choose turnips that are still connected to the leaves and check that the leaves are green. Pick turnips that are average in size, the ones that are really big in size may have a bitter taste in the leaves. Small turnips are delicious raw and can be eaten whole or sliced thinly. Larger turnips are best peeled and steamed or boiled and mashed. They can be added to soups and casseroles. The leaves can be steamed and consumed in the same way as spinach or added to stews and curries.