Turnip, Brassica Rapa, (shaljam) is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant in the family Brassicaceae grown for its edible roots and leaves. The plant possesses erect stems and 8–12 leaves forming a crown. The leaves are light green in color, hairy and thin.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF TURNIPS
Turnips have a rich nutritional value comprising of vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2 and folate as well as minerals like manganese, fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. It is also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Like most other vegetables, turnips are low in calories and hence, quite nutritious. They are used for farm animals as well as for human consumption and offer a variety of health benefits.
1. CANCER PREVENTION
These cruciferous vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which reduce the risk of cancer. Presence of glucosinolates prevents as well as reduces the effect of cancer.
2. CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH:
Turnips possess great anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of large amount of vitamin K. These help in preventing heart attacks, heart strokes and other heart ailments. Turnip greens aid in digestion by absorbing more amount of bile which uses up the cholesterol present in the body. This results in the reduction of cholesterol. Turnips are also excellent sources of folate, which further helps to boost up the cardiovascular system.
3. BONE HEALTH:
Turnips are an important source of calcium and potassium which are vital for healthy bone growth and maintenance. Regular consumption of turnip inhibits joint damage, risk of osteoporosis and the incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is also an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that supports the body’s production of connective tissues.
4. TREATMENT OF COMMON AILMENTS:
The curative power of turnips is beneficial in preventing several common illnesses such as lack of hunger and hemorrhoids. Regular consumption of turnip can even cure kidney stone if it is small enough.
5. BENEFICIAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS:
Turnips are low in calories and hence, can form part of an effective weight loss program. Their high fiber content on the other hand regulates metabolism, controls body weight and supports a healthy and active colon.
6. CURES ASTHMA:
The anti-inflammatory properties of turnips can be attributed to their high content of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. These properties are effective in curing asthma and curbing the symptoms of asthma. Studies have proved that giving turnips to asthmatic patients can lessen wheezing.
7. PREVENTS BODY ODOR:
Body odor is a common problem, particularly in the summer months. Turnip juice is quite beneficial in getting rid of body odor. Drinking turnip juice is generally good for health and also helps to avoid body odor.
8. STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM:
Turnip root plays an important role in the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. The beta-carotene content in turnips helps the body in producing healthy membranes.
9. EYE HEALTH:
Turnip greens are a rich source of lutein, a carotenoid that promotes eye health and prevents ocular diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
10. BRIGHTENS YOUR SKIN:
Frequent intake of turnips keeps your skin bright and smooth. The high content of vitamins A and C helps in maintaining healthy and radiant skin.