Turnips are a root vegetable known for their bitter flavor. Both the root and the leaves can be consumed, however turnip greens contain a higher concentration of compounds and nutrients than do the roots. The famous Roman philosopher, Pliny the Elder, considered turnips to be one of the most important foods of his time!
When prepared correctly, turnips are truly delicious.
Turnips are, generally, white at the bottom with a light purple blush on the top.
Those that are small have the sweetest, most tender flavor. The smaller turnip can be eaten raw, such as when sliced and added to salads.
The larger the turnip, the more woody it tends to be.
If you want to retain the amazing health benefits of raw turnips, you may try juicing them with apples or carrots to sweeten the flavor.
TIP: Many people enjoy eating the greens attached to the end. Try them sauteed or cooked like collards or kale.
Cancer Prevention Turnips are cruciferous vegetables. They contain high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients associated with reduced risk of cancer. The glucosinolate levels in turnip greens are excellent. Research shows that plant compounds like glucosinolates help the liver process toxins, fight the effects of carcinogens and may even inhibit the growth of tumors.
Heart Health Turnips have great anti-inflammatory properties, which are considered key in preventing heart attacks and heart disease. They may also help the body lower cholesterol and contain excellent amounts of folate, a B-vitamin that is critical to cardiovascular health.
High In Antioxidants Turnips offer a wide array of antioxidant support, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, manganese and beta-carotene. While the roots are a great source of vitamin C, the leaf greens are chalk full of all of these antioxidants. They also offer complex phytonutrient support, which helps stimulate antioxidant activity and increases the positive results of combatting free radical activity and preventing DNA damage to cells.
Anti-Inflammatory Turnip greens are great sources of two excellent anti-inflammatory agents: vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin K is a potent regulator of the body’s inflammatory response system. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids are essential building blocks of the body’s inflammation system and help reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis and other disease that may be the result of chronic inflammation.
Digestive Health Turnip greens are high in fiber which helps support the body’s digestive system. Some research suggests that glucosinolates may also help the stomach process bacteria like Helicobacter pylori.
Bone Health Turnips are a great source of calcium and potassium, essential minerals for healthy bone growth and helping to prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
High In Fiber Fiber helps regulate the metabolism, controls body weight and supports a healthy, active colon. Turnip greens offer about 20% the DV of fiber.
Weight Loss Any low calorie, nutrient rich foods like turnips can be a great addition to an effective weight loss program. The high fiber content of turnips should promote an active, healthy metabolism as well.
– Info derived from HealthDiaries.com
Tips For Use:
Turnips can be boiled and mashed, sliced and sauteed, cut into wedges and roasted and simmered into a soup.
Turnips do not have to be peeled, but most people prefer them peeled so try and see what works best for you.
If you do not want to peel, scrub them well before cutting to cook.