Turnips and Health Benefits
The bitter-tasting turnips are root vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family. Leaves and roots of the turnip plant can be consumed. Green-colored turnip leaves are also known as turnip greens found atop the turnip bulbs. Turnip greens are higher in nutrient content when compared to the roots. The color of the skin and flesh of the turnip roots is commonly white. Turnips can be cone-shaped or round-shaped. Turnip roots can be cubed and mixed in dishes. Torn turnip leaves can be sprinkled in soups and stews. Young turnips are sweet-flavored making them suitable to be tossed in salads. They can also be relished raw.
Small round-shaped turnips which are heavy for their size displaying bright green-colored tops are a good buy. Turnip roots can be preserved in a dark cool corner for some weeks. Refrigeration of the turnip roots can also be practiced. Turnip greens should be separated from the roots and kept in the refrigerator in plastic bags. Turnip roots and leaves can be rinsed under water for some minutes for cleaning their surfaces when preparing the turnips for cooking. Turnip roots can be trimmed from the top and bottom. The skin of young turnip roots need not be peeled. Matured turnip roots may contain thick skin which can be peeled before cooking.
Turnip cubes can be dunked in stews with other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Pickling turnip pieces with radish, carrots and peppers is also common. Grated turnips can be topped in salads and coleslaw preparations. Garnishing of curries with turnip leaves is also a popular method of relishing turnip greens.
Turnips score low in calories. Their nutrient-count is also rich as they are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and dietary fiber. The nutrients perform various functions and contribute significantly in improving health measures. The health benefits associated with turnip consumption is studied in the following points.
- Nutritional Value
Nutrients in turnips include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folates, fiber, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, healthy fats and protein.
- Cardio-Vascular Health
Consuming turnips can be beneficial where promotion of heart health is concerned. Vitamin K in turnips can contain inflammation of the blood vessels which prevents heart disorders such as heart-attacks, hypertension and strokes. Cholesterol levels in the blood can also be minimized with turnips. Grouping of blood platelets on the arterial walls is also resisted with turnip nutrients. The Atherosclerosis condition where arteries become stiff can also be prevented with turnips. Thus cardio-vascular health improves.
- Bone Health
Minerals in turnips such as calcium and potassium can enhance bone strength and lead to their development. Turnip consumption can therefore reduce the risk of bone-linked ailments such as joint pain, osteoporosis and Arthritis. Healthy bones thus become a possibility.
- Fiber Benefits
High-fiber foods such as turnips can sate the appetite, enhance metabolism and regulate weight measures. Blood sugar levels also remain stable with turnip intake. The digestion process is also eased with fiber consumption. Bowel movements are normalized and constipation is avoided. Regularized bowel patterns can eliminate toxins from the body thereby resulting in optimum health parameters.
- Other Benefits
Anti-oxidants in turnips can avert the effects of free radicals and protect the cells from injury. Inflammation of the bodily parts can be contained with nutrients in turnips including healthy fats and vitamin K. Eye health can be promoted with turnip nutrients and eye-related ailments such as macular degeneration and cataract can be avoided as a result. Hair-care and skin-care are some additional benefits imparted by the nutrients in turnips.