The turnip is a root plant, which means it belongs to the same plant family as potatoes and onions. However, the cream and purple colored root is considered cruciferous. This places it in the same category as kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. The vegetable is very popular in Europe and has been a staple food for centuries. Continue reading to learn more about this plant, the health benefits of turnips, their nutritional value, and how people typically incorporate them into their diet.
Health Benefits of the Turnip
It is well established that introducing plant-based foods into a diet has a number of health benefits. This vegetable can help treat diverticulosis, assist in lowering blood pressure, fight cancer, aid in weight loss and digestion, and support healthy vision.
Fiber is readily found in this root vegetable. It is beneficial to those with diverticulitis as it absorbs excess water present in the colon. As a consequence, it makes bowel movements easier. Harvard Health Publications states that one may not need surgery if one maintains a high fiber diet. It will help those afflicted with diverticulitis and similar ailments.
Another health benefit of turnips is that they may help lower blood pressure. That is thanks to their nitrates and potassium content. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study in which they link foods such as this vegetable with vascular health, resulting in lowered blood pressure.
Cruciferous vegetables are beginning to show great promise in their ability to fight cancer. They can even prevent it forming in the first place. Ohio State University research states this is due to the presence of sulforaphane.
Foods that are high in fiber help you feel fuller for a longer period, effectively reducing your caloric intake. Additionally, the fiber promotes a healthy digestive system. This assists the body in removing toxins, which helps the immune system.
When consider foods with a high vitamin C content, we don’t immediately think about cruciferous vegetables They do, however, contain a surprising amount! A diet rich in vitamin C has many benefits to our vision. This includes a decreased risk of cataracts and a slowing of the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Turnip Nutritional Value
As a low-calorie vegetable (only 28 calories per cup), this bulbous root is an excellent way to get lots of nutrition in with very few calories. Full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber among other health beneficial components, there is no part of the vegetable that does not provide nutrition. You can even eat the leaves. They are more nutritious than the root itself! Here is a breakdown of some of the nutrients and components that make turnips such a healthy food choice.
Fats – As a vegetable, it is not a surprise that this root contains very little fat. In fact, one cup has only 0.12 grams of fat. If you don’t add any butter or oil, it is also low in cholesterol.
Sodium – If no salt is added to one cup of it, there are only 25 milligrams of sodium. For those watching their sodium intake, this filling food will be an excellent choice.
Minerals – 14% of your daily requirement of potassium in just one cup of the vegetable.
Vitamins – If you are looking for a vitamin C boost, you can find over 20% of your daily requirement in just one cup. Other vitamins found in significant amounts are vitamin B-6, at 8%, and vitamins A, E, and D at just under 5%.
The most common way to eat this vegetable is boiled and by itself. However, the different ways you can add it to meals may surprise you!
Baked/Boiled/Steamed – Cook, bake or steam a turnip in the same way that you would a potato. In fact, it can replace potatoes in most recipes. Adding butter and salt may make it a bit less healthy, but greatly enhances the flavor.
Mashed – Again, this vegetable can be a replacement for mashed potatoes, and a delicious one at that.
Coleslaw – Next time you make coleslaw, substitute cabbage with this vegetable! It is a unique switch that everyone is sure to love.
Julliened – The turnip is the perfect garnish to any dish. Julienning it can make it super thin and very beautiful.
Raw – If you don’t have time for cooking or simply need a quick snack, skip the cooking process and eat it raw. Try it in a vegetable dip or peanut butter! Turnips are also a crisp addition to a salad.
Greens – If you like collard or spinach greens, you will love the leaves of this root! Use them exactly as you would other greens.
Roasted – Cube the root, and add it to your next pot roast or vegetable roast.
Stews – Go for an extra dose of nutrition by adding them to your next stew or soup. Simply throw in the cubed root at the same point in the cooking process you would add a potato.
Turnips are a surprisingly great choice for anyone who is trying to pursue a healthier pattern of eating. With their vitamin C and fiber content, there are many benefits to be gained by introducing them into your diet. It is also quite easy too! Do you have any experience with this vegetable? Moreover, do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share? Feel free to let everyone know in the comment section below.