10 Interesting Health Benefits and Side Effects of Turnip
Turnip is an apple-sized round root-vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family. When the plant is exposed to sunlight, a light purple hue appears at the top. The inner flesh of the turnip is white with a purple, reddish or pinkish tinge and the vegetable is usually conical in shape. The sprouts and leaves of this vegetable are edible and are widely used in European, Asian, and Eastern American cuisine.
Turnip is a cool weather vegetable that can be grown both in autumn and in spring. Cool climate is essential for its proper growth i.e. temperature range of 10-16 degrees centigrade is required.
Nutritional Values of Turnip
Turnip contains a number of essential nutrients that help our body function properly and even protect us from the harmful effects of various microbes. These are low-calorie vegetables which contain a significant amount of minerals.
It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, folic acid and fiber which perform various functions in the body and support overall health.
Health Benefits of Turnip
- Good for heart health-Turnip contains potassium, which is a vasodilator. Potassium helps reduce strains on blood vessels and arteries by lowering blood pressure. It helps to prevent problems like atherosclerosis and also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This vegetable also contains dietary fiber, which removes excess cholesterol from the heart and keeps your heart in good shape.
- Improves memoryTurnip contains choline which plays a vital role in performing various functions in the body as it is an essential component of neurotransmitters and a primary component of the cell membrane that forms the major part of memory.
- Prevents body odour and aids in weight lossDrinking turnip juice helps prevent body odour. Turnips are high in fiber, which helps regulate bowel movement and makes it easier for our body to absorb nutrients. It protects us from overeating, thus helps in weight loss.
- Fights cancerTurnip contains a number of antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese and beta-carotene, all of which helps prevent the harmful effects of free radicals in our body. As a cruciferous vegetable, turnip contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has anti-cancer properties. Including turnips in your diet can help prevent cancer.
- Good for digestive problems-Turnip contains dietary fiber which increases the volume of stool and facilitates its easy movement through our digestive system. In this way, the stools are easily expelled and various digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and cramps are eliminated.
- Strengthens body immunityसTurnip has vitamin C and ascorbic acid, which are powerful antioxidants that protect the body from the harmful effects of foreign microbes. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of white blood cells, which helps in boosting immunity.
- Good for bones-The presence of calcium and potassium in turnip keeps your bones healthy. Turnips are rich in calcium, which helps in the formation of connective tissue in the body. Therefore, including turnip in your diet helps reduce joint damage and even prevents osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Improves metabolism-Turnip contains vitamin B complex which helps to regulate the hormonal and enzymatic processes in our body and ensures our body to function properly.
- Good for eyesTurnip helps to keep your eyes healthy due to the presence of lutein. The carotenoid helps to prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Treats lung diseasesTurnips help overcome vitamin A deficiency in smokers caused by carcinogens of cigarettes. Thus, it helps prevent serious conditions like pneumonia, emphysema, and other lung problems.
Side Effects of Turnip
- If you are suffering from thyroid disease, you should avoid turnip, as this vegetable contains certain compounds that can affect the thyroid gland and interfere with hormone functioning.
- If you are taking nitrate drugs, it is advisable not to eat this vegetable because of its high nitrate content.
Where is it found?
Turnips are commonly grown in temperate regions all over the world. In India, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are main turnip growing states.