Turn Up Your Turnips

It’s the purple power food that deserves a lot of attention.

It fights cancer, improves immunity, increases blood flow, prevents heart disease, supports digestion, regulates your metabolism…heck, about the only thing it doesn’t do is turn silver into gold! Bursting with nutritional value, the turnip ranks as one of the healthiest, least talked about foods on the planet. What makes this cruciferous a contender is the fact that its leaves and bulbous root provide far-reaching health benefits. One vegetable, two sides, two sources of power.

Like it’s cruciferous cousins, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., turnips are rich in nutrients and low in calories, making it a great Eat Fresh option for weight-loss.

Touting the Turnip

Grown in cooler climates across the globe, both the turnip root and leaves sport numerous nutritional benefits rich in vitamin C, iron, carotenoids, fiber, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium and many other useful minerals.

These veggies also boast cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and glucosinolates, all of which help the liver filter toxins and protect the body from carcinogens. Some studies show that regularly consuming turnips and other cruciferous vegetables lowers your risk of certain cancers including prostate, lung and breast, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The high concentration of vitamin C in turnips, 42 percent of the recommended daily consumption in one medium turnip and 55 percent in one cup of greens, strengthens your immune system and just about every other structure in your body. One analysis released by “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” who compared nine studies involving more than 290,000 participants observed that individuals who consumed 700 milligrams of vitamin C daily had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Turnip Cooking Tips

Cut them into cubes and use in stews or boil then mash with chives, bacon and cheese. You can also enjoy them baked, boiled, sautéed, steamed or even raw.

Turnips make great substitutes for potatoes because they deliver more nutrients with fewer calories and carbs. One cup of potatoes contains 154 calories and 35 grams of carbs compared to one cup of turnips containing 42 calories and 10 grams of carbs.

Raw turnip greens (leaves) are bitter. They taste great when sautéed in olive oil with onions and garlic. Cook them as you would collard greens. Remember to rinse and clean your veggies prior to cooking. Store turnips as you would potatoes, in a cool, dry place.

For children or picky eaters, use a spaghetti sauces or chili to “hide” your greens.

You can find these superfoods at most grocery stores year-round thanks to their long shelf life. Pick small to medium turnips for their sweeter taste. Larger crops deliver woodier flavors.

 

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