How This Helps

Heart Diseases:
Turnips are rich in fiber, which reduces the cholesterol present in the blood. A diet containing fiber can reduce high blood pressure and inflammatory conditions, thereby decreasing the risk of heart diseases. Also, these vegetables contain high nitrate content, which decreases platelet aggregation, improves endothelial dysfunction and reduces blood pressure.

Cancer Care:
The sulforaphane compounds present in the cruciferous vegetables like turnips provide several anti-cancer properties. Moreover, phytonutrients like indoles reduce the risk of lung and colorectal cancer. All these compounds can act against cancers like prostate, esophageal, melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

Digestive Health:
The high fiber content in turnips can make you feel fuller. These vegetables are also very low in calories and they can maintain your blood sugar levels. The high fiber content improves the movement of stools in the intestines and prevents constipation, gas, and bloating. The vegetable also contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which activate the detoxification enzymes and improves their activity.

Instructions

Useful in:
Detoxification | Cancer | Antioxidants | Anti-inflammatory | Cardiovascular Disorders | Digestion | High Blood pressure | Obesity | Eyes | Bones | Antimicrobial |

Nutrients:
Serving size: 100 g

Nutrients    Amount
Water    91.87 g
Energy    28 kcal
Protein    0.9 g
Total lipid (fat)    0.1 g
Carbohydrate, by difference    6.43 g
Fiber, total dietary    1.8 g
Sugars, total    3.8 g
Minerals    
Calcium, Ca    30 mg
Iron, Fe    0.3 mg
Magnesium, Mg    11 mg
Phosphorus, P    27 mg
Potassium, K    191 mg
Sodium, Na    67 mg
Zinc, Zn    0.27 mg
Vitamins    
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid    21 mg
Thiamine    0.04 mg
Riboflavin    0.03 mg
Niacin    0.4 mg
Vitamin B-6    0.09 mg
Folate, DFE    15 µg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)    0.03 mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)    0.1 µg
Lipids    
Fatty acids, total saturated    0.011 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated    0.006 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated    0.053 g

Source: USDA Nutrient Database No. 28

Use It In

There are many different ways to get the health benefits of turnips. It's an excellent addition to any mashed potato or mashed cauliflower dish or functions great alone when roasted and tossed with a small amount of garlic. You can slice the turnip in thin scales and bake it for healthful turnip chips.

Pairs With

Although they are most commonly cooked, turnips can be enjoyed raw also. If you intend to eat them raw, simply peel and slice the turnip as you would an apple to eat with drops or increase the top of your salad. Make certain to slice off the root end and take out the greens - that can be stored for cooking also. Before cooking turnips, they ought to be cleaned, trimmed, and peeled. However, smaller turnips which are less than two inches wide do not have to be peeled if you will cook them. Based on the cooking process, this purple vegetable could be diced, grated, chopped, or sliced.

Turnips are amazing for cooking due to their distinct taste, firmness, and yearlong availability. It provides a unique but healthy dimension to dishes, blends in well with other ingredients. Most will agree that roasting turnips are the ideal way to enjoy the rich flavors of the vegetable, but other cooking methods include steaming, baking, and boiling. Some of the ways to prepare turnip include roasting and mashing, including in soups and stews.


Turnips: ignored but not forgotten

Vegetables have a variety of health benefits for our health. In the middle ages, turnips were usually associated with the lower economic class and, as a result, became notoriously known as the 'poor man's food.' Brassica rapa, more commonly known to us as turnips, are a type of root vegetable that is often ignored but is highly beneficial to our health.[1] Turnips are a member of the cruciferous and are commonly enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes today. At the same time, turnips boast of high nutritional value, while also being low in calorie density.

See: Ayurvedic Diet

What is a Turnip?

Turnip is a root vegetable that is round and apple-sized. The leaves and sprouts of turnip are edible and commonly used in a variety of Eastern American, Asian, and European dishes. The greens of turnip are also used in stews and soups.[2] The roots of turnip can also be pickled. 

See: How long does it take to reduce cholesterol

Turnip nutrients

Turnip Nutrition

There are many benefits to having turnips. Turnips are so rich in nutrients that medical experts believe that turnips can offer several health benefits. Turnip nutrients include:

·        Calcium

·        Potassium

·        Sodium

·        Phosphorus

·        Magnesium

Turnips are also rich in vitamins. They contain niacin, folate, and vitamin C. Turnips are high in fiber and low in calories. Since they are also an inexpensive vegetable, turnips have thus emerged as the logical choice to include in any nutritious diet.

