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Turnips

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Turnips Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 91.9 g
Calories: 28 kcal
Protein: 0.9 g
Carbohydrate: 6.4 g
Dietary fiber: 1.8 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 21 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 15 μg
Vitamin K: 0.1 μg
Calcium: 30 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg
Magnesium: 11 mg
Phosphorus: 27 mg
Potassium: 191 mg
Sodium: 67 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

Turnips are an incredibly versatile food with a lot of goodness to give. A brassica, the turnip is found across Europe, Asia and the world. Because we have both the turnip itself, and the turnip green, the turnip plant is a very versatile plant to cook with, being used in a variety of cultures from the USA to Brazil. The turnip has fantastic benefits for bone, eye, cardiovascular and digestive health, and is a great food to start eating.

When it comes to nutrition, turnips really have the best of both worlds. Not only do we have the root vegetable, but we also have the leaves of the plant to consider (‘turnip greens’). To deal with turnips first, the USDA database states that 100g of the root vegetable contains 35% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C, for just 26 kcal.

Turnip greens have a nutritional breakdown more familiar to the brassica family: 100g of boiled turnip greens contains 314% DV of vitamin K, 45% DV of vitamin C, and 152% DV of vitamin A equivalent.

As seen in the arugula, broccoli and carrot sections respectively, these three nutrients will ensure bone health and blood clotting (K), connective tissue and cardiovascular health (C), and long-term eye maintenance (A).

100g of turnip greens also contains 14% DV of dietary fibre. This is a significant amount of dietary fibre, with a host of benefits: improved colon health, and lowering cholesterol (by binding with bile acids).

Turnip’s positive effects on the digestive tract are furthered by the sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, which may stop excess growth of Heliobacter pylori, a bacteria that can lead to a multitude of gastric problems, potentially even stomach cancer.

Of course, the brassicas have been confirmed as having positive effects on fighting and preventing a number of cancers.

Finally, turnip greens are very high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids with a great benefit to eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to protect against two of the most common eye disorders, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Between turnip’s benefits for the eyes (lutein, zeaxanthin and Vitamin A), the cardiovascular system (vitamin C and the cholesterol-lowering properties of fibre), digestion (fibre and sulforaphane) and blood and bone health (vitamin K), what excuses have you got not to try out a turnip or two?