Turnip is a root vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family of vegetables. It grows well in temperate climates. Apart from its bulbous taproot, turnip leaves and sprouts are also eaten. Turnip is rich in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The leaves are good sources of Vitamin A, C, K, folic acid and calcium. It has negligible fat and no cholesterol. It can be eaten raw in salads or can be cooked as well. In traditional Asian medicine eating turnips has been associated with improved body energy levels and purification of blood.
Health benefits of Turnip
- Promotes heart health: The anti-inflammatory properties of turnip along with its antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta-carotene control oxidative stress and prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. Heart friendly folates and manganese present in turnip further help in safeguarding our cardiovascular system from diseases.
- Prevents cancer: High amounts of antioxidants and phytonutrients present in turnip give us anti-carcinogenic benefits. The glucosinolates present in edible leaves help the liver in detoxification process, induce apoptosis of cancer cells and suppress activity of genes that synthesize new blood vessels which promote tumor growth. All this contribute to reducing risks of cancers of prostate, stomach, breast, blood, reproductive tract and colon.
- Helps in digestion: The high fiber content of turnip greens help in easy digestion of food. The glucosinolates present in leaves of turnip may help to inhibit Helicobacter pylori infection in stomach which causes bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, ulcers and fatigue.
- Promotes bone health: Regular consumption of turnips lowers risk of joint damage, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis by virtue of its high calcium and phosphorus content. Turnip’s copper is beneficial for synthesis of connective tissues in our body.
- Help in weight loss. Fiber rich turnips are very low in calories. Therefore including them in your diet will enhance metabolism and control overeating.
- Cures ITP
- Good for eyes: The turnip greens are excellent sources of vitamin A and B1 which protect the eyes from macular degeneration, cataract and night blindness.
- Boosts immunity: Rich in vitamin C and E it helps enhance body’s natural resistance to infections like cold, cough and flu. The beta-carotene present in turnips helps to maintain healthy cellular membranes thereby keeping diseases at bay.
- Skin benefits: Antioxidants and vitamin A present in turnips delay aging, keep the skin hydrated, soft and supple. Soaking your feet in warm water in which turnips and its greens were boiled helps to soften and repair torn skin of feet.
- Regular consumption of turnips is also beneficial for our cognitive health.
- Turnips are also associated with curing internal piles and removing kidney stones.
- Applying juice of turnip on areas from where you sweat a lot can control bad smell caused by perspiration.
Caution: Although turnips are nutrient dense but they contain oxalates. Higher proportions of oxalates in the body can form kidney stones. So people suffering from gall bladder or kidney problems should either avoid or eat them in very small amounts.