See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

Turnips health benefits

Let us examine some of these turnip health benefits.

1. Cancer Care

One of the most significant turnip benefits is that it is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Both of these are known to lower the risk of cancer.[3] 

Glucosinolates present in turnips also helps reduce the effect of cancer. Glucosinolates are natural plant substances that break down into two compounds when digested.[4] These two compounds are isothiocyanates [5] and indoles [6]. Isothiocyanates and indoles help the liver fight the harmful effects of carcinogens, process various toxins that may cause cancer, and also help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. 

Inclusion of turnips in your daily diet will help decrease the risk of colon cancer, rectal tumors, and even breast cancer.7

2. Protection against unhealthy bacteria

The glucosinolates in turnips are known to break down into isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are chemicals that help prevent bacterial and microbial growth.[8,9] Research has also found that isothiocyanates help fight against many common disease-causing bacteria, including S. aureus and E. coli.[10]

3. Good for heart health

Turnips are rich in potassium. Potassium is a known vasodilator, meaning they help dilate the blood vessels. This dilation allows blood to flow a lot more efficiently throughout the body. Smoother blood flow benefits people with heart problems who are taking vasodilating medications. Over time, this helps heart patients cut down on their vasodilating medications.[11] 

Natural vasodilators like turnip help prevent many types of heart problems such as atherosclerosis, thus lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. 

Another benefit of turnip is that it is rich in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps remove excess cholesterol from the body, especially the heart, and eliminates it out of the body. This further ensures that your heart remains in good shape.[12]

Turnips are also a potent source of folate, which is also known to help activate the body's cardiovascular system.[13]

4. Good for the lungs

Turnip greens are rich in vitamin A which helps in keeping your lungs healthy. This is especially important in people who smoke or those who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. The carcinogens present in cigarette smoke can lead to a deficiency of vitamin A in the body, which in turn causes emphysema, inflammation in the lungs, and many other lung-related problems. 

Vitamin A present in turnip greens help in combatting these side effects of cigarette smoke.14

5. Help prevent body odor

Many people are plagued by the common problem of body odor, especially in the summer heat. Turnip juice is known to be highly effective in getting rid of body odor.  Drinking one cup of turnip juice every day is not only good for your health but at the same time, it helps avoid the problem of body odor.[15]

Other Turnip Health Benefits

There are many other health benefits associated with turnip roots and greens. Some of these include:

·        Boosts bone health: Turnip nutrition plays a crucial role in promoting bone health as well. Turnips are rich in vitamin K that is responsible for bone metabolism in the body. Many animal studies have shown that the glucosinolates present in turnips have a role to play in bone formation.[16,17] Potassium and calcium present in turnips also help keep your bones healthy. 

·        Good for metabolism: Turnips are also rich in vitamin B complex, which helps in regulating the enzymatic and hormonal processes in the body. B vitamins are also responsible for ensuring that the body keeps functioning correctly. Proper functioning of all the organs is necessary for leading a healthy life. Vitamin B complex provides adequate metabolism in the body by making sure that all the organs can absorb and effectively utilize the valuable nutrients from the food we eat. 

·        Helps activate the immune system: Vitamin C and ascorbic acid present in turnips are potent antioxidants that protect the body against foreign invaders. Vitamin C also boosts the production of white blood cells in the body, thus strengthening the body's first line of defense.[18]

·        Helps you lose weight: Turnips are not only rich in many nutrients, but it is also a low calorie and non-starchy vegetable that has a low glycemic index. This makes it ideal for weight loss. Due to its low glycemic index, it benefits people with diabetes as well since it does not spike your blood sugar levels. All these beneficial characteristics help maintain a healthy weight.[19]

See: Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

Turnips side effects

Precautions with Turnips

If you suffer from thyroid disorders, it may be wise to avoid eating turnips. Turnips contain certain compounds that may affect the thyroid gland and interfere with the hormone's normal functioning. If you're on nitrate-based medication, talk to your doctor before including it in your diet as it comprises a high content of nitrate.

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Summary

So are turnips good for you? The answer is that turnips are an excellent source of nutrients, and they offer multiple health benefits. The benefits of turnips are many, ranging from blood sugar control, weight loss, boosting the immune system and protecting against germs, providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, help promote heart health, and many others. 

