Turnip is a popular root vegetable, though the root is not the most nutritious part of this plant. Turnips are good for you, but turnip greens are even better. We’ll look at both turnip greens and turnip nutrition.
The turnip is a low-carb, high-fibre root vegetable. While it is a root vegetable, it is actually part of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. That alone is a good sign that this is a plant you’ll want to have in your diet.
A 100g serving (approximately ¾ cup) contains low levels of many important nutrients. The root has 21mg of vitamin C, which is a good contribution to your daily requirement. It’s low in fat, but the fat it does have is a healthy blend of omega-3 and omega-6.
Turnip Greens Nutrition
While the turnip root may fill you, the greens are going to give you the high levels of nutrients you’ll want in your diet. A 100g serving (almost 2 cups) is going to supply you with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and Vitamin K1. The greens also contain most important minerals in low levels.
Turnip greens are also a great source of antioxidants. Beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are some of these important antioxidants. They have been shown to promote retinal health, which is important for anyone but especially for the aging population. Our eyes get damaged with time, so it is important to get nutrients that protect you from this damage. Antioxidants also help reduce the amount of oxidative stress and free radicals in the body. This can lower your risk of developing many diseases including diabetes.
While some might find the pungent flavour of this plant too sharp, it is this flavour that has been linked to reducing your risk of developing colon and rectal cancer. This bitter flavour comes from the glucosinolates. When you chew and ingest this important component, it has been shown to change enzyme activity and reduce DNA damage.
Studies have shown that eating vegetables like turnip reduces your risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Increased vegetable intake has shown a positive correlation with overall health and longevity.
Turnip greens take their time maturing. This veggie takes almost two years to grow. The first year the plant focuses on growing the root, and the next year it works on growing the nutrient-packed leaves. It’s a hardy plant that can survive through winter. You can normally find turnip greens at local farmers’ markets during the fall harvest months.
Turnips are a good example of a good WHOLE food. From leaf to root this is a healthy vegetable to keep in your diet.