Why Eating Turnips Could Be A Game Changer For You
Image Credit: Unsplash

Turnips (Brassicarapa) are a root vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family, which also includes bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Since they are edible for humans and cattle, they are one of the essential crops in the world. Usually, turnips are purple, red, or greenish on the outside. They have a white-fleshed bulb — also known as the storage root or organ. It grows above ground and has smooth skin with no scars or side roots.

Both their roots and leaves are known as turnip greens and are safe to consume. They are a powerhouse of health-promoting properties. 

Here is a list of benefits you can get by eating turnips.

1. Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is prevalent in many chronic diseases, including arthritis, cancer, and high blood pressure. Turnip glucosinolates degrade into indoles and isothiocyanates. These two are bioactive byproducts with anti-inflammatory properties. Turnips contain Arvelexin, a type of indole proven effective in blocking pro-inflammatory compounds such as nitric oxide, a free radical causing inflammation.

2. Regulates Blood Sugar

A regulated blood sugar level is a must, especially for diabetics. Several animal studies suggest that turnips may have anti-diabetic properties. A 9-month study fed rats a high-sugar diet. The treatment used 45 mg of turnip extract per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight. According to the study, the extract also helped correct other metabolic disorders associated with diabetes, such as high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

3. Anti-cancer Properties

Turnips contain several plant compounds having cancer-fighting properties. This root vegetable is high in glucosinolates and vitamin C, which may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Glucosinolates are a class of bioactive plant compounds containing antioxidant activity effective in reducing cancer-causing impacts of oxidative stress. Numerous studies suggest higher glucosinolate intake results in a lower risk of lung, colon, and rectal cancer.

Furthermore, blue and purple turnips are high in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins, another type of antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. Including them in the diet can lower the risk of chronic and degenerative diseases.

4. Aids Bone Health

Dairy isn't the only way to strengthen your bones and stay ahead of the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. Turnips are rich in calcium, which is good for your bones, heart, muscles, and nerves.

5. Helps Digestive Health

Turnips are high in fibre and low in calories helping people feel fuller for longer. Eating high-fibre meals also aids in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Turnips' fibre content may also help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Thus, it is also great to eliminate toxins from the body. 

Bottom Line

If you are considering including cruciferous vegetables, turnips can be the best pick. They offer excellent health and nutritional benefits. They also contain bioactive compounds like glucosinolates which assist in blood sugar control and protect against harmful bacteria. Additionally, they have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The roots and the greens are edible and nutritious, making them an ideal addition to a healthy diet.