Both turnip roots and greens are highly nutritious, and no part of this cruciferous vegetable goes to waste. Overall, turnips are a must to have, and they make a great addition to a variety of dishes. 

See: Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Health Benefits

References

1. Wang, X., Wang, H., Wang, J., Sun, R., Wu, J., Liu, S., Bai, Y., Mun, J.H., Bancroft, I., Cheng, F. and Huang, S., 2011. The genome of the mesopolyploid crop species Brassica rapa. Nature genetics, 43(10), p.1035.

2. Francisco, M., Velasco, P., Romero, Á., Vázquez, L., and Cartea, M.E., 2009. Sensory quality of turnip greens and turnip tops grown in northwestern Spain. European Food Research & Technology, 230(2), pp.281-290.

3. Linus Pauling Institute. (2020). Cruciferous Vegetables. [online] Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables [Accessed 10 Feb. 2020].

4. Carlson, D.G., Daxenbichler, M.E., VanEtten, C.H., Tookey, H.L., and Williams, P.H., 1981. Glucosinolates in crucifer vegetables: turnips and rutabagas. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 29(6), pp.1235-1239.

5. Hong, E., and Kim, G.H., 2008. Anticancer and Antimicrobial Activities of β-Phenylethyl Isothiocyanate in Brassica rapa L. Food science and technology research, 14(4), pp.377-377.

6. IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Working Group,  on the Evaluation of Cancer-Preventive Strategies and the World Health Organization, 2004. Cruciferous vegetables, isothiocyanates, and indoles (No. 9). IARC.

7. Liu, X. and Lv, K., 2013. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis. The Breast, 22(3), pp.309-313.

8. Paul, S., Geng, C.A., Yang, T.H., Yang, Y.P., and Chen, J.J., 2019. Phytochemical and Health‐Beneficial Progress of Turnip (Brassica rapa). Journal of food science, 84(1), pp.19-30.

9. Dufour, V., Stahl, M., and Baysse, C., 2015. The antibacterial properties of isothiocyanates. Microbiology, 161(2), pp.229-243.

10. Saavedra, M.J., Borges, A., Dias, C., Aires, A., Bennett, R.N., Rosa, E.S., and Simões, M., 2010. Antimicrobial activity of phenolics and glucosinolate hydrolysis products and their synergy with streptomycin against pathogenic bacteria. Medicinal Chemistry, 6(3), pp.174-183.

11. Furberg, C.D., and Yusuf, S., 1985. Effect of vasodilators on survival in chronic congestive heart failure. American Journal of Cardiology, 55(8), pp.1110-1113.

12. Khaw, K.T., and Barrett-Connor, E., 1987. Dietary fiber & reduced ischemic heart disease mortality rates in men and women: A 12-year prospective study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 126(6), pp.1093-1102.

13. Palomäki, A., Pohjantähti-Maaroos, H., Wallenius, M., Kankkunen, P., Aro, H., Husgafvel, S., Pihlava, J.M., and Oksanen, K., 2010. Effects of dietary cold-pressed turnip rapeseed oil and butter on serum lipids, oxidized LDL, and arterial elasticity in men with metabolic syndrome. Lipids in health and disease, 9(1), p.137.

14. Google Books. (2020). Southern Soul Food. [online]  [Accessed 10 Feb. 2020].

15. Google Books. (2020). The Green Pharmacy. [online]  [Accessed 10 Feb. 2020].

16. Weber, P., 2001. Vitamin K and bone health. Nutrition, 17(10), pp.880-887.

17. Rangel, L.B.A., de Siqueira, D., do Rosário Soares, O., Santana, H.S., de Castro Miguel, E., da Cunha, M., de Abreu Oliveira, A.L., Pedrosa, D.F., Resgala, L.C.R., Neto, H.A.R. and Gomes-Rochette, N.F., 2018. Vitamin K Supplementation Modulates Bone Metabolism and Ultra-Structure of Ovariectomized Mice. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 51(1), pp.356-374.

18. Ströhle, A., and Hahn, A., 2009. Vitamin C and immune function. Medizinische Monatsschrift fur Pharmazeuten, 32(2), pp.49-54.

19. Anderson, G.H., Soeandy, C.D., and Smith, C.E., 2013. White vegetables: glycemia and satiety. Advances in Nutrition, 4(3), pp.356S-367S.

See: Functional medicine for Heart Disease

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